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The Society for Viipuri School of Economics was founded in Vyborg on January 21, 1919. At the time, Vyborg was Finland’s most international and second-largest city. The goal of Vitako was to raise funds to establish a higher education institution, a School of Economics, in Vyborg.

According to the rules at the time, 10 million marks were needed to establish the institution.


During the wars, the Society for Viipuri School of Economics had to relocate to Helsinki. The already-collected funds were also relocated and remained under Vitako’s control. Fundraising continued, but plans had to be altered: after the war, the society set its goal on establishing a School of Economics in Eastern Finland instead of Vyborg.


The goal was reached when the establishment of Lappeenranta University of Technology (now LUT University) was sealed by a law passed on February 25, 1966, partially thanks to Vitako’s efforts. Teaching in Lappeenranta began in September 1969. Since the founding of the university, Vitako has supported the institution and its various development projects in many ways.


By using financial means and the association’s expertise in the field, Vitako played an influential role in the establishment of the School of Economics (current LUT Business School) in Lappeenranta in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The association’s goal continues to be to support the development of business education in Lappeenranta and contribute to its rapid growth and internationalisation.


A significant step in promoting the internationalisation of the business school was in 2002 when Vitako established the Viipuri Prize (Viipuri Prize in Strategic Management and Business Economics). The €10,000 prize is awarded every other year. Together with the university, Vitako also initiated the Viipuri Lectures associated with the prize.


Vitako actively monitors both the university and its surroundings, especially the current and future development projects of the City of Lappeenranta and its neighbouring areas, along with their associated needs. The society aims to support and promote the projects to the best of its abilities.

From the market squares of Vyborg to the big world: The story of the Society for Viipuri School of Economics