From a linguist to a business partner
The stereotype of only having one or two paths per person is long gone. People graduating as veterinarians can become professional singers or teachers. Despite the struggle that everyone is facing in this century, it has also brought us the possibility to choose and to change our paths as often as we like. Not each one of those destinations might be reached due to lack of experience or loss of interest, but it is not forbidden to try. Joanna Gammelgaard has never been a business oriented woman, more of the creative force, communicator, free spirit, but this never even stopped her from joining forces with her business partner, who has a business profile, which makes things go much smoother for URBAN CODE IVS…
Joanna is a founder and (creative) director at Urban Code IVS.
1. What is your idea/ business about? How the idea was born?
The idea is to design and produce city souvenirs. After I came to Aarhus four years ago, I realized how hard was to find nice city souvenirs, which I could give to my family and friends. It was even difficult to find places where they were sold as Aarhus doesn’t have a proper tourist office. I thought it would be great to start a company, which would make modern souvenirs promoting the city.
2. Tell me about yourself and your team?
My education is connected with the English language; I am a MA in English Philology. In Poland I’ve been an academic teacher of the language for 12 years and ran my own company selling tailor- made English courses for business people. After unsuccessful struggle to find a permanent job in Denmark and after I met Jandira (Thomsen), my business partner, we just set up our own company. She is an international as me, with similar experience in looking for a job and, what is more important, with business background. She was able and willing to invest her time, skills and money in building a start-up. The team also comprises the company’s president and his deputy. We are four people.
3. What are the main struggles that you have experienced?
The main struggles are with going through Danish laws and business regulations. Legal and accounts matters are also a challenge, so we use professional help in that. To our surprise, being a new entrepreneur in Denmark, you face sometimes a lot of bureaucracy and the decision- taking time in many institutions is very long.
4. How did you solve your problems?
We are a start-up company, established not long ago, so it hasn’t had many problems yet. But the most important thing is to face the problem promptly, at the moment it comes up. There always is a solution and with a business partner you might find it faster.
5. What was the best advice you got and what was the worst?
The best advice was not to give up our business idea. It took time to make the project going, but now it is so exciting to see how the company is developing. The worst advice? Ask us some other time, in the future, when we shall have been existed for a longer time
6. What will be your advice to the other entrepreneurs?
The one we got – never give up your business idea if you really believe in it. And have a backup: a business partner, company’s president, and reliable employees. A successful company is always an effort of many.
July 22, 2016