Every day, Helsinki brings together the world’s best-educated population with the most innovative companies in fields including mobile gaming, cancer research, and the circular economy. And the city’s high-quality public healthcare services, excellent public schools, tuition-free colleges and other universal social services support entrepreneurs who take risks by ensuring that their families and children have secure opportunities no matter how their fledgling companies fairs. Because let’s face it: disruption is a risk, and failure is part of the start-up game. Helsinki has your back.
This My Freedom story introduces us to Evon, a Malaysian woman who left her home country at the age of 19 and ended up in Helsinki. Seventeen years later, having experienced the freedom to try and sometimes also fail, Evon holds a Finnish degree, and is the founder of HUONE Meeting Venues, a company currently operating in 3 countries.
"I come from Malaysia originally. In the absence of my parents, my grandmother raised me in a village. Growing up we didn't have much and education was a luxury. I suffered from domestic violence as a teenager so, at 19, I packed my bags and left Malaysia looking for a better world. After setting foot in Europe and wandering around many cities, I ended up in Helsinki, a place that couldn't be further from the place I come from."
Trial and error in Helsinki
"This is a safe, clean, well organised city which is home to people who are fair, honest and well educated. During the past decade, Helsinki has become one of the most innovative cities in the world. I have witnessed this within the ecosystem Finland has designed to encourage startups and new innovations.
We are encouraged to try even if we feel uncertain and help is available everywhere. Most importantly, there is a strong belief in the fairness of our society. Finland is one of the least corrupt, and safest countries in the world. Only when you live in fairness and safety are you able to freely try and fail without worrying whether the system is corrupt. That's why I, as an entrepreneur and 'yrittäjä', try and keep trying harder."