Feeling inspired? Many NFGL students do go on to become successful entrepreneurs, both in their home countries and in Sweden. And if you think you might want to start a company in the future, it's never too early to start planning.
We decided to get a few tips from FundedByMe, the Swedish leaders of crowd-funding.
"We see thousands of great ideas every day," Susan Sjölund, Chief Marketing Officer for the Swedish organization, told SI News.
"Entrepreneurship in Sweden is booming," she said, adding that the number of people registering with FundedByMe was growing week by week.
Every success story is a little bit different, but Sjölund offered ten key pieces of advice for future entrepreneurs in Sweden:
1. Identify what makes your business idea unique
There may be ten others doing the same thing, but if you do one thing different, that will give your idea the leading chance to succeed.
2. Make a video
"Create a super video that conveys your brand's message in under three minutes," Sjölund says. With video editing software even available in the form of free apps nowadays, there's no excuse for not getting a video produced. And remember, it's free to upload it and share it through social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
3. Have an elevator pitch
Identify the Who, What, When, Why and How of your idea. Make sure you have a really good elevator pitch. You should be able to share your business idea with someone in the time that it takes to ride an elevator from the ground floor to the top, answering the 5W's and the H: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How.
4. Active, active, active
Tell the world about your business once you have the basics in place. No one is going to find you if you're not actively talking about what it is that you do.
5. Ask for help
Most established business people welcome the opportunity to share best practices and their experiences with budding entrepreneurs – connect via LinkedIn and offer to buy them a coffee in exchange for letting you pick their brain for an hour.
6. Appreciate your fans
"Turn your fans into super fans by offering them an opportunity to be part of your business – crowd funding is perfect for this," Sjölund adds.
7. Be open to feedback
You may think your idea is perfect, but ask people who have been there before, and then take their feedback on board. Especially when speaking with potential investors.
8. Make big deliveries
"Under promise and over deliver – this is always a good motto to have as you are more likely to impress your investors and clients by delivering more than they expected," Sjölund explains.
9. Never over-value your business idea
We receive many proposals for crowd-funding with business valuations that are way too high. It's never a good idea to aim too high in the beginning with fundraising (unless you are getting constant feedback confirming that your business is worth billions, it probably is not. Yet.)
"Build up your team to be trustworthy and able to deliver your dream," says Susan Sjölund of FundedByMe.
No man is an island. If you have friends who want to be involved, help each other out. Sharing the work can be fun, inspiring, and useful. But make sure your team members have the same goals. Hobby-business and sincere-business are two different things.