2009 Award Winners

The 2009 Internationalization Awards of the President of the Republic go to Tekla, REACHLaw, and the Muxlim community

Helsinki, Finland, February 2, 2010 – The President of the Republic of Finland, Tarja Halonen, presented the 2009 Internationalization Awards to the software company Tekla Corporation, the environmental consultancy firm REACHLaw Ltd., and the Muxlim Lifestyle Community. The objective of the Internationalization Awards is to encourage businesses to operate in an international environment and to boost their ability to develop and adopt new operating models. The 2009 Internationalization Awards were presented today in Helsinki.

"The Internationalization Awards of the President of the Republic highlights concepts and business models as examples for other Finnish companies that are going international. This year, all the award-winners represent highly specialized expertise and the combination of expertise from many different industries. Furthermore, the international service industry has an important role in their businesses," says Jorma Turunen, President and CEO of Finpro.

Every year, Finpro looks for candidates for the Internationalization Awards and carries out their preliminary assessment. Based on the evaluation the Board of Directors of Finpro proposes a list of candidates to the President in collaboration with the Association for Finnish Work. The President of the Republic decides the winners of the Internationalization Award. Today's award ceremony was the 42nd in the history of the award.

Tekla's software used in designing steel structures for skyscrapers

Tekla is an international technology company whose model-based software products make customers' core processes more effective in building and construction, energy distribution and infrastructure management. Tekla has offices in 14 countries, for example in many European countries, in the US, in Japan, China and India, and in the Middle East.

"In over 40 years we have experienced both downturns and upturns. Luckily, our owners have been patient. Our business is long-term oriented, and product development takes time. We have focused on selected industries, and the engineering software for the construction industry is our most international product. Tekla's success is based on Finnish expertise. However, we have also had our share of luck," says Ari Kohonen, President and CEO of Tekla Corporation.

Tekla is a forerunner and trend-setter among Finnish international software companies. The company's international operations account for over 80% of net sales. Tekla has customers in almost 100 countries. Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, has significantly promoted the development of Tekla's business. Tekla also collaborates with many universities and research institutes. The company was established in 1966 and employs about 480 people, of whom 40% outside Finland. In 2009, Tekla's turnover was approximately EUR 50 million.

Renewal of EU legislation opened doors for REACHLaw

REACHLaw Ltd. is an environmental services company established in 2006. The company acts as a link between the global industry and the new European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) located in Helsinki. In its services, REACHLaw combines legal and business expertise with technical expertise in chemistry and environmental issues. REACHLaw helps companies already established in Europe or wishing to enter the European market to fulfill the obligations set forth by the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) Regulation, which came into force in 2007.

"Our company combines expertise in different fields into packaged services for the global customers.  The renewal of the EU legislation offered us a fantastic opportunity to participate in the creation of a completely new business. Comprehensive services and an extensive international partnership network through which we can reach new customers is the key to our success. In addition, Finland's good reputation in the environmental industry is a huge advantage," says Lasse Musakka, Partner and CEO of REACHLaw.

REACHLaw is a fast-expanding company that has built a strong international base for its business from the beginning. The company has 20 partners in the globally most important markets in Europe, Asia, and Latin America and in the US. REACHLaw has 200 large customers in over 30 countries. The turnover was about EUR 1.4 million in the first year of operations 2008, and the company is profitable. The marketing, administrative and product development functions are located in Espoo, employing 20 highly educated experts representing eight nationalities.

Muxlim - the world's largest online lifestyle community for Muslims

Muxlim Lifestyle Community is a social media website aimed at Muslims. Muxlim is developed and maintained by Muxlim Inc., which was established in Espoo in 2006. The company was established by Mohamed El-Fatatry, an Egyptian who came to study in Finland due to the high-quality education opportunities and Nokia's international reputation. Muxlim is now awarded the Community Award, which Nokia received in 1999.
"Muxlim could not have been born anywhere else but in Finland, a country with strong technological expertise and a neutral position worldwide. Here, there has been no prejudice against our community. Instead, everybody without exceptions, has supported our activities. Thanks to the company's neutral background, the Muxlim.com community has spread to 190 countries. The Muxlim community is not intended for Muslims only, everybody is welcome," says Founder and CEO Mohamed El-Fatatry.
Muxlim is an independent meeting place that offers companies and organizations a unique channel to get to know the lifestyle and way of thinking of Muslim youngsters and young adults. It reaches tens of millions of people in over 190 countries.  Also Mohamed El-Fatatry has raised significant attention internationally. In fact, he has been chosen as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world, and he will participate in the Presidential Entrepreneurship Summit hosted by US President Barack Obama in Washington in the spring 2010.

More information:

Award-winning businesses


  • Tekla Corporation, Ari Kohonen, CEO tel. +358 50 641 24, ari.kohonen(a)tekla.com
  • REACHLaw Ltd., Lasse Musakka, CEO tel. +358 50 587 1640, lasse.musakka(a)reachlaw.fi
  • Muxlim Inc., Mohamed El-Fatatry, Founder tel. +358 50 355 3574, mohamed(a)muxliminc.com



  • Jorma Turunen, CEO tel. +358 40 3433 462, jorma.turunen(a)finpro.fi
  • Jarmo Karesto, Key Partner Manager tel. +358 40 3433 401, jarmo.karesto(a)finpro.fi
  • Nelli-Maija Melin, Communications Officer tel. +358 40 3433 360, nelli-maija.melin(a)finpro.fi

Finpro is a network of experts operating globally, promoting the international success of Finnish companies. Finpro's staff, consisting of over 300 professionals, work in 57 offices in more than 40 different countries. Finpro offers its expertise and services throughout the various stages of companies' internationalization. Expertise in various fields of business, market knowledge, efficient international and local networks, and the ability to identify and understand future business opportunities are the added value Finpro offers to Finnish industry and businesses to maintain and develop their competitiveness.