My first year as Managing Director at Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum is coming to an end. It’s been an eventful and exciting year and it is with pleasure I note that Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum is both a well-established and well-regarded organization. This is largely thanks to you, our network of policy makers, practitioners and scholars with interest in entrepreneurship, innovation and business dynamics.
Some of the highlights from Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum in 2015:
Swedish Entrepreneurship Summit, this year held in Örebro, attracted two Ministers and 150 participants. Important issues like the digital revolution was on the agenda, this particular conversation featured Amy Loutfi, Örebro University, Helene Hellmark Knutsson, Minister for Higher Education and Research, Cecilia Warrol, Teknikföretagen, and Anna Felländer, Swedbank.
On 27 April, almost 200 participants attended Swedish Philanthropy Summit. A large number of Swedish and international speakers from academia as well as politics gathered to discuss philanthropy with donors, receiving organisations as well as an interested audience. In the picture: Pontus Braunerhjelm, Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum and KTH, Maria Rankka, Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, Cristina Ljungberg, Giving Wings, Zoltan Acs, London School of Economics and Charles Keidan, University of London.
On 20 May Professor Sidney Winter was awarded the 2015 Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research. Winter held his acceptance speech in Spegelsalen at Grand Hôtel. The image features the Prize donor Melker Schörling, Sidney Winter, chairman of the Prize Committee Charlie Karlsson and I. Professor Winter was awarded for his profound understanding of dynamic competition, how a company’s ability to assimilate innovations creates various technological opportunities and the mechanisms driving competence building in firms.
On 9 June the 2015 edition of the national GEM Report was launched. At the conference we heard from Jennie Nilsson MP (Social Democratic Party), Ann Öberg Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, Ulf Kristersson MP and economic policy spokesperson (Moderate Party), Jan-Olof Jacke, AstraZeneca and Pontus Braunerhjelm, Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum and KTH. An international version of the GEM report comparing Europe, USA and Kina was presented in Washington and Beijing.
On 1 October Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum arranged a seminar when Augusto López-Claros, Director of Global Indicators and Analysis at the World Bank (far right), visited Sweden to present results from two World Bank reports on the Swedish business climate. Even though Sweden is doing well, there is room for improvement; not least in the education system, tax levels and regulations, and the labor market. Comments from Elisabeth Thand Ringqvist SVCA, Christer Ågren Confederation of Swedish Enterprise and Hulya Ulku World Bank.
The seventh edition of Swedish Economic Forum Report was launched on 26 November. This year, for-profit business in the welfare sector was in focus. The report shows how the profit motive is an important driving force for competition and innovation and that the public opinion against for-profit business in the welfare sector partly is built upon misconceptions about profit margins. On average, Swedes overestimate the margins with roughly 400 percent. Discussants were Monika Arvidsson, Tankesmedjan Tiden, Dan Olofsson, entrepreneur, Anna-Karin Hatt, Almega.
We look forward to further inspiring and research disseminating activities in 2016! A few are already in the works: the national final of Global Student Entrepreneurship Award on 24 February, Swedish Philanthropy Summit on 14 March, Swedish Entrepreneurship Summit in Malmö on 7-8 April and the Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research on 10 May.
Before we enter 2016 I should like to extend a heartfelt thank you for this first year as Managing Director and, together with my colleagues at Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum, wish you a wonderful holiday season.