Determined to become a sleep professional 

The leap into the unknown paid off, as Uniaika has renewed and diversified its services by offering sleep services without referrals or queues. 

Sari Kapanen is an experienced sleep professional, but she became an entrepreneur out of necessity. 

– I worked for 11 years with sleep apnoea patients in the pulmonary clinic at the Kuopio University Hospital and found that their care path was not optimal. I had long been interested in sleep, fatigue and alertness management, so I trained as a sleep and sleep apnoea therapist. I thought that with my new skills I could provide services to this target group. In addition to my own motivation and need, the needs of the market sealed my decision to become an entrepreneur, Sari says. 

The demand for sleep management services exploded, coincidentally, with a simultaneous publicity boom as more people started talking about sleep apnoea. Uniaika currently offers low-threshold sleep management services for individuals and groups. Sari receives clients directly, as well as on referral from occupational health or the private sector. Uniaika is also the only known remote sleep clinic in Finland. 

A leap into the unknown 

The Enterprise Agency Kuopion seudun Uusyrityskeskus helped Sari to see the path to entrepreneurship as a possibility. It was a real leap, as she had no previous entrepreneurial experience. She also decided to give up her day job right away. 

Tarja Pöyhönen from the Enterprise Agency Kuopion seudun Uusyrityskeskus praises Sari for her determination in starting a business. In general, she says, it is a good idea to contact a business advisor before you quit your employment, to make sure you do things in the right order, for example to secure a start-up grant and other funding. 

According to Sari, she also thought it was important that the encouragement to start a business came from a professional. On the advice of the Enterprise Agency Kuopion seudun Uusyrityskeskus, she decided to apply for the TE Office’s entrepreneurship training. 

Self-development is important 

An important lesson for Sari on her entrepreneurial journey has been to tolerate uncertainty and to step outside her discomfort zone. She has continued to further her education and is currently studying to become a psychotherapist. Sari and Tarja encourage all entrepreneurs to keep updating their skills and undergo further training. 

– In principle, all those considering starting a business are recommended to attend some form of entrepreneurship training. The training will help you develop your business idea into a business plan, map the market and the competitive situation, price your business, and plan your market entry. It gives you a complete picture of how to start a business and how to get started, says Tarja. 

The rest is just a matter of courage. 

– The main focus of your business becomes clear once you get started! The focus can also change, and new business can emerge that you didn’t even think of at first, says Sari.