Finland Celebrates National Failure Day Today

By Boardman Tulenkantajat, PRNE
Wednesday, October 12, 2011

HELSINKI, October 13, 2011 -

Chairman of Nokia and Shell Jorma Ollila, Rovio’s Peter Vesterbacka and other big Finns share their failure stories

During the times of difficult economic situation and aging population, Finland is finding itself in the middle of need for new jobs for 4% of the working force. This cannot be created by giant corporations anymore and the only way to sustain the welfare state seems to go through new ventures and entrepreneurship.

Although, the Finns are by education very risk averse and the biggest reason for not setting up a company is the fear of failure. This is the reason why young entrepreneurs of Finland, lead by Aalto Entrepreneurship Society and Boardman Tulenkantajat group, are arranging the National Failure Day in order to change Finnish culture to be more embracing to failures as part of creating new.

- Finland needs a new kind of entrepreneurial mind set and a culture of failure. Our mission with this campaign is to arouse conversation around failing and its importance to creating success stories, says Petri Vilén, the leader of Boardman Tulenkantajat group.

The supporters behind the campaign include the Chairman of Nokia and Shell Jorma Ollila,  Minister of Economic Affairs Jyri Häkämies, the man behind the success of Angry Birds, Rovio’s Peter Vesterbacka among the support from great variety of Finnish student associations and Finnish Innovation Fund.

Rovio has been a lot in the news with Angry Birds. However, the company was near bankruptcy before the game became a hit and had released over 50 games that weren’t successful.

- The most important thing is to keep trying. Sometimes you get it right and sometimes don’t. Our basic attitude at Rovio is that we’re good in learning, says Peter Vesterbacka in the video at the campaign site.

On Thursday, October 13th there will be a lot going on in Finland. Every major university city will have their own events bringing entrepreneurs and pop icons telling about their failures. Also other events will take place.

- We are actually amazed how the Finns have really taken the day by heart. We have heard about people organising conferences, round tables and events at large companies, all of which discussing the topic of failure. This really makes us as organizers smile, says Petri Vilén.

The National Failure Day campaign has got a lot of attention in the Finnish mainstream media and all of the largest web, TV, radio and print media have noticed the campaign already before the actual date.

The videos of the supporters can be found from the campaign site. The videos are made only in Finnish to get wider audiences and speak to the regular people among crowds.

Campaign site:

News story in English by the Finnish Broadcasting company Yle:

Petri Vilén, +358-40-706-9094, petri.vilen at;
Riku Lindholm, +358-50-4936-488, riku.lindholm at

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