Did you know that Sweden now grants ambitious employees the chance to take six-months out of work to pursue their business ideas?
With the guarantee that their job will be waiting for them if they choose to return, the leave of absence for entrepreneurship programme is just one of the many innovative initiatives implemented by the nation to cultivate bright ideas and strategic start-ups.
A country known for its thriving tech scene, Sweden has gained global recognition for its top-tier rankings in last year’s Global Innovation Index (GDI). Embracing its talent, this start-up capital of Europe has given life to start-ups like Spotify, Minecraft and Candy Crush Saga and has sparked media attention for its young change-makers, including climate activist Greta Thunberg.
While many of these start-up companies are stationed in Stockholm, the number of entrepreneurial initiatives is rising in other Swedish regions, such as the coastal city of Malmö.
Home to the Fast Track Malmö accelerator, the city is a hub for dynamic creatives with fresh concepts and start-up designs; and they’re always on the lookout for go-getting graduates with enthusiastic, entrepreneurial drive.
But how can international students maximise their business aspirations and start-up ventures in Sweden?
Underpinning innovation through Malmö University
Playing a key role in identifying and defining major challenges our global society faces in the future, Malmö University in Sweden motivates students from all over the world to become active agents of change.
Over the years, the institution has developed a profile characterised by global engagement, community involvement and a multidisciplinary approach to education, research and collaboration.
Acting as a student hub of innovation that connects your chosen programme to your respective industry, your time at Malmö will be merged with stimulating learning environments and supportive professors who act as professional mentors.
From a vast range of degree frameworks, you’ll soon connect to an academic syllabus that fits around your future goals. For instance, a course in Business Administration: Entrepreneurship and International Strategy, a Master’s programme in Leadership for Sustainability or insight into Media Technology: Strategic Media Development; there’s something for everyone here.
Plus, with a core commitment to diversity and internationalisation, Malmö collaborates with academic partner institutes around the globe to ensure a high standard of study abroad opportunities and professional engagement to complement your degree.
Empowering student entrepreneurs to take the next step
One thing this Swedish university takes seriously is student entrepreneurship.
Whether they’re encouraging students to listen to well-known speakers and digital marketing gurus at their Days of Entrepreneurship platform, awarding leading-tech investors with an honorary doctorate at the Faculty of Technology and Society, or organising social innovation breakfasts, Malmö is always supporting students’ ambitions and aspirations.
Sometimes learners lack the courage needed to take the next step in their business venture – that’s where Malmö works its magic and helps them to transfer their ideas into reality.
For example, the recent story of Malmö University student Eslam Salah gained a lot of traction as he asked Swedes to embrace nutritional lupin beans as the food staple of the future.
Growing up in Egypt, where Lupin beans are commonly eaten as snacks, and having a keen interest in nutrition, Eslam contacted the University’s centre for student innovation while taking language courses in Swedish and English.
“When I participated in their pre-incubator, I learned more about how to pitch ideas, set up a budget and work with digital marketing,” Sala explains.
Upon receiving guidance from the university and gaining confidence in his ideas, he established his company, Lupinta, currently based in Malmö.
“In five years’ time, I want Lupinta to be the natural choice for lupin-based products. The ability to contribute to positive change is what motivates me. I want to be an agent for change,” he adds.
At the centre of creative and social change
As Sweden’s rising start-up hub, the city of Malmö is an incredible place for the world’s future changemakers to study.
Known as ‘the city of comics’, Malmö is home to the Comics School and the Swedish Comics Association. So, if you’re ever short of creativity, just take a walk or a bike ride via the 510-kilometres of cycle paths that criss-cross the city and enjoy the endless galleries, bookshops and exhibits that are dotted around.
Your student life at Malmö also includes a brilliant nightlife with plenty of clubs, music venues, independent bars, interesting pop-up events and networking nights to keep you busy. As a university student, you can also get a 50 percent discount at selected venues!
Plus, with Storm, Malmö University’s very own innovation centre, on your doorstep you’ll gain insight into what’s happening in the local innovation and research sector.
Through Storm, you can attend events related to innovation and idea generation; experience transboundary meetings; and acquire methods and tools for an efficient and open ideation.
If you want to merge your talents with Malmö’s start-up scene, enquire today at the city’s most innovative university and get your ideas up and running.