During the autumn of 2018, the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Research, ESBRI, and the Swedish National Agency for Education, Skolverket, organized the Swedish edition of the competition DECA Idea Challenge; a contest where student teams around the world are challenged to find innovative ways to use an everyday object. This year's winners of the first and second prize were students from Björknäsgymnasiet / Teknik College, in Boden.
Deca winners 2018 - from left to right: Peter Skoglöf, Mattis Brunström, Wilma Öhman, Vilgot Jakobsson, Wilma Brenna, Ellinor Larsson, Albin Runelöv and Carina Hafrén.
The award ceremony took place in February and NUITEQ’s CEO and co-founder, Harry van der Veen, was invited to give an inspirational speech to a large group of students, about entrepreneurship.
Harry van der Veen - Business lecture for a group of students from the Teknik College in Boden.
Harry held a lecture for a group of students who attend Björknäsgymnasiet's technology program. Harry shared his best business tips and showed that it is possible to launch a successful global company from Skellefteå, Sweden.
He highlighted the benefits of being active locally and provided practical advice on how to succeed in business. He especially emphasized the importance of communication and building relationships. And if you are going to do international business, it is important to learn the cultural codes of each country.
Harry noted that a “no” from a customer is not always a final “no” - it just means "no, not right now". So persistence pays off, but don't trust a promise of a deal. A sale is only completed when the payment has reached the bank account.
Another valuable piece of advice was to get a mentor and give back to the community that helped your business grow. Harry practices what he teaches; he generously left his contact details and promised to be a sounding board for the students when they want to test their business ideas.
Harry left Boden impressed by the winning students. His experience there made him hopeful for the future of businesses in Sweden. He also received a good read from the event’s organizers.
Source: ESBRI blog.