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“I know exactly when the picture is right.” photo Andrea Belluso

Homecoming for famous brand



Eric took his idea to the bottom


The 20,000 km commute

Topmodel Helena Dahlquist on beauty, headhunters and finding herself. | centre spread





Working on the other side of the globe | three Home sweet home for Norrlands Guld | four Wood is back with a vengeance – unique building method in Skellefteå | six Safe haven for project they said was lunacy | eight Nearly 300 is not enough for Head of Trade and Industry | ten 1

con tents 11

Blogging for better entrepreneurship “Blogging is dead” is the latest word on the street. “Facebook is taking over”. Or perhaps not.


This Internet-based form of publication is alive and kicking, and 120,000 new blogs are born every day. The powers that be (from Bildt to Brown) are catching on to it and newspapers are now encouraging readers to link their blogs to articles (“you scratch my back...”). Here is a selection of blogs and blog portals to give you, the entrepreneur, an even better overview:

“When you are a model, the focus is always on you. But who are you doing it for?”


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Working on the other side of the globe Home sweet home for Norrlands Guld A less glossy alternative in Swedish, which looks much less business-oriented, but seek and ye shall find, you can be sure of that. Technorati A portal that keeps track of everything happening in the English-speaking blog world. If you can’t find anything on your subject here, it’s not being blogged about!

Wood is back with a vengeance – unique building method in Skellefteå Safe haven for project they said was lunacy Nearly 300 is not enough for Head of Trade and Industry


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Fitting national team memories

Strindberg in Skellefteå AIK country

Pontus Blogg Pontus Schulz, editor-in-chief of Swedish business journal Veckans Affärer, joins in the blogging at (TV4-owned) Up-to-date. Well-written. Well-read. Not to mention much more interesting than (media-hyped) Johan Norberg: [In Swedish]

Techcrunch For a better overview of Internet services and companies, take a look at Michael Arrington’s blog Techcrunch. You will not be alone – he has over a million visitors each month.

Health care with a computer game format Song and dance improves care for the disabled Green tips for the whole week

Published by the Municipality of Skellefteå Address: Trädgårdsgatan 7, SE-931 85 Skellefteå, Sweden Head of Trade and Industry: Sture Lestander Production: t/r reklambyrå Photo: 2 Patrick Degerman/Synk, Peter Lundberg, Scanpix, Museum Torfrid Olsson, Strindbergsmuseet, Knut Koivisto/SVT, SQS, Ostens Hus, Andrea Belluso, Mikael Eldborn, Skellefteå kommuns arkiv, Matton och StockXpert. Printing: Ågrens Tryckeri

Engadget If you just want to check out gadgets, you need look no further.

Google blog search Just as effective as Google’s general search engine, but here you only google in the blogosphere. For example, type in “Varumärkesvård” [branding] and you can read about the thoughts of Abbe’s dad (who also happens to be a pro at this).


Skellefteå - Suzhou there and back

With one office in Skellefteå and another in China, Li Holmberg brings a new meaning to the word “commuting”. Thanks to her presence in, and competence in contact with, the large country in the East, she is able to help European companies. We asked Li to describe a normal working week, complete with rather exceptional cultural and temperature differences: Monday



16.40: Finally on my way! After flying from Skellefteå to Stockholm to Helsinki I can sit back and relax. In 11 hours I will be in Hong Kong. Go through my schedule listening to a bit of music. Drink a lot of water (important when the air is so dry). Have taken an aisle seat as I always do. Two hours after eating I have a nice sleep.

A full day at the event, and working against the clock. So many clothes, so little time. The meetings are brief and effective. Have checked in all my luggage at the centre, so only need to get to the plane and travel on to Beijing. Dinner on the plane – chicken fried noodles. Arrive at Capital Airport Hotel Beijing at 11.30 pm. Collapse into bed.



Farewell dinner! The deputy mayor, too, wants to show his appreciation, so he invites us to a banquet. Never mind that it is only 10.30 am and the plane leaves just two hours later. Our luggage and check-in are dealt with for us so that we can eat right up until we step aboard the plane... My travelling companions return to Beijing and I travel on to our office in Suzhou, near Shanghai. Hold a couple of job interviews.

