FBCC Member Series: Europartnerships

This interview is a part of FBCC member series and was conducted with Mark Dodsworth, who is the Founding Partner, Owner, and the Managing Director of Europartnerships Ltd.

Europartnerships primarily specializes in supporting the internationalization of SMEs. Most of their clients are SMEs looking to enter new markets, frequently the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland. Their key service is to find partners for businesses, for example, sales representatives suchi as agents, distributors, resellers, and end clients or potential strategic alliancesEuropartnerships also works for larger companies to organize events, for example, product presentations and awareness-raising events. The company is highly experienced and in fact, they have just had their 20th anniversaryin September 2020.  

There is a story behind the company name. Originally, when Europartnerships was founded in 2000, they were working exclusively within Europe so attaching “euro” to the company name was quite easy and obvious. The partnerships” part comes from the nature of the business, which is about researching and arranging business partnerships across international frontiers. There were companies with similar names but none with the exact name “Europartnerships”, so the founders of the company quickly registered the name and have had it ever since.  

There are three key things in the company culture from Mark Dodsworth’s point of view. Firstly, the company is quite female-oriented as out of 9 workers, 7 are females. The co-founder of the company was also a woman. Secondly, the company culture is very flat. Even though Mark is the sole shareholder and owner of the company, he thinks that it is all about team effort and it is very important to listen very carefully to the thoughts and opinions of his colleagues. Thirdly, Europartnerships is a multi-cultural company. They have team members from Colombia, Spain, The Netherlands and Germany. In addition, Mark himself is half British and half American so the company is not a typical UK company in this respect.  

Mark says it would be lovely to have something big happening in the near future but, as a result of the current situation, all the big things are unfortunately on stand-by at the moment.  

Europartnerships has some events coming up for whenever it is possible and safe to organize them again. They are planning for instance to organise events for a Finnish company called Solibri at the Finnish Embassies in London and Berlin. Europartnerships also hopes to deliver another event in London, for a Finnish company, VTT. Additionally, Europartnerships has developed a partnership with a consultant in South America. With this partner, Europartneships has obtained a series of sales meetings with tech companies in Costa Rica, Argentina, and Colombia. This is one of the new opportunities that arose during the lockdown and normally they would have not expected to be working there.  

The pandemic has not affected the day to day life at Europartnerships that much. To some degree, their employees were already working remotely before the pandemic, because all their clients are non-British and are based in other countries. Previously, the clients used to travel to the UK for events and meetings, but now all the communication is of course happening online. The company is not using their office at the moment as it is partly closed, and everyone is working from home.  

The biggest difference for Mark is that he is not traveling at all. Normally he would go to Norway, Finland, or Germany at least once a year, but now it is not possible to even plan future travels. Now the only travel, and therefore the big excitement for him, is to be able to travel to London. He comes from his home in Bristol to meetings and has managed to get to London three times since March.  

Mark’s number one tip for working from home is to avoid spending too long a time in front of the screen. If you are lucky enough to live near nature, go for a run or a cycle. Keeping healthy is very important – this includes eating well and keeping your mind active. Do not let the lockdown get you down. Another key is to communicate with people. Most of the time it has to be online via Zoom or similar technology but if you can meet people physically in a safe way and if it is at all possible, you should do that.  

The biggest benefits of being part of the FBCC for Europartnerships are of course networking and making those business connections, as well as other opportunities they get from the FBCC, such as business referrals. Mark points out they have been very pleased to have been able to work with other prominent FBCC members, such as Outokumpu and Digitalist Group. 

FBCC Member Series: Coach Chi

This interview is part of our new FBCC Member Series, where we introduce our member companies to the network. This time we interviewed Anne Anttonen, a Career and Business Coach at our Corporate Member company Coach Chi.

Coach Chi provides a holistic coaching approach for women who desire to improve their life, both working and home, in order to achieve a more fulfilling and balanced lifestyle, living in a “flow” state most of the time. At Coach Chi, flow means going forward in life with a flow instead of fighting against anything. It is important to find what is important in life and focus on that. Coach Chi is welcoming and approachable; “working with us is motivating, inspiring, and empowering based on trust”. 

