Skip navigation

Building entrepreneurship


From a sole trader to a limited liability company – that’s the path that Anni Vento from Joensuu is currently progressing along. In autumn 2022, Vento participated in Business Joensuu’s start-up coaching, which exceeded her expectations and strengthened her entrepreneurial identity.

Anni Vento, who graduated as a Bachelor of Hospitality Management in 2017, was planning to become a hotel manager. The bachelor’s programme included a lot of entrepreneurial studies. When wading through them, Vento remembers thinking that she would never become an entrepreneur. Quite the opposite happened.

The year 2016 marked the turning point for Vento’s career. In her own words, she applied to a work placement in the Ilosaarirock organisation on the spur of the moment. 

- I totally fell in love with the festival and the live music sector! I forgot about my dream of becoming a hotel manager, and after my work placement, I stayed on to do marketing for Joensuun Popmuusikot, Anni Vento says.

Her love was of a deeper kind. In 2017, Vento finalised her thesis on the theme of planning the digital marketing for Ilosaarirock. She achieved her goal of creating a visible and productive marketing campaign. The advertising images for Ilosaarirock collected almost four million impressions in a month, and the visibility resulted in festival guests. In 2017, Ilosaarirock had a record attendance: over the course of three days, 67,000 visitors enjoyed the music and atmosphere of the festival. 

In 2020 and 2021, Ilosaarirock was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. In July 2023, the event attracted 68,000 music lovers to Joensuu. Once again, Anni Vento worked hard in the team of organisers. Instead of working as a volunteer or an assistant for the marketing team, Vento is now an entrepreneur responsible for coordinating the marketing and communications of Ilosaarirock. 

A jump into the unknown

For a few years, Anni Vento worked at an advertising agency in Joensuu. When the company was preparing for redundancy negotiations and adjustment measures, Vento decided to leave voluntarily.

-    I didn’t have a plan b or c. I had a strong feeling, though, that my place was somewhere else. 

-    When I left paid employment, light entrepreneurship seemed like the easy option. Things happened so fast – you didn’t have to do any paperwork or consider matters to do with starting a business. Those days I didn’t even know where to start.

However, things started rolling when an entrepreneur I know sent me a message about a possible collaboration. Vento describes her first years of entrepreneurship as a learning path in life and entrepreneurship. 

Her period as a light entrepreneur lasted a total of three years. She has had a number of challenges in adopting the title of entrepreneur. 

-    Setting up a company is also about your own identity. When can I call myself an entrepreneur? Am I committed enough to work as an entrepreneur? Will the title define me too much? My educational background to work as an entrepreneur in this field is slightly unconventional. I do think of myself as a creative person, though, and I know that you need to foster your creativity almost like training your muscles. You learn by doing.

Feeling disadvantaged

Motives and values are what essentially differentiate good entrepreneurship from bad entrepreneurship. This is what non-fiction writer Kim Väisänen states in his book Väärää yrittämistä [Wrong kind of entrepreneurship]. Motives and values also come to mind when listening to Anni Vento. 

-    The freedom to do what you want. A chance to get inspired. The opportunity to allow yourself some time off, too, Vento lists and reiterates another important idea in Väisänen’s book: successful entrepreneurship does not take away from other aspects of the entrepreneur’s life.

Vento, who had once abandoned the idea of becoming an entrepreneur, had a wake-up call last autumn; she started to feel disadvantaged as a light entrepreneur. Vento started googling and ended up on the Business Joensuu website.

Towards a limited liability company

When considering Business Joensuu’s coaching for start-ups, Vento hesitated for a moment.

-    I already had a business idea and clients. I was wondering whether the coaching would be useful for me... maybe it would be more appropriate for those just considering to start a business. All I seemed to be missing at that stage was a business ID and an accountant.

But things worked out very differently. Anni Vento says that she received tremendously useful information and observations from the other members of the group.

-    Things I would never have thought of myself. I was also surprised that Business Joensuu offers such a service and it is totally free of charge to all participants.

In the coaching, Vento found important networks and more building blocks for her career as an entrepreneur. She also found a suitable accounting firm. But what happened with the company’s business ID?

-    Things will start happening next year at the earliest. I spent the summer working at Ilosaarirock. I have new work lined up for the autumn. My next development goal is to improve my time management. 

Text: Sirkka-Liisa Aaltonen/Viestintä Ässä Oy
Photo: Jarno Artika

Related content

17.04.2023 Start-up entrepreneurs

Is this it? A couple of years ago when Henna-Mari Luolamo posed herself this frustrated question, she was going through what she describes as some sort of a crisis. Working as a singing teacher and...

24.02.2023 Start-up entrepreneurs

More news from Tiukula! In January, the company launched its first own yarn brand, Neulojan Sohvilla. At the end of March, the yarn shop will move to its new premises in Raatekangas, Joensuu. In...

15.08.2022 Start-up entrepreneurs

Located on Suvantokatu, the new Lääkäriasema Ystävä Medical Center is more like a fairytale illustration than a doctor’s office. The impetus for paediatric specialist Petra Salmi’s dream of having...