Land at Hong Kong Airport, which is built on the top of a “flattened” mountain. Take Airport Express to Hotel Panda, get changed quickly and make my way to Asia’s most important fashion event, Hong Kong Fashion Week, at the city’s Convention and Exhibition Centre. I am here to meet suppliers of autumn and winter fashion on behalf of a number of European clothing chains.

08.30: Check out of hotel wearing quilted down jacket and warm winter trousers (brr... I know how cold it’s going to be). Meet the three European clients who are going to join me in travelling north.

11.00: Wow, how am I going to get everything done? Hall after hall (seven of them, I think) with exhibitors and a jungle of clothes and accessories. I find my way to my first contact, brandishing my business card (you don’t get anywhere here without a business card). An intensive day. 19.00: Back at the hotel. Am dead beat. Could fall asleep right now, but stay awake a few hours until the children are home from school (after all, it is seven hours’ difference). Talk to them via computer (Skype).

14.00: Arrival in Harbin. 19.30: After dinner, we round off the day with a visit to Harbin Ice and Snow World. Illuminated ice sculptures of some of the world’s most famous buildings. Fantastic!

Wednesday More interviews (sigh) plus a visit to a supplier in Shanghai.

Thursday Journey home. On the plane I try to sum up my impressions and write lists of what needs to be done when I get home. Gain seven hours on the homeward journey, so have ample time. In Skellefteå at 6.30 pm local time.

Friday Crisis! Flight tickets to Heihe (our destination) are completely sold out! But after a lot of effort I manage to get my hands on four tickets on the night train. Tour of Harbin. We meet the secretary of the provincial governor, among others, and have the opportunity to pass on greetings from our deputy county governor (present the book on Västerbotten). The train journey is memorable. The planned late dinner on the train turns out differently – no restaurant car! We rush back out onto the platform and buy some dried fish and peanuts. Half an hour later the lights are turned off (good night). We have a good laugh at our situation as we munch on fish and peanuts by torchlight.


Harbin Ice and Snow World

We arrive in Heihe at 6.50 am. It is a city of 300,000 inhabitants on the Russian border. Here, construction is under way on China’s answer to Sweden’s Arjeplog Test Center, a winter testing plant for Asia’s automobile industry. These are three hectic days, travelling round meeting representatives of the various plants. Wherever we go, we are shown fantastic hospitality, and by Monday evening we are full to the brim with both food and impressions. The warm trousers were needed – you can’t stay outdoors for long at minus 30 degrees Celsius.

Li Holmberg writes an unusual diary of a usual working week.

Supporting network Seek rewarding cooperation at For more information on China visit 3


“Skellefteå’s burgeoning film knowhow has acquired both national and international resonance.”

Homecoming for “Camera!” shouts someone through the hubbub. The clatter of idling snowmobiles can be heard against the hum of the large diesel generators supplying power to the gigantic floodlights. A crowd hunches over a film camera, reminiscent of an artillery platoon in winter warfare. More and more people trudge to and fro in the snow in complete chaos yet also in complete control. This is the filming of advertisements for one of Sweden’s strongest beer brands. Yet the location is neither chic Åre nor glossy Hollywood but rustic Holmsvattnet, an 18-household hamlet 28.2 km south of Skellefteå.

“Why Holmsvattnet?”, you may be asking. The explanations are many and intertwined in a special way. “It started with an ambition to show the ’Real Norrland’”, says Christina Welander, Deputy Product Manager for Norrlands Guld at Spendrups. “We wanted to keep the successful basic concept we have been working with for 15 years but develop it in a new direction”, she says, keeping an eye on everything going on at the shooting location in her stylish coveralls.

