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The first Business Date of the HEI Network was a success!

We could sense the beginning of a new era for the Regional Organization of the Entrepreneurs in Helsinki as Business Date, a new after-work session for internationally oriented entrepreneurs, gathered around 30 people to O'Leary's in Helsinki. The participants included many immigrant entrepreneurs who have put up a business in Finland after studying in a university or other academy in Helsinki.

The chair of the Regional Organization of Entrepreneurs in Helsinki Sarianne Reinikkala welcomed participants to the event. HEI Network's chair Raija Lehtinen opened the event by announcing the HEI Person of the Year 2016. Owner of Cape Context Oy, language and communications specialist Virve Juhola was honored with this title for helping with the HEI Network communications in English throughout the year. Virve has also provided inspirational ideas for our activities and is a member of the board of HEI – Helsinki Entrepreneurs International. Thank you, Virve, for being a helpful and loyal partner!

HEI Network co-operates with UpcyclingCenter, a project lead by Isabella Haas. Isabella is planning to multiply the re-cycling idea throughout Finland and abroad. Isabella was the first speaker at the Business Date. She told us about making accessories of used materials, such as old T-shirts. Isabella has established a "container village" outside the Design Museum in Helsinki, with 6 to 7 immigrants participating in the project. These women are all willing to find a job in Finland or to start a business of transforming trash into something useful. Isabella is not afraid of challences!

The second speaker at the Business Date was actor, clown and business consultant Dean A. DiNardi, originally from New York. Based on his book Pitchersize – Working Out the Perfect Pitch, he told us the secrets of pitching. In the book he emphasizes entrepreneurship as a way of being, thinking and doing; as a way of life. We warmly recommend the book and Dean as a motivational speaker.

Before a networking session, all participants introduced themselves, which was a good way to start chatting and having fruitful conversations before finishing the first Business Date that turned out a proper success.

Text: Raija Lehtinen