Mily Vazquez Harkivi was surprised by Espoo’s entrepreneurial atmosphere when she moved to the city with her family three years ago. Born in Mexico, Mily has lived in Finland for 11 years, first in Tampere and Helsinki. In Espoo, Mily has found a home that is a good place to live and work. The energetic woman has now launched her own business offering communication services, focusing on SMEs in particular.
Mily Vazquez Harkivi was born in the industrial city of Monterrey in Northern Mexico. It was love that brought her to Finland. Mily was a versatile communications officer in the human resources department of Perlos, a company that manufactured plastic cases for Nokia. There she met her future Finnish husband who was working for the same company.
Mily has always enjoyed and appreciated work. When the depression hit, she found herself in a completely new situation. Mily’s husband’s work at Perlos also ended. Mily felt that she had no particular reason to remain in her native Mexico and decided to move to Finland with him. They got married in the same year – in the summer of 2007– and Mily began to study Finnish.
“The Finnish welfare system surprised me. I was prepared to pay for my language courses. I was astonished when the employment office informed me that the courses were free,” says a delighted Mily. She found it important to learn Finnish to facilitate her integration into a new country and culture.
Espoo has a great team spirit
The couple lived in Tampere until Mily was accepted to the University of Helsinki.
After a year’s long-distance relationship, Mily’s husband followed her to the capital city. From there they moved to Espoo three years ago. Since then, their family has grown to include two children, aged 3 and 1. Espoo means a lot to Mily.
“Here I am home,” Mily says. It may often feel difficult to find one’s place in a new environment but Mily feels that Espoo matches her personality well. Espoo is a dear and natural choice for Mily thanks to its entrepreneurial attitude, internationality, nature and the easiness of everyday life for families with children. “Espoo combines an urban lifestyle to nature and peacefulness which are among Finland’s best assets,” she adds.
“I think Espoo has a great team spirit. New acquaintances often share my way of thinking,” Mily says. She mentions the local Junior Chamber International – JCI Espoo – as an example. According to Mily, the active JCI chapter differs from several other JCIs because it for example organises family-friendly events that the outgoing woman appreciates.
Entrepreneurship adds value to society
Launching her own business was a natural choice for Mily who hails from a family of entrepreneurs. “Both of my grandfathers were entrepreneurs. It comes to me naturally. However, one does not simply found a business just like that. I needed help and EnterpriseEspoo provided it to me. Without their advice, I would not have become an entrepreneur. And I am not exaggerating,” says a thankful Mily. She feels that EnterpriseEspoo is genuinely interested in supporting the growth of new businesses in Espoo.
Founding a business was surprisingly easy in Finland.
Mily often talks about attitudes towards entrepreneurs. She has met people with negative attitudes towards entrepreneurship. This has influenced her mental image of the Finnish society to some extent. Mily has also noticed more negative attitudes towards entrepreneurship in Finland than in her native Mexico.
“Becoming an entrepreneur is a great way to develop the surrounding society. It is not just a means to make money. I feel at home at JCI Espoo especially because they teach their members how to influence society through their entrepreneurial activities. Entrepreneurship adds value to society. If your actions have a positive impact even on a single family, it matters. Hard values are not my thing. Businesses are always run by people, and no company is just an anonymous actor. In my home city of Monterrey, corporate responsibility and ethics are important business factors,” Mily says.
dCommsHub offers extensive communication services to SMEs in particular
Mily’s communication service company dCommsHub has received a warm welcome. She already has one long-term customer. After becoming a private trader, Mily has actively focused on sales to acquire new customers, focusing on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular.
“SMEs need professional communications just like large companies. Many entrepreneurs take care of their own communications because they feel it is an easy task. However, professional communication and marketing services are a great investment because they speed up business. Communications are time-consuming which makes outsourcing an excellent option for many entrepreneurs. This frees up time for running the actual business,” Mily points out.
Getting a newly-founded business off the ground takes hard word and a proper attitude. Sales require a lot of time, patience and endurance. One must believe in oneself, even if customer acquisition may take a while.
“It takes courage and a positive attitude to pull through. Having a versatile education also gave me the courage to become a business-owner,” Mily says.
About Mily Vazquez Harkivi
Entrepreneur and mother of two currently living in Espoo.
Founded her business dCommsHub in early 2018. dCommsHub offers extensive communication services to SMEs in particular
Languages: Spanish, English, Finnish
Former experience in communications from companies such as Perlos, Nokia and UPM
Education: Master of Social Sciences (University of Helsinki), Master of Arts in Speech Communication (English, Finnish). Minor subject studies: Business Development and Corporate Social Responsibility (Hanken School of Economics).
More information: www.dcommshub.fi