Swede Business Ideas

Sweden is becoming well known as an innovation powerhouse. But how is this possible for such a small country? When in Stockholm, we were lucky to visit Business Sweden, which is a consulting firm that helps with company expansion. Its mission statement is to help Swedish companies grow global sales and international companies invest and expand in Sweden and its value proposition is to shorten time to market, bring in new revenue streams, and reduce risk to business ventures. They act as a consulting service for these Swedish companies. Business Sweden is able to challenge whether or not companies are on the right track to expand internationally or if they should focus on growing locally first. If international expansion is in their best interest, Business Sweden has the tools and network to assist them doing so. 

Sweden leads the world in innovation, with companies like Northvolt and Einride dominating new technologies with capabilities to change the world. Northvolt alone is responsible for almost half of the country's venture capital investment. So the question that all of us are thinking is, why is Sweden #1 in innovation? Many factors contribute to this. There is heavy investment of GDP into R&D, as Sweden has a long history of innovation and entrepreneurship and a generous social welfare system. As of 2021, Swedish startups raised a record 7.8 billion euros, up 2.4 times from 2020. This year was also the record year in Sweden for the most number of startups. Now, it is valued at 239 billion euros, with Sweden having 35 unicorns, including Spotify, Mojang, Skype, Sinch, King, and Northvolt. Sweden’s early tech success is fueling new tech startups, leading to more opportunities for innovation, keeping Sweden at the forefront of innovation. It is important to note that there is no specific qualification for being a “Swedish company” as some have been bought out by other countries but still consider themselves to be Swedish based. It seems that since the country is smaller sized, they are able to conduct this type of business without strict guidelines. 

Not only does Sweden lead in innovation, but they are also working towards more sustainable products and services. Sweden also is a leader in sustainability, with 460+ Swedish startups were recorded tackling sustainable development goals, or SDG. These include climate action, sustainable cities/communities, quality education, good health & well-being, gender equality, and responsible consumption & production. In 2021, Sweden led VC investments in impact startups in 2021, with over half of all their funding being raised by impact-focused startups totaling 4.3 billion euros. The companies we visited outside of Business Sweden focused on sustainable initiatives to better communities and the environment, which fuels these companies to continue developing newer products and services catered towards consumers, rather than profits.