I’m Iida, the founder and the chair of the board at Kamupak. I founded Kamupak three years ago after having an idea to provide wooden reusable food containers for customers instead of the disposable ones. The idea is not necessarily new but the waste coming from disposables is still a common problem for many and we were actually one of the first companies to provide a solution to this problem.
I come from an entrepreneur family. However, the strongest encouragement to become an entrepreneur stems from my values and a serious accident I experienced. Because of the accident, I got a brain injury and a Bell’s palsy. I almost lost my life. There is always certain uncertainty related to recovery after a brain injury – you can’t know for sure if you are able to work again or if you physically recover. My recovery from the accident took a long time but luckily I recovered – and life started again.
I want to show my baby that combining parenthood and entrepreneurship is possible.
The accident made me think, for the first time, about what I really want to do with my life. I’ve always had a close relationship with the Baltic Sea and nature through my hobbies, kayaking and surfing. I had seen how overconsumption is causing severe damage to nature. The accident was a new opportunity that I wanted to use to do something truly meaningful for nature and the environment. I wasn’t really scared of failing – no one expected anything from me and I didn’t have anything to lose. This thinking made me an entrepreneur and encouraged me to start Kamupak.
Currently, I am on maternity leave. It has been wonderful but also challenging. Kamupak has been my life for the past years and the things related to the company have occupied my mind most of the time. For me, entrepreneurship is something much more than just work – it’s a lifestyle and an opportunity to have a positive impact on other people, society and the future.
I’m still learning to balance between the most important job of my life – motherhood – and entrepreneurship (read: continuous multitasking between board meetings and play time), but luckily I have an excellent substitute and team, and I know that things are moving forward. I am happy and grateful that combining these two parts of me is possible here in Finland. I also want to show my baby that combining parenthood and entrepreneurship is possible.
All entrepreneurs play a crucial role in building a more sustainable future.
There are some similarities between entrepreneurship and recovering: no matter how hard you try, you will fail for sure. You need to be patient and admit that you’ll make mistakes on the way. Our team had the best (and most embarrassing) leanings by making mistakes – and those mistakes also helped us to focus on the right things. We have realised how important it is to do product development together with your customers and talk openly about expectations and possibilities. Actually, I encourage you to have an open dialogue with all stakeholders as these discussions have brought us amazing opportunities from investors, other companies and new employees.
I have always thought that entrepreneurs are the problem solvers of this world. Every entrepreneur builds their own entrepreneurship and adapts it to their life situation. Not all entrepreneurs need to aim at creating a high-growth startup – but all entrepreneurs play a crucial role in building a more sustainable future. The question isn’t “should companies and entrepreneurs take responsibility” but “how companies and entrepreneurs can take their responsibility for the people, environment and society”.
Learn more about Kamupak at kamupak.fi.