When the EU25 and Norway were ranked last year on the basis of the proportion of female business owners in each country, Sweden was in 20th position.
“Not a particularly flattering placement considering that Sweden wants to be one of the most equal countries in the world,” said enterprise minister Maud Olofsson.
The minister added that the last centre-right government successfully focussed on female entrepreneurship. But since then resources have been slashed and Sweden has dropped back down the list, according to Olofsson.
The money will be used to provide advice services for women who want to start companies, loans for women, as well as more research in the area.
Maud Olofsson points out some of the reasons why so few women set up companies.
For one thing the public sector is closed to a great deal of women who would like to establish companies.
Another problem is that few of the country’s fortunes belong to women. This can make it more difficult for women to borrow money, according to the minister.
Furthermore, anybody wanting to set up a limited company needs to invest 100,000 kronor worth of capital. Maud Olofsson says this is too much, pointing to the UK, where 20,000 kronor is sufficient.