Entrepreneurial story: Toni Kemppinen

My decision to become an entrepreneur is the result of being born and raised in an entrepreneurial family, my experiences of entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial stories that surrounded me, and my work to make entrepreneurs’ dreams come true in the corporate banking sector.

Inspiring idols and missed opportunities for success

Finnish Entrepreneurs writes that many entrepreneurs are exploring growth opportunities through SME takeovers, but many also recognise the possibility of becoming an entrepreneur through a takeover. This is what Toni Kemppinen did when she left her job as a corporate banker to become the pilot of Talgraf Oy. The growth appetite and potential of companies that have changed ownership is strong, as demonstrated by Toni’s investment in StatBun.

Dynamic type, competitive athlete, energetic entrepreneur. Toni has the ability to see the big picture and opportunities around her, to get excited about them and inspire others. He is not only open to change, he wants to bring about change. Ideas are flowing and enthusiasm is contagious. Toni is also a natural storyteller, so it’s best to let her tell you in her own words what makes her tick.

From admiration of entrepreneurs to entrepreneurship

As with so many things, you can find a purpose or a pattern of fulfilment for your own path in hindsight. As a young boy, I never imagined I would go on a journey that would end with me becoming an entrepreneur. So my entrepreneurial path is a kind of story of causality. That the outcome is the inevitable result of doing and experiencing.

I became an entrepreneur for the same reason my hometown hockey heroes Tuukka Rask and Ville Leino became NHL stars. While they admired Jarmo Mylly or other famous sportsmen and women, I myself admired people who bravely took their destiny into their own hands as entrepreneurs. People who took risks to achieve their dreams, whatever they might be. So I’m on my way to becoming what I dreamed of as a little boy.

The biggest influences on my entrepreneurship have been the many inspiring entrepreneurial examples around me and a strong desire to make dreams come true. My families of friends had funeral homes, restaurants, grocery stores, car dealerships, boat rentals and accountants. I still remember the positive feelings they had about entrepreneurship, which were very strong. I dreamed of that feeling myself.

My own parents have also been a great example and a driving force behind my entrepreneurship. It was quite exciting when they set up their first business. Time and time again, it felt wonderful to look at the Tapsan Suutar on the corner of the street. When I stepped inside, I felt like I was entering my home. It was the right mix of excitement and a sense of security. It’s great to offer this same experience to my own children.

Entrepreneurship as part of identity

Entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial stories have captivated me time and time again, also as written stories. I recently read the biography of Nikefounder Phil Knight, Shoe Dog. I understood how personal an experience entrepreneurship is for everyone. It becomes an integral part of the personal journey we are on and who we are as human beings.

So to define why I became an entrepreneur, I would first have to define why I am me. Why am I so desperate to build something “my own”; why do I have such a strong need to leave my fingerprints in this world; why do I dream of a greater than normal sense of meaning; why do I feel complete only when I have not only my own family but also my own work community around me? It’s something I’ve always dreamed of building and it’s what has driven me to become an entrepreneur.

Enabling businesses to succeed

One important part of my entrepreneurial path is my experience in banking. I met countless entrepreneurs during those years. Entrepreneurs always felt happy with their lives, regardless of their level of success. I believe this happiness stemmed from a strong sense of meaning and control over their own lives, and the fact that entrepreneurship is often built on their own strengths and interests. That’s what I’ve been trying to do myself.

There are also fond memories. In these, the entrepreneur worked hard and perhaps lived happily ever after, but the business is doing poorly or vice versa. But business and entrepreneur are always in a close symbiosis. In the long term, they almost always share a common destiny. The alliance between entrepreneur and business works best when both are doing well. In moments of weakness, the entrepreneur is too often left too often too alone. The lonely entrepreneurs represent my most wistful memories.

I am a dreamer. I often dream of a world where all businesses succeed. But trying is not easy. The operational environment and unexpected situations in their lives challenge entrepreneurs, sometimes disproportionately. So any action you can take to increase your chances of success is worth doing properly. If you’re not up to it, it’s always better to delegate the task to someone else than not to do it at all. Many people need help to become entrepreneurs.

My biggest source of enthusiasm for entrepreneurship is the desire to enable as many entrepreneurs as possible to succeed. Maybe because it didn’t happen in my own family. After my father died, my mother was left too alone with our business at the time. I was not mature enough or capable enough to support him at the time. Now I want to contribute on an even bigger scale. As an entrepreneur, I am in the best position to help as many entrepreneurs and their stakeholders as possible.

As an entrepreneur, my goal is to bring together the business information, knowledge and tools that businesses need, as well as the entrepreneur’s key stakeholders, on a single platform. This maximises the likelihood of success in business for everyone who wants to contribute – the will to try and succeed. We created StatBun to make our vision of a world with more better performing companies a reality.

Toni’s 3 tips for entrepreneurs

1) As an entrepreneur, do what inspires you most and where what you do and your values work in the best possible alliance. Excited about what you spend your day doing, you’ll wake up energised in the morning and go to bed happy.

2) Do things with people who are the best versions of themselves in your company and with whom you are the best version of yourself.

3) Do your best in everything, but not alone. Alone, we can never achieve what we can achieve together.

Network with Toni on LinkedIn.