raahe business college

Raahe Business College

Raahe Business College is a private educational institution that offers undergraduate education in economics, social sciences, marketing and business administration. Aside from teaching young people, the college offers adult education and workforce training at the request of companies. The institution was founded in 1882, being the first trade school in Finland.

The History of Raahe Business College

The history of the college starts in 1860s when wealthy shipowners Johan Fellman and Baltzar Fellman established a fund for the construction of a trade school. When the fund accumulated 1 million marks in donations, the building process started, and on September 4, 1882, the college opened its doors for the young people.

In its initial phase, the school had one preparatory class and two business classes. To be enrolled in a trade class, you had to be 15 years of age and possess basic knowledge of a 5-grader. The candidates for a preparatory class were required to be 14 years of age and show proof of attending an elementary public school.

business college

The school stopped operation during the civil war (1918-1922). It was used as camp for prisoners. Male students of the Raahe’s Business College participated in war on the side of the white troops. After the war, the school continued its work, providing young people with valuable economics and social sciences degrees.

The school underwent two expansions with new buildings in 1960 and 1974. In 1988, an adult education department started to operate, offering qualification-based workforce training based. Today, you can complete a degree at Raahe’s Business College in marketing, economics, customer service, business administration and data science.

Fellman Brothers

The eldest brother, Johan Fellman was born in Raahe in 1781. His sea life began in 1797 with his first trip to England. He got a degree at Hull’s Business School and one at Stockholm Maritime School. In 1808, he finished his captain’s degree, which allowed him to conduct long-distance ship trips. His younger brother, Baltzar, was born in 1789. At the age of 14, he assisted his uncle, merchant Diedrich Freitag, in maritime journeys, accumulating a lot of experience. Baltzar received burgher rights in 1817.

The brothers bought shares in the frigate “Maria” and made a family business of it. Baltzar was in charge of business management, serving as the shop’s CEO. Johan dealt with the ship transportation. The main product in the brother’s shop was ship equipment. In 1860s, Johan and Baltzar founded and a donation fund for a new trade school. As the needed money was collected, they started the construction of the first trade-oriented college in Finland.

Where is Raahe Business College Located?


The Raahe Business College has a museum that tells the story of the school and its founders. The museum is located in the former headmaster’s office and houses 19th century and 20th century artefacts that describe the life of the school from its foundation to 1970s. The exhibitions present old school supplies, teacher’s room equipment and student union shop. You can also learn about the life story of the Fellman Brothers. You have to make an appointment if you plan to visit the museum.