Swedish start up companies boosted by immigrants

swedenForeign-born residents have aided the new business boom across Sweden in recent years.

The Local shows statistics reveal that foreign-born small business owners have accounted for around 11 percent of new businesses with fewer than 50 staff and turnover in excess of SEK 200,000. Figures also suggest that of the approximately 54,000 small businesses owned by immigrants; nearly 70 percent are owned by men.

The latest report was commissioned by The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth and suggests that in terms of population demographics, the number of foreign-born business start ups is over-represented.

Although the agency argues that similarities outweigh differences with regards to country of origin, the report does identify some disparity between the two groups. One notable statistic is that Swedish business owners are frequently less educated than their foreign born counterparts.

Swedish business owners also tend to be centred on the construction and manufacturing industry whereas foreign-born nationals gravitate towards the hospitality and retail sectors. Most immigrant business owners are also based in major urban areas.

The report indicates that foreign-born business ownership is over-represented in the counties of Orebro, Dalarna, Gavleborg, Vasternorrland and Varmland. The county of Vastmanland showed the highest representation where small business owners born outside of Sweden was at 16 percent compared to just 12 percent of the population.

The report, titled “The realities and conditions of business”, was a collaboration between the agency and Statistics Sweden. While most business owners reported similar challenges in starting a business, foreign-born residents reported higher cases of being refused loans or credit.

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