Growth path concept to Kasvu Open Oy Social Enterprise

Growth path concept and the history of Kasvu Open

The Kasvu Open initial concept is based on the growth path model developed by Marko Seppä, who worked as a growth entrepreneur professor at the University of Jyväskylä (2007–2011) and implemented through the Central Finland Chamber of Commerce.

In November 2016, Kasvu Open became officially Kasvu Open Oy as a non-profit social enterprise.

The main shareholders of the company were the Central Finland Chamber of Commerce, Jyväskylän regional development company Jykes Oy, Aava & Bang Oy, and Kasvun Rohu Oy.

Uljas Valkeinen, who had been the CEO of the Central Finland Chamber of Commerce for more than 20 years became the first CEO of the Kasvu Open. After CEO Valkeinen retired in 2019, Jaana Seppälä started working as the managing director of the company. Kasvu Open continues its proud journey as a sustainable social enterprise to guide SME businesses.

Kasvu Open team in 2017.
Kasvu Open’s first CEO, Uljas Valkeinen, in the upper left corner of the picture.
Kasvu Open’s future CEO Jaana Seppälä in the lower left corner of the photo.

Kasvu Open

Kasvu Open is a non-profit, limited company owned by

Kasvu Open exists for companies. We are driven by our values and a genuine passion for assisting entrepreneurs and SMEs to do better business. We share our values with our owners and partners.

” Our vision is to help every growth-oriented small company in Finland to achieve their ambitious dreams. ”


  • Courage to Dream
    We believe in the power of big dreams and the courage to pursue them.
  • People Behind the Growth
    We recognize that people are the key to success, and we value their contributions.
  • Joy of doing
    We believe that an authentic desire to work with a positive attitude can fuel growth.

Sparring is the core of our services

Since its founding in 2011 as a growth path program, Kasvu Open has offered a free sparring service for entrepreneurs and small businesses that are seeking growth.

Business sparring is made possible by Kasvu Open’s partners and volunteer experts from various fields. Our community of professional experts for pro-bone work for small businesses reached 1,600 who are passionate about giving back. This dedicated networking continues to grow year to year. Small and growing businesses can get personal sparring in sparring programs or at sparring events.

Kasvu Open is Finland’s largest SME growth sparring partner. Sparring is free for companies.

Our achievements

In November 2018, the President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, awarded Kasvu Open for its contribution to supporting businesses to internationalization with the President’s Internationalization Award. (Kasvu Openille Tasavallan presidentin kansainvälistymispalkinto)

In 2018, Kasvu Open was awarded at the European Enterprise Promotion Award event organized by the European Commission. This award highlighted the Kasvu Open’s contribution to supporting the internationalization of companies.

Uljas Valkeinen, Jaana Seppälä and Matti Härkönen received the President’s Internationalization Award in 2018.

In 2022, Kasvu Open’s values and principles were recognized through membership in the Finnish Labour Union. In the same year, Kasvu Open received the right to use the Social Enterprise Mark granted by the Finnish Social Enterprise Association. This mark is an indication of the successful combination of business and social contribution.