InnoOmnia is a business unit of Omnia, a multisector vocational education provider
located in Espoo, Finland. InnoOmnia’s lifelong learning and entrepreneurial hub is one
of a kind in Finland. It’s a center of expertise that offers an empowering community,
affordable, low threshold business space, an inspiring coaching program for start-up
businesses and entrepreneurship education for students and teachers.
InnoOmnia has been recognized as an innovative learning environment and a champion
for entrepreneurship on an international level. InnoOmnia is an active member of the
European Training Foundation’s good practices in entrepreneurship group and is
featuring as an exemplary case of combining learning and working in the book
“Learning a Living” by Valerie Hannon, Innovation Unit U.K. On a regional basis the
program has had a major impact with its clear focus on supporting vocational and
service sector entrepreneurship, something that has not been done before.
• Empower and support young entrepreneurs and service sector start-ups.
• Build entrepreneurial capacity in the community
• Upskill teachers in entrepreneurial teaching methods and digital learning environments
The InnoOmnia hub has an application process for all potential community members.
Preference is given to applicants who will involve students in their business, promote
sustainability and benefit from the LUOVIVA-programme. The entrepreneurs are
charged an annual fee which is based on the selected type of hub membership.
The hub was opened in August 2011. There are now some 40 entrepreneurs in the
community and the recent start-up programme for 20 participants resulted in 16 new
businesses. Involving students in entrepreneurial projects has resulted in a measurable
decline in drop out rates and has had a favourable impact on soft skills, preparing the
students for working life.
Everybody is a learner and a teacher in the InnoOmnia community. There are plenty of
formal and informal events that facilitate networking among entrepreneurs, students
and staff. The premises are nonconventional and the collaborative, informal
environment encourages networking..
Evaluation, Improvement and Sustainability
The selection process of the entrepreneurs has proven to be one of the critical success
factors. In the initial stage a few selected entrepreneurs did not fit into the evolving
community, but after the first six months the selection process has been streamlined
and the results have been encouraging.
The hub is intended as a stepping stone and some of the initial stage businesses have
already moved on and into bigger premises making way for newcomers. All exiting
entrepreneurs are interviewed in order to find out what could be improved.
Regarding the in-house entrepreneurs, there is an ongoing evaluation process with
monthly feedback sessions as part of the workshops. The students doing project work
evaluate there learning together with their teachers after every ten-week session. Soft
skills research was conducted after the first school year .
InnoOmnia offers training, rents workspace, but above all is a buzzing community of
people with a passion for entrepreneurship. The programme offerend to community
members is a mix of formal and informal events. The formal events focus on topics
derived from the application process and are business related. The informal events are
built around networking, taking advantage of the innovative facilities designed to foster
a community spirit. The focus is on tapping into all of the resources available in the
community made up of staff, students and entrepreneurs. Most of all InnoOmnia is
about being part of a learning community spiced with fun and laughter.
Satu Järvinen Mervi Jansson-Aalto
+358 40 126 4936 +358 43 820 0152
InnoOmnia, Omnia, The Joint Authority of Education in Espoo Region
Kirkkokatu 16 A
02070 Espoo, Finland
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