The concept, of course, is well known. A little way from the heat of the action stands a group of curious villagers discussing which Norrlands Guld’s advertisement has been the coolest over the years: “The one where they’re down in the gravel pit letting it rip on the Puch Dakota!”, says someone, and the others agree. Among them is Berndt Andersson, who has a pond he dug himself and is hiring it out for the evening for the new advertisement adventure. “It’s fun when something different happens in the village”, he squints, to the same chorus of agreement. 4


And what has been happening in Holmsvattnet and at the other shooting locations near Skellefteå recently is more different than Berndt and co realise. A small piece of advertising history is being made. The creative mastermind behind the new venture is Stefan Öström. “These films are moving us towards a cooler, more confident Norrlands Guld”, says Stefan on site at Berndt Andersson’s freshly cleaned, ice-covered pond. Stefan himself represents advertising history to some degree, being one of the founders of Paradiset, one of Sweden’s most successful and – in the business – most admired advertising agencies. Now he is his own boss, and bears ultimate responsibility for communicating the Norrlands Guld brand.

We want to show the real Norrland And you do not need to look too hard to see what Stefan means by “cooler”. The actors are a world away from the rather nerdy look we associate with earlier Norrlands Guld films. Instead, with their hip styling and fashion, they feel like the perfect cross between an indie band and school ice-hockey team. The ice-hockey link becomes very clear from the first takes of the fast-paced ice-hockey scenes. “Many of us have played at fairly high level in both ice-hockey and indoorbandy leagues”, says Nicke Bohman, one of the actors. The man who hand-picked Nicke and his friends is director and new Skellefteå resident Ted Kjellson. This evening he has his hands full directing the actors and the film crew towards an end result that pleases everyone – the advertising agency, the production company

lands Guld RULING WITH A GLOVED IRON FIST Skellefteå-based filmmaker

Ted Kjellson pulls the strings during filming of

the new advertisements for beer giant Norrlands Guld.

and not least the client. “Yes, it’s a big responsibility, but I accepted that when I took on the job”, says Ted.

Ted himself was chosen thanks to a good reputation and being a rising star in the Swedish film industry. His CV includes not only short films such as Tompta Gudh, which have attracted a good deal of attention, but also advertisements for such names as Coca-Cola. “Skellefteå’s burgeoning know-how in the fields of film, Internet and other digital media has attracted both national and international attention – which is amazing”, says Ted. His unmistakable dialect betrays his roots in Skåne, before a mixture of luck, passion and interest in set design and film brought him to Skellefteå and Östra Nygatan.

So here he is, standing in deep snow in Holmsvattnet taking charge of the whole thing. His job began even before Christmas, honing ideas and storyboards, finding suitable shooting locations and casting actors – and checking things with the advertising agency down in Stockholm at regular intervals. “In principle, everything was scrutinised, from the overall film style down to such details as what the pucks should look like”, smiles Ted.

And it does not end with the filming – far from it. “Afterwards there are several weeks of editing, sound work and arranging effects. At the end we can present the client with two new 45-second advertisements. As I say, though, there is quite a bit more work to do before we get there. Just this evening we’ll still be going well past midnight. First of all, though, it’s time for the whole gang to eat”, says Ted. “Eat? But where?”, you may wonder. In the Holmsvattnet rural community centre, of course!

Norrlands Guld Launched in 1965 under the name ”Norrlands Öl” by the then Sollefteå Bryggeri. Brewed by Spendrups Bryggeri since 1989. Norrlands Guld is a Dortmunder-type pale lager, full-bodied with a slightly sweet taste. Gold for both palate and purse Spendrups policy is not to publicise its sales volume of Norrlands Guld. What is known is that it is one of Sweden’s biggest beer brands – and that sales are evenly distributed over the whole country. In total, each Swede drinks approximately 51 litres of beer per year. Topsy-turvy world of advertising? Norrlands Guld attracts big money, and the brand has strong market presence year round. The Ice Hockey World Championships have been providing a strong one-off boost for several years now, one important reason being that the championships now continue well into May – when summer is really kicking in across large parts of the country.

