Startups have the reputation of being fun, but difficult places to work. All-night working sessions disguised as “hackathons”, fridges crammed with energy drinks, and cozy offices that blur the line between work-life and home-life have enabled many companies to scale up quickly. But the new wave of startups does not consider this culture to be sustainable, or in fact humane. Rather than glamorizing long working hours, these startups will value having a workforce that is healthy, both mentally and physically, and with a good work-life balance.
Of course in Sweden, this is more easily achievable as there are already generous parental leave laws in place and culturally there is a respect for one’s personal life. It might be a little more difficult for other startup hubs across the world to achieve this in the short term, and this will give Sweden a crucial advantage when it comes to being at the forefront of the next stage of startups.
Forward thinking and business friendly: Sweden has an international business environment that is modern, open and business friendly. Skilled professionals, polished business procedures, and receptivity to international partnerships make it an easy country to operate in. Also, the Swedish corporate tax rate is low by international standards and is solely based on a company's annual profit.
Sharp brains and open minds: Synergies generated by the close connection between Swedish universities, research institutes and the private sector leverage the R&D output. After Silicon Valley, Stockholm is the second most prolific tech hub globally. Spotify, King, Truecaller, Klarna and Mojang are just some of the Swedish startups that have received international attention in the last decade. Add to those well-known brands such as IKEA, Volvo, H&M and Ericsson and it becomes clear why Forbes has listed Sweden among the top five best countries to do business in.
Quality and efficiency at heart: Swedish labor costs remain competitive as Sweden has one of the world’s most well-educated workforce and at the same time the most productive and hard working. Empowerment of personnel and delegation of decision-making ensures a bottom-up, problem-solving approach that shows impressive results with regards to quality and productivity.
Full access to Europe: As part of the European Union, Sweden provides easy access to a market of 28 countries and 500 million consumers. The Nordic market only – Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway – makes up the 11th largest economy in the world. The large amount of multinational corporations present in Sweden has not only created an important domestic market, it has also paved the way for a world-class infrastructure.
Stability and sustainability by default: Sweden’s strong public finances, sound banking system, political stability and well-performing economy make it a robust place to run a business. Sweden boasts excellent infrastructure through extensive public investments. Swedish companies are at the forefront in integrating a sustainable approach to business in their strategies and daily management