There is a story behind the company’s name. “When you google the word “coach” there are so many pages coming up so I wanted to add something to it. The word Chi means “life energy “ in Eastern cultures (martial art forms) and I discovered it from Eckhart Tolle’s book  ‘ The Power of NOW ‘. Chi also means “Who” in Italian and was often used word during my time in Italy in the late 80’s, 90’s, early 2000 and 2014. Finally, Chi describes a state of “flow”, the word used in sports; as a keen golfer, I have read a lot about “flow” and how to achieve it during my rounds of competitive golf. In summary, Coach Chi is bringing the state of “flow” to the client’s life, instead of fighting against odds.” 

There are two things that play a role in the company culture. “Firstly, being a woman, I was lucky to be born and raised in Finland, and therefore Coach Chi’s culture is democratic, fair, trustworthy, straightforward, and methodological focusing on results. Secondly, I have lived abroad more than half of my life, in 6 different countries, and that has influenced the culture bringing more warmth, compassion, and belief in good.”  

Hence while aiming to achieve goals, Anne considers the client’s individuality to make meaningful progress in finding that eluding “flow” state, the Chi. Everything she does is confidential.  

Coach Chi has two workshops coming soon, focusing on the basics: Vision for the future followed by Identifying the most burning areas in life that need attention in order to achieve a harmonious, firm foundation for work and life in general. Workshops are for 2.5 hrs, usually at the weekend, on Zoom with max 5 people to create intimacy where participants are comfortable to share and learn from each other. Simple concepts, but very powerful if done honestly. “what you put in, you get out” encouraging responsibility for own decisions and actions. You can read more about Coach Chi workshops by clicking here. 

Regarding the pandemic, the day-to-day life at Coach Chi has not changed much. “I have actually coped very well thanks to my healthy daily routines. We had started coaching on Zoom and Skype already last year, and the pandemic has made coaching online even more acceptable. I wanted to have my workshops live, but I have noticed that Zoom -workshops have proofed to be positive online experiences for many, enabling to gather clients together from different geographical locations.” 

The only thing that has changed at Coach Chi is networking. “I have been trying to network online but it is not the same and I do not find it as rewarding as networking live. Now most of my networking is through old contacts.” 

As a coach, Anne sees a lot of people talk about their wellbeing. Her number one tip for everyone working from home is to pace yourself out and have a good daily routine: have time off from screen & finish work at “office hours”, have a daily walk in nature, make sure you get enough rest (sleep hygiene). “A good sleeping pattern is very important, there are great apps for sleeping and I have personally found them very useful. After all, it is all about the simple things.”   

The biggest benefit of being part of the FBCC for Coach Chi has been being able to connect with like-minded people, both Finnish and British and build links with other Nordic Chambers of Commerce members. “I also found the networking events very useful and now that the live events have changed to webinars, I have been participating online. I also found the Nordic Golf Society through you and I have been an active member.” 

FBCC Member Series: Marks & Clerk

This interview is part of our new FBCC Member Series, where we introduce our member companies to the network. This time we interviewed Simon Portman, the Managing Associate at our Corporate Member company Marks & Clerk.

 


How would you describe your company?

Marks & Clark is a leading firm of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys with offices in the UK, mainland Europe, Canada, and Asia. We’re a “one stop shop” for all your intellectual property needs which means we give advice to clients on applying for patents, registered designs, and trademarks and maintaining a coordinated intellectual property strategy. We also have a legal team that gives advice on commercial contracts and includes an internationally renowned litigation practice.

Our clients range from small start-ups to universities, charities, and big multinational companies. We work in all fields including entertainment, software, electronics, and healthcare, and so forth. We have particular expertise in cutting-edge areas like 3D printing, AI, XR, and 5G.

How did Marks & Clerk get its name?

The firm was founded in the 1880’s and gets its name from the founders George Croydon Marks and Dugald Clerk. So when they started the business Queen Victoria was on the throne and Sherlock Holmes was in Baker Street! Both founders have an interesting background; Marks was a famous engineer and actually a colleague of Thomas Edison. He became a director of companies like Columbia and EMI and was also a politician who was elevated to the House of Lords as Baron Marks. Clerk invented the two-stroke gas engine and spent many years developing the technology. So as you can see, they were both very interesting and successful people.

 

What makes Marks & Clerk special?

