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ECONOMY

Swedes shy away from entrepreneurship

Countries with medium incomes have more entrepreneurs than rich countries - and Sweden is way down the list when it comes to the number of people starting their own companies.

The league table was part of the Financial Times’ annual survey of the prevalence of newly-started companies around the world.

Venezuela, where around a quarter of the population are involved in some sort of entrepreneurial activity, came top of the list. In second place was Thailand, with 20.7%, and third was New Zealand with 17.6%.

At the bottom of the list were Hungary, Japan, Belgium and Sweden, where less than 5% of the population is involved in starting a new company.

According to the research, entrepreneurs from middle-income countries tend to create more innovative companies with a greater growth potential on average than those in richer countries.

On the other hand, new companies created in richer countries have a greater chance of surviving, said the FT.

The amount of risk capital floating around increased in 2004 for the first time since the IT bubble burst in 2000. The US invests 16 times more money in hi-tech companies than Europe. Only Sweden and Norway show signs of getting close to the US in terms of technology investment, wrote the paper.

TT/The Local

SAS

‘We agree to disagree’: Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

By lunchtime on Friday, talks between the Scandinavian airline SAS and unions representing striking pilots were still stuck on "difficult issues".

'We agree to disagree': Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

“We agree that we disagree,” Roger Klokset, from the Norwegian pilots’ union, said at lunchtime outside the headquarters of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise in Stockholm, where talks are taking place. “We are still working to find a solution, and so long as there is still some point in continuing negotiations, we will do that.” 

Mats Ruland, a mediator for the Norwegian government, said that there were “still several difficult issues which need to be solved”. 

At 1pm on Friday, the two sides took a short break from the talks for lunch, after starting at 9am. On Thursday, they negotiated for 15 hours, breaking off at 1am on Friday morning. 

READ ALSO: What’s the latest on the SAS plane strike?

Marianne Hernæs, SAS’s negotiator on Friday told journalists she was tired after sitting at the negotiating table long into the night. 

“We need to find a model where we can meet in the middle and which can ensure that we pull in the income that we are dependent on,” she said. 

Klokset said that there was “a good atmosphere” in the talks, and that the unions were sticking together to represent their members.

“I think we’ve been extremely flexible so far. It’s ‘out of this world’,’ said Henrik Thyregod, with the Danish pilots’ union. 

“This could have been solved back in December if SAS had not made unreasonable demands on the pilots,” Klokset added. 

The strike, which is now in its 12th day, has cost SAS up to 130m kronor a day, with 2,550 flights cancelled by Thursday, affecting 270,000 passengers. 

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