Willemien Sanders
Dr. Willemien Sanders is a regular critic at Modern Times Review.

By portraying two entirely different Finish family enterprises, Entrepreneur gives an insight into new ways of doing business – with and without meat.


Virpi Suutari

Finland, 2018

At the 2018 Göteborg Film Festival, director Virpi Suutari presented her new documentary Entrepreneur, which looks at two small businesses in Finland: Jani and Satu run a number of fairground attractions, but they also travel the country with a mobile market stall selling heirloom meat products. Maija and Reetta recently started a business called Gold and Green, producing an alternative for meat made from oats. The film follows both business teams over a period of time.

Suutari juxtaposes Jani and Satu’s rural family business with Maija and Reetta’s urban enterprise. And while they share a number of characteristics, they also differ in many ways.


Making ends meet with meat

Partners Jani and Satu struggle to make ends meet as their businesses dwindle. They repeatedly wonder whether any customers will show up to buy their meat, and their children do not seem interested in the funfair business. Suutari follows them as they travel the country, out of necessity rather than conviction: Jani lost his job, and what started out as a hobby became the family’s livelihood.

«While meat was once a standard part of our diet, now alternative sources for protein increasingly need to replace it.»

So part of the year they live in a trailer on various fairgrounds, and part of the year they live at home taking their mobile meat-market stall to where customers might be. Coupled with their four children they are visually firmly grounded in the Finnish family-country life. Inside their home there is the lively mess of a family of six, while outside they deal with whatever circumstances they encounter: rain, snow, or sunshine.

A Chinese business adventure

Close friends, Maija and Reetta work in very different circumstances. They are opening a factory to produce Reetta’s invention ‘pulled oats’ on a large scale. For the moment, they occupy just a small corner of the large empty hall.

«China is a must-have market for global change to take place.»

Idealism drives them as they wish to change the world’s eating habits with something that should explicitly not resemble meat. Dressed in white lab coats and wearing white caps, they work on their laptops and phones during breaks from their factory-line work.

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