The company has a global reach and a breadth and depth of expertise to match all its competitors so we can give clients a top tier service, wherever they are and whatever their technological and commercial requirements. If their technology spans a range of fields, we can pull a team together with all the requisite skills.

However, in my opinion, what really makes us different is the company culture. Lots of organisations have core values but they don’t always translate into action. It’s clear ours do because it is a great place to work. In fact, when I applied here, the first question I was asked was “Are you a nice person?” Luckily, I managed to fool them and they let me in!

What are your plans for the near future?

I spoke last week on licensing 5G at Birmingham Tech Week and the recording will be online soon. I will also be speaking on virtual reality meetings and collaborations at VR Days Europe in November so anyone interested in the XR sector should sign up. In general, we are pretty busy at the moment. Covid-19 has given many of our healthcare clients new challenges to meet and the lockdown has obviously been a shot in the arm for the XR sector.

How has the pandemic affected your working life?

To be honest, it hasn’t that much. We were all set up to work remotely anyway and adapted pretty quickly. I don’t waste time commuting now so probably get more done and, ironically, I am seeing people face to face more than I used to. Thanks to video conferencing, I am interacting with people visually when previously I would have just emailed or phoned them. So I don’t feel isolated. Of course, work-related traveling is currently out of the question but it will come back, and meanwhile, we have honed our viral marketing strategy.

What are your tips for others working remotely?

Maintain a structure in your working day and separate your work life from your personal life. It is also very important to avoid spending too much time staring at your screen. In the office, we used to get up and talk to people, go to the printer, out to lunch. Now, if we’re not careful, we’re stuck in the same position all day gazing into a luminous rectangle. Our bodies weren’t built for that so I would encourage people to get off the laptop and take regular walks and rest the eyes, even if for just a few minutes.

What for you are the biggest benefits of being part of the FBCC?

Membership gives us the scope to widen our network and meet people from various businesses in the United Kingdom and Finland, who we hope will turn into clients and useful contacts. Finland, and the Nordic countries in general, are highly networked, full of innovation, and a great breeding ground for start-up companies. Luckily, Brexit hasn’t deterred Nordic businesses from setting up over here, and nor should it. The regular networking events are also great fun and, with luck, we’ll soon get back to doing them face to face. Meanwhile, I’m still living off winning one of the FBCC’s recent Nordic quizzes on Zoom and consequently suffering from a very un-Scandinavian bout of smugness. Regrettably, we didn’t do so well in the last one.

Exciting news from the new FBCC Corporate Member Tuuli Bell Ltd!

In their latest Press release, FBCC Corporate Member Tuuli Bell Ltd, and Jurupa announced a collaboration to help organisations grow and mature sustainably.

“Jurupa is an innovative talent sourcing consultancy and I am delighted to announce the collaboration to our industry. The leading technology and sales teams work in a fuzzy organisational environment. Analysing an organisation’s revenue streams requires input from across the organisation, from HR, recruitment and sales to professional services. Our partnership with Jurupa brings those closer together.”

 –Dr Tuuli Bell, Founder and Management Consultant

To read the full press release and more about the collaboration, click here.

We warmly welcome our new Corporate Member Tuuli Bell Ltd!

We are proud to introduce our new Corporate Member Tuuli Bell Ltd.

Tuuli Bell Ltd is a boutique management consultancy with a vision to bring joy to the world of software sales. The consultancy was founded in 2019 by Dr Tuuli Bell and serves global organisations to help mature their businesses in complex environments.  One of the top problems they help solve is when teams’ priorities are not aligned with the company’s revenue streams. They help you focus on what needs done, improve your maturity gradually and ensure that revenue streams prioritise how you manage partnerships, teams, and customers. The Reach Your Sales Target Programme (TM), developed by Dr Tuuli Bell, helps you understand, improve and identify your bottlenecks in your revenue streams.

Discover how your sales organisation could change: http://www.tuulibell.com/

KONE, Finnair, Nordea and Nokia listed in the Top 50 Most Attractive Employers for Young Professionals in Finland!

The annual Young Professional Attraction Index, YPAI, conducted by Academic Work examines the most important factors for Finnish young professionals when choosing an employer and for what reasons some employers are perceived as more attractive than others.

This year their YPAI study consists of three parts. The first part lists the Top 50 Most Attractive Employers for Young Professionals in Finland in 2020, Top 10 in three different categories and includes stories from the fastest growing companies of the year.

