Meet Evon Söderlund, founder of meeting-rooms-only hotel Huone. Evon is a battle-hardened entrepreneur who has lived in Finland for 11 years, previously working for the Malaysian embassy and founding HUONE in 2012. She received the PwC award for most valuable entrepreneur of the year in 2014.
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Evon, why did you become an entrepreneur?
I think in the end, it was out of survival. I was creating my own job. Being a foreigner in Finland, you do not have so many career options available. Therefore I strongly believe that you can create your own job, believing in your capabilities. A career can be built in various ways. This is how my entrepreneurial career started.
What are you like as an entrepreneur?
My team considers me as the Big Mama of Huone. I love to take care of people because it's the people that make the sacrifices worth the while. It is obvious that people is the centre of me as an entrepreneur. I care and invest my effort in our owners, our team and our customers.
What makes the story of your personal career interesting?
I believe that my background has raised a lot of interest. Being a foreigner and coming from a village, I started from nothing. Another interesting angle has been the fact that with Huone, we have disrupted the meeting industry locally. But our global vision has shocked many, as not many Finnish companies have to courage to take such steps. As a result, the business has grown fast and gained publicity in a short period of time. This definitely is a lifestyle, it is part of who I am and I live this entrepreneurial life together with my team and family.
What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
The team, it's all about the people. Without the right people, I wouldn’t be able to do this at all. I am so blessed with a very good circle of people who are genuine supportive of us. They believe, they encourage, they contribute, which is something I think can never be taken away from us ever. They are my rock, and I have all the faith that we can accomplish our global vision together.
What about your biggest professional blunder?
Along the way, I have trusted the wrong people at times. Everyone makes mistakes, the question is how fast you pick yourself up and move on. So I learned, and moved on into being stronger.
What is your dream for Huone?
My ultimate dream is to see Huone as a global business. We want to be in the forefront of creating memorable meeting events and continue to uphold our position as trendsetter of the meeting industry globally.
Who is your role model? Why?
Someone that touches hearts together with a strong universal vision that is shared to the world. Angelina Jolie's vision, Simon Sinek's mindset and Elon Musk's execution.
What motivates you?
People, my family, friends, team, owners and the people I have met along the way. It is inspiring to see and hear success stories of others and get motivated by them.
Why crowdfunding and why with Invesdor?
Why not? We will get hundreds of new investors, Huone members. There are so many people who would love to help and share our spirit. Now we have the chance to offer everyone this possibility to invest, both wisdom and equity, in Huone. We cannot do this alone.
Invesdor is a frontrunner in the crowdfunding scene and they share similar values with us, e.g. the fun business factor - dancing with finance. We take our business very seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously.
Why would you invest in your company?
Better yet, I will give you five: Read my blog on ‘5 reasons why you should invest in Huone.’ ;) Also, you should be part of a Finnish concept that will conquer the world.
Check out Huone's pitch and invest at Invesdor.com/huone