Motion media opportunities For more information on education and training in the field of film and other motion media in Skellefteå visit 5


Wood as the


River view, anyone? Brand new red and white building in new functionalist style, lots of light, close to both city and nature? Yes, please, many understandably said. The 18 flats in the new pride of Skellefteå, a six-storey wood building in Älvsbacka Strand, complete with fitted lofts, went like hot cakes. The location may be hard to beat, but the building’s most unique aspect is something that can’t be seen: the load-bearing elements are made entirely of wood. A new, more intelligent way of building upwards. Wood. An age-old building material, yet the most modern there is. The Älvsbacka Strand residential area is living proof. But let’s rewind a little. It is no coincidence that a building like this is being built in Skellefteå, and in this particular way. After all, people know a thing or two about wood here. The Skellefteå region has one of Europe’s most comprehensive wood clusters, with long-established forestry and sawmill industries, world-leading research and education in wood technology, and a large number of construction, joinery and other processing companies. It is not such a surprise, then, that Skellefteå has been designated a pilot city for the National Wood Construction Strategy. The city joins Växjö and Falun as one of the strategic locations where the committee of the Ministry of Industry, Employment and Communications is promoting projects for multi-storey-building construction in wood.

Interior of Älsvbacka Strand.

The aim is to allow research and development in wood construction to catch up with other materials. Until 1994 it was prohibited to use wood as a loadbearing material in large-scale construction, but now it is known that it is no worse or more dangerous than steel and concrete – on the contrary, wood is better in many ways. For example, it enables more rational construction and thus gains valuable time at the construction site. Cranes, machines and other resources are not needed for as long. Besides, wood is environmentally friendly and has many properties that make it eminently suitable for industrial construction. Being a pilot city entails responsibilities. Skellefteå 6

Älvsbacka Strand, with wood loadbearing structures, being built floor by floor under the Extoler assembly system.

municipality invited a number of interested parties to a large meeting about what could be done. This gave rise to the Älvsbacka Strand project and the partnership between Martinsons Byggsystem AB, Lindbäcks AB and White arkitekter AB. The three companies, who are among the leaders in their respective fields – solid-wood load-bearing systems, prefabricated room elements and architectural solutions in wood – together developed a construction system in which both load-bearing structures and room elements complete with fittings are prefabricated in a dry factory environment, which minimises the risk of damp and mildew in the building. The components are supplied in the form of a large construction kit and are assembled directly, floor by floor. In addition, the building is constructed under a gigantic mobile assembly system, Extoler, which integrates weather protection, a working platform and an overhead crane for lifting and material handling. Extoler follows the construction work through from foundations to roofing, and means that all the work takes places indoors, as it were. This makes for a good combination of not only simplicity, effectiveness and quality, but also bags of feeling – as wood is attractive. Besides, being able to nail up a picture without waking the neighbours with the roar of a hammer-drill is in fact one of life’s small pleasures. Just ask the future inhabitants of Älvsbacka Strand.

Advantages of wood in structural elements • Strong. Wood has a great load-bearing capacity in relation to its weight. It is flexible, easy to process, hard-wearing and moisture-resistant. • Light. Wood weighs less than concrete and steel, which reduces transport costs and makes loadbearing structures easier to handle. It also enables building on less ideal land. • Fire-resistant. Wood burns slowly and controllably without causing sudden collapse. • Healthy. Lower risk of damp and mildew. Working environment during building is improved as the moisture and dust, loud drilling noises and heavy lifting associated with concrete are avoided. • Climate-friendly. Wood is a renewable, locally available, sustainable raw material. Wooden goods require less energy to manufacture and process than concrete, for example. • Flexible. The building system makes greater bearing distances possible, which affords greater architectural freedom and enables unusually large open spaces and flexible design. • Cost-effective. Rational, moisture-proof, high-quality building in an indoor environment means lower construction costs, fewer mistakes and less damage, and thus reduces housing costs.

Better living Visit for more information about Skellefteå’s hottest residential area, and for information about wood buildings and structures.

Red-hot or ice-cold?

What do snowmobile suits, Skellefteå Campus and Swedish summers have in common? They all have to grapple with the concept of temperature. Read on for an explanation...

