• Sweden edition
 
Hundreds of great job opportunities for foreign professionals at Sweden's top employers - in cooperation with Monster, Experteer, Stepstone, and CareerBuilder.
What
Where
742
jobs available
Find English-speaking professionals with The Local.
Advertise a vacancy
My Swedish Career
Expat puts 'Faith' into starting travel business
Faith George. Photo: Private

Expat puts 'Faith' into starting travel business

Published: 08 Jul 2014 12:13 CET

Faith George, 47, made the move from the US to Malmö back in 2002 to be with her Swedish sambo (registered partner). Twelve years on she hasn't looked back, having established herself in Sweden as an in-demand businesswoman. 

"I started off by doing SFI (Swedish for Immigrants language course), and it took me about a year before I found my first job," George told The Local.

"To bring in some extra money I started up my first business in 2005, doing proofreading and translation services in English for several companies in the area."

Her early forays into running a business were successful, but in 2008 she wrapped the firm up for other pursuits.

Like many skilled foreigners in Sweden's south, she landed a job with ST-Ericsson, initially working as a technical writer before taking on added responsibilities with the company.

In late 2013 George was laid off but decided not to let that be the end of it. Instead, she used her time away from the workplace to pursue another ambition - establish her own travel agency.

"I was fortunate that my redundancy package was quite generous, so that enabled me to really investigate what I wanted to do. Back in the States I used to work in the travel industry so it was something I wanted to pursue again," she said.

Establishing a business, such as a travel agency, in Sweden requires a great deal of form-filling, particularly in regards to licensing. And it's not cheap.

Fortunately for George, she was approved for a financial benefit known as 'Starta Eget Bidrag'  (start your own business grant) to help get her new company off the ground.

This is a benefit available to a limited number of people every year who have been unemployed for some time before starting their companies. The grant is intended to help cover living costs while setting up the company. Those interested can apply for the benefit from their local employment agency (Arbetsförmedlingen).

"For me it is very important as it is a start-up company. In Sweden you get a lot of support when it comes to establishing a business," she says. 

George hopes her prior knowledge of the travel industry will help her new agency succeed. She has chosen to target Swedes who are eager to see another slice of the US, as opposed to the standard fare usually offered.

"There is so much more to see, and for me the focus is on a market where there is a good niche. For instance, our main package is a trip to Louisiana, an area I know very well, and visitors will get to see something different with the whole Cajun experience," George explained.

See tips in English from the Employment Agency for starting your own company

"Another package is going to be heading out to Washington State. We don't want to do the major locations as those are well catered for by existing travel agencies," she says.

Setting up a travel agency in 2014 may seem a bit strange considering how much is done online, often cutting out the middleman.

"There is a lot of competition out, there but having done my market research, there is are opportunities. Swedes love to travel, especially to the US. If you ask somebody they will say with a lot of enthusiasm 'Oh I've been there.' There is plenty of interest is going to America," George said.

Communicating with the Swedes isn't a problem for the US native, as she has long got to grips with the Nordic tongue.

"At the start the language barrier was the hardest. I used to feel like I was in kindergarten when I was trying to speak to people. Now my Swedish is really good. I had to be sure of my level of Swedish before I could really approach the idea of starting this new business."

It's not just Swedes who want to visit America that she sees as her potential market. The businesswoman is also putting together a package for Americans who want to explore southern Sweden.

Right now George is just waiting for the green light for her business to go live. Her Swedish sambo has created the website and is also chipping in with some financial backing.

She also has office space sorted, which is provided as a member of a Malmö start-up incubator.

"The intention is to be up and running in August and really get the business moving then," George concluded.

Need inspiration? Read more stories about My Swedish Career

Patrick Reilly (news@thelocal.se)


Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article:

The comments below have not been moderated in advance and are not produced by The Local unless clearly stated. Readers are responsible for the content of their own comments. Comments that breach our terms and conditions will be removed.

Your Swedish Career
When Matthew Volsky first came to Sweden he didn't think he would stick around. Six years and a pioneering invention later he tells The Local about the medical device which is helping save lives around the world.
Jenna Iwanchuk had never visited Europe, let alone Sweden, before she moved from Canada to Gothenburg two years ago, she tells The Local. Now she runs a local pet shop ably assisted by her dog, Tindra.
What does an eccentric Swedish farmer have in common with an Australian paleontologist? No, it's not a Ross from Friends joke, it's about a petrified fern and a career in scientific research in Sweden.
After six years studying medicine in Russia, Mumbai-born doctor Sandeep Jha chose Sweden over India for his career. He tells The Local about the chance encounter that lead him to the hidden beauty of cardiology.
US micro brewer Kevin Zelnio talks about the importance of Swedish contacts, how Swedes are Europe's most progressive beer makers, and how brewing beer in the Swedish forest makes him feel like Walter White from Breaking Bad.
Whether you're bored or simply have your sights set on greener pastures, many will face the day when it's time move on. Here's how.
Swedish Employment News
Sweden last year attracted more talent than it lost, with engineers topping the table of immigrants. In Europe, the biggest influx of professionals was to Germany, but a Middle Eastern country outperformed all surveyed markets.
"We have to hit the brakes and the gas at the same time." Does your Swedish boss confuse you? You're not alone. Swedes have crowned that phrase as the worst workplace cliché of the year.
What does an eccentric Swedish farmer have in common with an Australian paleontologist? No, it's not a Ross from Friends joke, it's about a petrified fern and a career in scientific research in Sweden.
Municipal staff in Gothenburg will act as guinea pigs in a proposed push for six-hour workdays with full pay, with hopes that it will cut down on sick leave, boost efficiency, and ultimately save Sweden money.
Are you looking for a job in Sweden but having trouble with your CV? Here are the Swedish words you should avoid, courtesy of LinkedIn's annual list of "overrated" buzzwords.
A new survey looking at how Swedes feel about their job has put one profession far down on the bottom rung of well-being in the workplace.

THG is hiring for the Stockholm office!
THG is looking for International Sports Sales Executives to sell their VIP hospitality facilities at major sports events.
FULL JOB AD »

International Sales - Stockholm based
Marcus Evans is looking for International Sales Executives
FULL JOB AD »

Adecco
Göteborg
Careerbuilder
Added 07/31/14

King
Malmö, SKÅ
Monster
Added 07/31/14

Barilla Sverige AB
Stockholm, STHM
Monster
Added 07/31/14

Poolia
Göteborg, VTG
Monster
Added 07/31/14

Agilent
Stockholm, STHM
Monster
Added 07/31/14

QlikTech International AB
Lund, SKÅ
Monster
Added 07/31/14

CIKLUM UK LIMITED
stockholm, STHM
Monster
Added 07/31/14

C-Rad AB
Uppsala, UPP
Monster
Added 07/31/14

Harvey Nash
,
Monster
Added 07/31/14

DataCore Software GmbH
Sweden,
Monster
Added 07/31/14