We are happy to announce that our Corporate Member KONE has been listed 2nd in their Top 10 Most Attractive Employers for Technology Professionals, 3rd in their Top 10 for Commercial & Business Professionals, and 4th in their Top 50 Most Attractive Employers for Young Professionals in Finland.

We’re also delighted to tell you that our Corporate Member Finnair and two of our Patron Members, Nordea and Nokia were also listed in their Top 50 Most Attractive Employers for Young Professionals in Finland.

At FBCC we’d like to express our warmest congratulations to our Corporate Members KONE and Finnair and to our Patrons Nordea and Nokia!

To read more about the most attractive employers for young professionals in Finland, check our source Young Professional Attraction Index (in Finnish)

FBCC Corporate Member ScandiKitchen is recruiting!

FBCC Corporate Member ScandiKitchen is recruiting for several open positions. The roles they are looking to fill are:

ScandiKitchen is the UK’s biggest independent pan-Scandinavian food importer and distributor. They have an online retail operation delivering food to the UK and internationally along with a busy café and store in central London. Their wholesale arm distributes branded goods to independents and major retailers across the UK.

Find out more about the open positions on their website.

Congratulations our Corporate Member Light Cognitive!

Three of our Corporate Member Light Cognitive’s projects have been longlisted in the Dezeen Awards.

The Awards identifies the world’s best architecture, interiors and design, as well as the studios and the individual architects and designers producing the most outstanding work. Dezeen Awards are judged by an international panel comprised of 75 leading figures from the architecture and design world.

Longlisted Dezeen Awards projects have been selected from over 4,300 entries from 85 countries for the third edition of their awards programme, which celebrates the world’s best architecture, interiors and design as well as studios and individuals producing the most outstanding work.

First Light Cognitive project has been longlisted in the Lighting Design category of Dezeen Awards 2020. The studio recreates natural light in indoor spaces, using artificial windows and light panels. The company has designed horizon and sky luminaires that recreate a sense of openness and connection to nature, which are adaptable to any space.

You can check it out here.

Second Light Cognitive project has been longlisted in the Architectural Lighting Design category of Dezeen Awards 2020. Light Cognitive has created a lighting technology that recreates natural light in indoor spaces, using artificial windows and light panels. The studio has designed horizon and sky luminaires that recreate a sense of openness and connection to nature, which are adaptable to any space.

You can check it out here.

 

Third Light Cognitive project has been longlisted in the workplace design project category of Dezeen Awards 2020: an artificial light window that mimics natural light and supports wellbeing. Client: Paulig.

You can check it out here.

 

FBCC Corporate Member Scandikitchen is recruiting!

 

FBCC Corporate member ScandiKitchen is looking for a Management Accountant

ScandiKitchen is the UK’s biggest independent pan-Scandinavian food importer and distributor. They have an online retail operation delivering food to the UK and internationally along with a busy café and store in central London. Their wholesale arm distributes branded goods to independents and major retailers across the UK.

To support their ambitious growth plans, they are looking for an entrepreneurially minded Management Accountant to assist with strategy and manage our day-to-day accounting requirements. The role also looks after our HR processes and payroll.

This position would suit a newly qualified Management Account (ACCA, CIMA etc) or someone with equivalent solid working experience and knowledge. This role is full time and based in their office in Park Royal NW10.

To read more and apply for this position click here.

Finnair Ramping Up their Network

FBCC Member Finnair is happy to inform that as travel restrictions are removed in different countries and air travel starts to recover, they have now started to ramp up their operations! The  frequencies and routes will be added back to their network month by month from July onwards as the demand recovers.

The new schedule has now been published for the coming months all the way until end of March 2021 and they will gradually increase the flights from the United Kingdom and Ireland to Helsinki.

In July, August and September, Finnair are also able to resume flights to many of their long-haul destinations so that the short northern route via Helsinki is again open.

Check the exact, up-to-date timetable in the reservation system or on Finnair.com. Always remember to check the current restrictions for the destination country when planning or booking flights.

You can read the latest travel updates from Finnair’s website.

Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce

The FBCC is an independent, non-profit organisation, recognized throughout the Finnish, British and international business communities. The Chamber offers four different membership categories: Patron, Corporate, Professional and Young Professional.