They are clad in something resembling snowmobile suits. With double layers of jumpers and protective hoods. Summer may be knocking on the door, but it’s cold. Let’s be honest – it’s really cold. The thermometers in Svensk Cater’s cold-storage room are showing temperatures befitting the darkest Norrland winter – around minus 25 degrees Celsius – and every breath can be seen clearly among the hamburgers and beef fillets. Surely this is one of the world’s chilliest workplaces?

people are waiting for the holidays, some for the summer holidays and others for the spring applications to start rolling in. It is true that late spring is a hectic time for colleges and universities, which stand or fall by their immediate popularity. This depends on their prospectus and range of courses, which in turn at best strengthen their competitiveness vis-àvis more established seats of learning. To be popular, quite simply, you need to be cool, trend-setting and up on – or ahead of – current regional, national and international requirements.

The good humour never freezes here, and that suits me just fine. “On the surface, maybe, but it’s the atmosphere that counts. The good humour never freezes here, and that suits me just fine. Mind you, I hate the winter and I love Florida”, jokes Björn Wikström, one of the two employees of the nationwide food wholesaler who are responsible for refrigerated goods in Skellefteå.

And on the “cold front” the current outlook for Skellefteå is good. Its cooperation with the universities of Luleå and Umeå has broadened the Campus, and in the last round of applications courses such as estate agent training, wood technology, computer graphics and TV and film set design / props / effects attracted students from the whole country and a few more too. Among the advanced vocational training courses, the trend indicator of the sectors themselves, the security manager course (60 old-style credits) proved itself to be a standout, with 90 applicants for 20 places. “On 3 September we are going to apply for another course on behalf of the web agency North Kingdom: creative web production”, says Inger Egerstedt, head of advanced vocational training, thereby confirming that the future looks bright. For Björn and the rest of us it only remains to await summer. And most of us already know what that will be like. Crystal clear?

What do you want to be?

Meanwhile, as Björn is busy telling us that it’s actually really good fun working in the “freezer”, and that the place is popular among people looking for a summer job, things are becoming heated elsewhere. Some

For more information on the future, visit

Skellefteå for SEK 100!? Designer Anna Viktorsson had already displayed creative talent back in 2005, when she designed map-patterned breakfast trays. She followed it up with the Skellefteå textile with the same motif, the city’s Sunnanå district, which not surprisingly earned great popularity and is now available in several variations.

The latest product of her ingenuity is a collection of postcards and A3 posters with illustrations of buildings from her home town of Skellefteå, which can be cut out and folded into 3D models. She worked on this interactive experiment with her younger sister Julia Viktorsson. It is part remedy for homesickness in those returning home and part intelligent marketing for local businesses.

This printed matter was unveiled as one of seven elements of the Skellefteå Museum ex-

hibition “Ung konst från Skellefteå” [Contemporary Art from Skellefteå] over two weeks in January/February, and should be in the shops by summer. Approximate prices: postcard SEK 30 and A3 poster SEK 100.

“It was flattering to be asked, and nice that Julia has got going with what she wants to do. She is a fine illustrator with a good future ahead of her and Byggsats Skellefteå [the Skellefteå Construction Kit] is just the beginning of something big”, says Anna in her flat in Gothenburg, where she lives at the moment. She is in her second year at HDK, the School of Design and Crafts at Gothenburg University.

Creative geography For more information on Byggsats ­Skellefteå visit, or go to the new Skellefteå Museum shop for the real thing

Byggsats Skellefteå consists of two A3 posters (containing three or four motifs) and eight postcards (one motif). There are eight buildings in total and one tree, in various configurations. The idea was born of homesickness – Anna is a real Skellefteå girl – in the classroom at HDK (the School of Design and Crafts at Gothenburg University) and carried out back home in Skellefteå in the Christmas holidays. 7 7


For Eric Westerberg it is getting down to business that counts. Without master copy or advanced physics background, he has designed and built his own submarine – only the third in Sweden’s history. Isabell, as the creation is called, was officially named and launched amid pomp and circumstance last September. Deputy Prime Minister Maud Olofsson provided the champagne.

inventor Listening to Eric Westerberg, 27, from Brände near Skellefteå, it sounds so simple, so self-explanatory – even reasonable – that some­ one should decide to build his own 8.7 tonne submarine. And how! – without master drawings, theoretical base or help. On paper a task as complicated as it is incomprehensible – but demonstrably feasible. It sank – as it was supposed to.

