The idea of his own company grew in Tang’s mind as his studies progressed and he graduated in spring 2008. He says that international students experience the most difficulties with finding their first internship placements and jobs in order to gain Finnish work experience. “I was able to form a good reputation as an intern and, consequently, I received a part-time job as a tourist guide. I became familiar with the Rovaniemi region and was able to see how businesses operate in Finland,” Tang continues.
During Tang’s studies, the field-specific part-time job offered the chance to apply theory into practice and, on the other hand, the theoretical studies enhanced the know-how of practical experience. As an example, Tang points out that the idea for his thesis emerged from the growing interest of Chinese tourists toward Finland. Later, he was able to utilize his research when planning to establish a company.
Chao Tang’s business idea was initially based on guide services, because he already had experience from them. But as the demand from China grew, the need arose to coordinate a full adventure travel package for tourists in Lapland. Weibo Ky serves as a consultant that works in cooperation with the tourism and adventure travel entrepreneurs and Chinese groups.
China is currently developing extremely rapidly. The image of China that is prevalent in the Western countries often no longer corresponds to reality. Weibo Ky provides Finnish and Chinese SMEs facilitating services related to the enhancement of cultural competence and an awareness of business life. Finnish SMEs are interested in China as a market area.
Establishing one’s own company as an entrepreneur with a foreign background is not difficult, according to Tang. He points out that managing the bookkeeping and tax issues afterwards was more time-consuming than establishing the actual company. It is important to find a good bookkeeper who can provide advice with the required documents, says Tang and goes on to mention that young, international people are encouraged to engage in entrepreneurship in Finland.
Tang has also strived to maintain good relations with his alma mater, the Rovaniemi University of Applied Sciences. Weibo Ky has hired international students to help out during the peak season. His reputation as a good, reliable business partner is important to Chao Tang. It is the principle of entrepreneurship, valued among businesses in both Finland and China.