The HELBUS Story and Mission


“We don’t leave things undone just because they haven’t been done before.”


HELBUS is a private business school in Finland founded by Professor Veikko Jääskeläinen, the former rector of Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration, and Dr. Kari Jääskeläinen. Veikko has founded several BBA- and MBA programmes around the world and it was his experience that led them to found a private business school. Their decision to do so was groundbreaking in Finland, where higher education has been state-owned for most of the past century. In fact, Finnish law does not even recognise private universities but does not explicitly forbid them either. This did not hold back Kari, who does not leave things undone just because they have not been done before.

Veikko Jääskeläinen is the former rector of Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration, today part of Aalto University. During his career in academia, he established four BBA- and MBA programmes in Finland, South Korea and Singapore, including the prestigious triple-accredited MBA and eMBA programmes that are now the crown jewels of Aalto University. “We started the BBA programme in Mikkeli with just 25 students in the 1980s, taking in basically anyone who applied. Today, there are over 800 applicants each year to Mikkeli,” Veikko notes.

HELBUS has its roots in the early 2000s when it operated as an exchange program known as Academy Access, offering semesters abroad in Malaysia. Over 500 students from 40 universities in Europe took part in this program.

During this time, Kari and Veikko observed that an increasing number of students applying for study places in Finnish state business schools could not pass the competitive entrance exams, with just 7-10 % succeeding on average. They wanted to offer an alternative for these gifted and motivated applicants. The years of experience in Malaysia have helped build a strong network in Asia, and Kari believes that HELBUS’ practice of inviting international instructors to deliver modules differentiates it from other universities. Combined with a relatively small class size, HELBUS instructors and staff can offer guidance at an individual level when needed.

HELBUS received accreditation from the largest accrediting organisation in the UK, Pearson in August 2013, after less than a year of operations. In fall 2016, the University of Northampton, UK, approved HELBUS as an institutional partner to deliver degree programmes validated by the University. HELBUS now delivers both an undergraduate and postgraduate degree programme in business and management with degrees awarded by the University of Northampton.

In the summer of 2022, HELBUS became a fully owned subsidiary of the Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber of Commerce boosts the internationalization of companies and helps the international management and staff of Finnish companies to establish themselves in Finnish working life.

More information about the Chamber of Commerce can be found here. 

The HELBUS Mission
We offer learners a path to a career in international business.