Migrant Entrepreurship

There are currently about 1.8 million people with roots in other parts of the world living in Sweden.  Migrants start businesses more often than Swedes.  Unemployed migrants start businesses more often than unemployed Swedes.  Migrant women start businesses more often than Swedish women.

Every 5th business started is a migrant business.  Young migrants in particular are inclined to  start their own business, according to a report from Integrationsverket (translator’s note: a former Swedish integration agency).

The report outlines that it is twice as likely for migrants from the ages of 18 to 24 to run a businesses as it is for native-born Swedes in the same age group to do so.  This applies to both women and men.  Also in the age group 25 to 44, there are many more migrants than native-born Swedes who choose to start their own business.

The amount of time spent in Sweden plays a great role.  The longer the time spent in Sweden, the greater number who start businesses.  Above all it is migrants who came to Sweden ten years ago who have chosen to be entrepreneurs.  The largest number of entrepreneurs are found among migrants from Asia.  Most first generation members of this group have specific problems upon starting new businesses or expanding existing businesses.  (source: The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth (Svensk Handel och Nuteks)).

The greatest hinder for most in this target group is contact with financiers and the raising of capital.  These new Swedes simply do not have the same opportunities.  This is due to many factors, but above all it is a matter of being able to present their business concept and business plan in a convincing manner.  It is made worse by language gaps and limited knowledge of the regulations which govern entrepreneurship in Sweden.

Despite the above-mentioned difficulties there are now about 70,000 migrant-owned businesses in Sweden.  Every fifth new business which is started, is started by a person with an migrant-background, and in total these businesses now employ about 250,000 people.  These are to be found throughout the entire Swedish economy, with many successful profiles and concepts.