Swede-sational Business!

We had the opportunity today to visit Business Sweden, the Swedish Trade and Invest Council, at the World Trade Center in Stockholm, Sweden. We heard from the Head of Business Ecosystems in Life Science and Digital Technologies, Cecilia Oberg Leiram. Their mission is to allow the opportunity for international companies to invest and expand in Sweden. They are a semi-governmental organization, so about 50% of their money comes from the government while the other 50% of money comes from the companies. As a group of approximately 500 people, the business corporation works as a consulting service to grow market expansion and incubate operations. As a relatively small country, they are very heavily reliant on exports. Most companies aim to expand their businesses outwards internationally. They work to minimize risk and the time to market as well as find new revenue streams. 

As a country, Sweden has grown to be a very desirable place for global businesses. This is due to their continuously increasing rankings in the three major areas which are innovation, competitiveness, and sustainability. These are all crucial factors to the success of any brand aiming to be a global business and enter into the international markets. Each of the three areas plays apart in the Swedish culture dynamic regarding their outlook on business. They have integrated these core concepts into their business models and plans, centering their company mission along these factors.

Sweden is a very trusting country with a strong sense of community and mutual benefit. They’re innovative mindsets have led them to be one of the most actively sustainable countries in the world. Every day, there are more and more entrepreneurs trying to make their mark. According to Cecilia, Swedes are raised from a young age with a push towards entrepreneurship and innovation. There needs to be a different factor that makes them relevant enough to grow to the magnitude of a global business scale. Sweden’s early tech services has been fueling the next generation of startups. 

We have really enjoyed seeing the cultural and societal differences in the Nordic countries as opposed to in the United States. There is definitely a clear difference on where priorities lie. Many companies in America are primarily concerned with meeting a bottom line. Meanwhile, in Sweden they are focused on people and their environmental impact. This outlook was very fascinating to hear and something that we think more companies should try to shift towards. While the US has similar services, we thought it was a special to see a government corporation in this capacity helping well known businesses succeed. 

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