Swedish women opening more new firms

The number of companies being started by women increased by five percent in 2006. Meanwhile, the number of new firms with men at the helm shrunk by two percent.

“We can see a plateau in the manufacturing and building sectors, but an uplift within the service sector. That favours women’s enterprise,” said Peter Vikström, head of the department of growth analysis and statistics at the Swedish Institute for Growth Policy Studies (Institutet för tillväxtpolitiska studier, IPTS)

In 2006, some 44,386 new companies were started, according to ITPS. The proportion of those which were founded by women rose by one percent to 35 percent last year.

Another trend for 2006 identified by ITPS was that the number of new companies with a turnover of more than half a million kronor has increased, while companies with low turnover have become fewer.

“That means that the proportion of robust companies is increasing,” said Peter Vikström.

There were considerable differences in the rate of growth in different sectors. The building sector’s surge in recent years, for example, appears to have levelled off while the number of new companies in trade and manufacturing fell by nine percent and 14 percent respectively.

However, within the ‘personal services’ sector, which includes healthcare, recreation, culture and education, the number of new companies rose by 13 percent in 2006 compared to the previous year.