“Jakobstad is a place where people give one another a chance,” says Clirim Canko.
Meet Clirim Canko (pronounced “tsanko”), an Albanian entrepreneur who moved to the Jakobstad region in 2006. He tells us about his preference for small towns rather than big cities, and why Jakobstad is ideal for his family. Clirim should know. He’s lived here for 17 years!
Why did you move to the region? I first came here for the “Jakobs dagar” (an annual week-long festival) in 2005. I met Josefin, my wife, during my visit. Fast forward two years and we’re living in Jakobstad; married and pregnant with our first child, Elona. She’s now 15. Time flies!
Was it easy to settle in? Yes! I already spoke Swedish as I was living in Stockholm at the time and had friends here. With Josefin’s family here too, we already had a support network in place. It makes all the difference.
What’s best about your job? As Canko’s (a staffing agency) COO, I support fellow Albanians by teaching them the ins and outs of composite work and by helping them settle into the job and town. I received support when I came here and now I can do the same for others.
What’s best about the region? You’ll find no big city problems here. There’s a real sense of community and it’s the kind of place where people don’t bother to lock their front doors. It’s quiet and safe.
Where do you live? We live in Jakobstad, just outside of the center. We have a garden for our younger kids (one-year-old Eljon and three-year-old Jemin) –and our two dogs— to play in.
What do you do after work? I spend time with the family and our friends. I have a busy job and travel a lot, so in my free time I like to relax. We love spending time in our summer house, fishing, going out on the boat, enjoying Finnish nature.
What’s on your regional bucket list? Uuf, I’ve tried skiing, snowboarding, I’ve been ice-swimming. I’ve already ticked a lot of my Finnish bucket list!
What one piece of advice do you have for people who’d like to move to the region? There is a place for everyone here, no matter where you’re from or what you do. Jakobstad may be small but it’s welcoming and internationally minded.
I’ve never felt like a foreigner. I can tell you this.