The inspiration came to Eric about six years ago on a fishing trip. Making his own submarine sounded like a fantastic idea and had a good ring to it. His friend next door good-humouredly called it lunacy, but caught on to the idea. Construction was scheduled to start after summer. Nothing came of this. His co-creator jumped ship and the years went by. But Eric found it hard to let go of the submarine idea. His ideas and motivation grew and grew and finally the floodgates opened. Work

I could have been a painter instead, but a painting is not as useful. 8

started in autumn 2005, and by September 2007 Sweden’s third private underwater craft stood ready in his workshop in the neighbouring village of Kålaboda, home of his smithery company Westerbergs Smide. It was eighteen months behind schedule, and named Isabell after Eric’s three-year-old daughter. “There was surprisingly little information available about this type of construction, and most of it was classed as defence secrets. It was just a case of going and getting your own manuscript and learning along the way”, says Eric, shrugging his shoulders casually.

Despite his not having submarines as a hobby or having studied the right subjects, it was a wise decision in retrospect. He finds it exciting and challenging to create freely – especially large-scale, advanced gadgetry in metal, and preferably things that become something, even if they can take more time. “I could have been a painter instead, but a painting is not as useful”, he says in a subtle, affirming tone. One of the world’s most difficult inventions, no relevant training and yet you managed to get it working at the first attempt? Doesn’t that make you some kind of a genius? “No, just an ordinary pig-headed Norrland lad with a predilection for all things practical. For that matter, it is by no means certain that heaps of reading under my belt would have helped. Instead, logical thinking, never giving up and always questioning can get you an incredibly long way.”

According to Eric, the real secret is having self-belief and knuckling down – whatever you are doing. Life is too short to be left unexplored. Yet a little structure and methodology would not have gone amiss when it came to the submarine. Behind the calm, collected exterior hides a chaotic artistic streak. Eric rarely plans in advance and likes taking things as they come. “That could be my strong point”, he laughs, “the ability to adapt at short notice without getting stressed.”

Eric is now doing a technical foundation year at Skeria Utveckling in Skellefteå. His own activities have taken a back seat to qualifications. He has set his sights on technical physics, a course over ten semesters that will hopefully bring new knowledge and ideas and ultimately lead to an engineering degree. He sees the quest for knowledge as another step in his personal and professional development. An adventure born in curiosity but with an undercurrent. “Having put the submarine into practice, I now want to see if it’s possible to make it in theory. Then there are other aspects to be investigated, of course, for example air, and it will be interesting to hear what science has to say. My thinking is that if you really want to invent or create new things, you have to do away with old mindsets and rules. And for that to be possible you have to either know what they are or – the method I’ve tried – not know at all.” That makes sense.

... and inventor country Oops! Stockholm, Malmö and Lund are not surprisingly the best in the country for patenting. This is revealed by the 2007 statistics of the Swedish Patents and Registration Office. Anna Bauer of consultancy Zacco Sweden AB can testify that the light of diligence and ideas also traditionally burns brightly in Skellefteå. She lists her three favourites below.

STADSHOLMEN – MANHATTAN IN THE CITY CENTRE (1992) A river island. With a circus and gallerias. This is how Skellefteå could have looked if the 1993 plan for its city centre had emerged unscathed. The originator of the grand vision of connecting the city centre in the north with the developing high-tech centre in the south was the city’s then architect Göran Åberg. However, political opposition and public concern over island erosion meant that the project fizzled out.

Q-CASE – PORTABLE CRIME-FIGHTER (1996) A robbery during cash transport in the UK 30 years previously was behind the world’s only smart case for transporting cash. When innovator Kjell Lindskog, who later founded the company SQS Security Qube System AB, heard the news, he thought enough was enough. His crimebusting solution was a flexible shell of composite with a sensor arrangement that triggers a dye mechanism in the event of external force or penetration. Q-Case was launched in 1996 and has since received many national and international distinctions from on high.


Isabell: facts and figures

Power sources

Construction time: 2,500 hours. Started: 2005 Launched: September 2007 Weight: 8,500 kg Length: 6 m Buoyancy: 10,500 kg Top speed: 7 knots Maximum depth: 50 m Maximum load: 600 kg (6 people) Body: 15 - 40 mm sheet metal Volume of welding wire: 200 kg Blood, sweat and tears: yes

Underwater position: electric motor from a lathe, operated by 16 batteries

Surface position: VW diesel

Capacity: 60 minutes

Bon voyage See the trial run at Search term ”Eric Westerberg”.

Kraftstaven made its debut on the international cross-country skiing scene in 2006 after ten years in development. The hooked handle, which among other things bids farewell to bent wrists, was nominated in January of this year for the distinction “ISPO BrandNew Award” in the category “Hardware Winter” at the Munich sport exhibition, and was classed as one of the world’s five best winter innovations. The pole and its inventor Bo Lerner later won the Innovation of the Year award in Skellefteå.

Inspiration and possibilities Useful links for those with their thinking caps firmly on: 9


283 reasons for Sture to be a bit down Sture Lestander, Head of Trade and Industry for the municipality of Skellefteå, has a similar attitude to skier Ingemar Stenmark. There may have been 283 start-ups in Skellefteå over the last year, but he is not satisfied: “The volume is important, and we have set a target of 300 new businesses per year”, says Sture, his intonation betraying that he is, after all, quite satisfied with developments. Especially as other figures reveal how well the start-ups are taking root and developing: in terms of survival rate, the Skellefteå startups are extremely well-placed. Some 79% of them are alive and kicking after three years – compared to a national average of 60%.

Sture finds it even harder not to give the game

away when he says that the number of employees in the start-ups has increased by 40% on average over these three years. “That shows that we have gone some way towards our vision of creating Sweden’s most effective process for new entrepreneurs”, says Sture. But what does that actually mean? “Quite simply that the municipality has to become as attractive as possible to both the inhabitants themselves and people from outside as a location for a new business. They must find good organisation and methods of working, which make it easy to get started.”

How do things work in Skellefteå? “We have two clear, well-resourced ways in. One is the business hotel Entreprenören, which brings together

all the support start-ups need under one roof, and the other is the nationwide specialist organisation Jobs and Society. Thanks to this, new entrepreneurs are spared being sent from pillar to post, and they really get advice and support of consistently high quality. If we can continue to build on these advantages, it will mean even more vigorous entrepreneurial activity in Skellefteå”, says Sture Lestander.

Start up a business in the city

For more information on setting up business in Skellefteå visit: and

69 Bygg AB • AB Roland och Assar Holmgren • A-CS utveckling och rehabilitering • Allantois Handelsbolag • AMAZING Handelsbolag • Andreas Haara AB • Anna Norqvist kaffe AB • Anwu massage och kroppsvård • Aqit AB • ARRC Geoconsulting AB • Aspbäckís Sjukgymnastik • Auoja Fastighetsförmedling AB • Axop. 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Trading AB • Eastwork Studios • EDAC • EI Invest Sverige Trollhättan I AB • EjendomsOpsparing Skellefteå AB • Elan Fastigheter AB • Eldborn Media&Design • Elfix i Skellefteå AB • El-utbildarna Rolf och Torbjörn Handelsbolag • Enterprise Performance Management Systems Sweden AB • Erik Gustafsson Bygg • Esko Rajala Utveckling • Esko Rajala Utveckling AB • Evvan • Exego Handelsbolag • Extoler AB • F spot service • F:a Pdr Production & Consulting • Falkträsket Gräv AB • Familjen Koch Holding AB • Firma L O Andersson Material & Processteknik • Florum Träväxthus Burträsk AB • Forsnäsgårdenís Hästcentrum • Fotograf Ola Westerberg • Fotograf Peter Lundberg AB • Fredrik Huggare AB • FreLow • Frisör Anna i Skellefteå • Frostkåge Fordonsservice AB • Fyndhörnan i Skellefteå • Fyrdahl Media • Företagaren 30 Aktiebolag • GB Gård • GBJ i Skellefteå AB • Goldtown Import • Golv 4 U i Skellefteå AB • Gribbylunds Taxi AB • Grönbo plantskola AB • Gudruns Pysselhörna • Guiden Västerbotten AB • Guldläget Fastigheter AB • Guldstaden KenAnn AB • Guldstadens Språkvård • Guldstadens Städservice AB • H Brännströms Byggtjänst • Handelshuset Söder i Skellefteå Aktiebolag • HANTERA - kris och utveckling Skellefteå • Hasse o Bengt Bygg o Lack Handelsbolag • HEDAB Sjukgymnastik • Hemmaplan AB • High Tech Resource i Skellefteå AB • Hirche IT • Huvudkontoret Erica Book Handelsbolag • Hällgren Consulting i Skellefteå • Hälsostudion S.B.S i Skellefteå AB • Häman X resurs AB • Högnäs Handel • I Wikströms Entreprenad AB • ImmunButiken Handelsbolag • In Question AB • Industridata Norr AB • Industriplast Invest AB • Industrirör Norr AB • Infenzi • Inger Lövgren Handelsbolag • Inlux Software AB • J. 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Lindström Mobil Tjänsteservice Kommanditbolag • Railcare Group AB • Railcare Holding AB • Real India AB • Reseproducenten Kent Pettersson AB • Riana AB • Rickard Ljungholms bygg • Rickard Rosén Maskin • RIGISA Språkkonsult • RJ Fastigheter • RJ VVS • Rockma Drilling AB • Rogers Garage • Rundström Åkeri AB • RÅ form & silver • Römd Fastigheter AB • S:t Lukas mottagning i Skellefteå AB • Sali Oktay Restaurang i Skellefteå AB • Salong Corn AB • Salong P Viksten AB • SBL Fastigheter • Sehlstedt konsult Kommanditbolag • Shout Out Kommanditbolag • Siljeinova • Skaren Holding AB • Skellefteå Bil Tunga Fordon AB • Skellefteå IT-drift AB • Skellefteå Släpvagnsservice Handelsbolag • Skellefteå Wellness Aktiebolag • Skogarnas Hund & Mark Handelsbolag • Skoj & Co i Skellefteå AB • Smart profilering i skellefteå AB • SoftSeC • Sonia Sundströms DeliBod • Spa & Pool i Skellefteå AB • Speedoc AB • SSB Svets Skog Bygg • Stall Anna Johansson • Stall lillsnorre Handelsbolag • Stall Limen Handelsbolag • Stefan Wargh Försäljnings AB • Stella Polaris City AB • Stewa Kulturresor • Streetfood i Skellefteå AB • Svarvtjänst i Kåge AB • SWE Nordic Hardware Holding I AB • SWE Nordic Hardware Holding II AB • SWE Nordic Hardware Retail AB • Svedun Handelsbolag • Sverigebyggarna Johan Johansson AB • Syedís Design • Sälj & Plock i Norr AB • Sälls Golv & Kakel AB • T Lundström Maskin AB • T&A Näsström Förvaltning AB • TBW-Service • Teamx AB • Terrigena AB • Thomas Lindgren Holding AB • Thomas Mattsson Konsult • Threetails Assist • Travel-to-liverpool R.R. AB • Treango AB • UED-Konsult • Utbildarna i Norr Kommanditbolag • Varuträsk Invest AB • WDO Kreativa Kommunikationslösningar AB • Westermarks profil & Industri Handelsbolag • Vitberget Mat AB • VVS Konsulterna Invest i Skellefteå AB • XON Power • Ze-ka Industrimontage AB • Älvsbacka Förvaltning AB • Örvikenhus AB 10


Helena Dahlquist

photo Andrea Belluso

Helena Dahlquist was a 16-year-old athlete from Skellefte책 when she won the Model Search competition. Since then, she has worked as a cover girl in Paris and Milan, been headhunted to New York, photographed on

Swiss alpine peaks and Moroccan beaches and appeared on over 30 covers, including French Elle. Now she works part-time as a bull farmer in Holmlund.



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