Skip to main content

Why Skåne - 5 reasons

Skåne, with the cities of Malmö, Lund, Helsingborg and Kristianstad, offers a wealth of opportunity for international companies seeking a European or Scandinavian base. Here are 5 reasons why investing in Skåne makes smart business sense.


1. Best for business

US magazine Forbes ranks Sweden as the world’s best country for business. Skåne, with its vibrant, innovation-based economy and booming start-up scene, is a regional champion and national showcase.

Best for business - cont

Home to 1.3 million people and one of Europe’s most skilled and best-educated workforces, Skåne is a natural magnet for international companies looking to establish and expand their North European footprint.

A non-hierarchal and open business climate

At the core of this appeal is a business climate based on openness and easy access. Skåne takes Scandinavia’s transparent and non-hierarchical business tradition to another level.

Barriers are low and people are more than willing to share their knowledge. So much so that you can call the CEO of any company and book a coffee meeting with them.  

A relaxed environment, loyalty and trust set the tone for business relationships. The World Bank rates Sweden among Europe’s top 10 countries for ease of doing business. Corruption is conspicuously absent. Indeed, the Reputation Institute ranks Sweden the most reputable and trustworthy nation in the world.

Like many success stories, Skåne has prospered by paying big attention to small details. Digitalization makes business procedures smooth and clutter-free. Your company can be up and running in a matter of days.

“Sweden is home to some of the best-known brands in the world … but the country has also become a haven for tech startups.” – Forbes magazine

Corporate tax is low

Arranging utilities like electricity and water is straightforward and fast. Corporate tax, at 22 percent, is low. Wage and other business costs are internationally competitive. English is universally spoken and widely used as a working language.

Skåne sits at the heart of Greater Copenhagen, a dynamic transnational market of 4 million consumers spanning southern Sweden and eastern Denmark. Served by 17 universities with 150,000 students and many PhDs, the region is a natural location for a European or Scandinavian HQ.

Proximity to continental Europe

Malmö, Skåne’s largest city, is strategically situated just 20 minutes from Copenhagen International Airport across the iconic Öresund Bridge. Hamburg is less than five hours away by road and just 50 minutes by air.

Three regional airports, excellent rail and motorway links and four world-class sea ports provide a fully integrated 360° transport network that keep Skåne open to businesses from Europe and worldwide 24/7.

Best place to do business - video

Learn more about the Scandinavian spirit: sustainability, creativity and work-life balance in this film:

Best place to do business - video

2. The Innovative Spirit of Skåne

In 2016, around €11.5 million was invested in tech startups in Lund and Malmö alone – a sixth of the national total. An open mindset, an appetite for new products, and a transparent approach to business and innovation are the cornerstone of Skåne’s success in innovative sectors.

The Innovative Spirit of Skåne - cont

Innovation is a cornerstone feature of Skåne, a region that has long held the attention and interest of entrepreneurs, researchers, businesses, and professionals from every corner of the globe.

Thanks to its strong academic foundation and a cross-sector approach to collaboration, Skåne consistently sets the stage for world-class research results that offer breakthroughs in everything from cleantech to life sciences.

By 2020, the region aims to become the most innovative in Europe, leading the way in three focus areas in particular: smart and sustainable city development, personal health, and the research and development of smart materials.

Over the next few years and well into the future, investment in these areas is expected to grow, and the innovations that emerge will have a tremendous impact locally, nationally, and abroad. From lighting and its implications for safety in cities to smart packaging and its potential to reduce waste, tomorrow's Skåne will offer concrete answers to the questions currently challenging not only Europe, but the world.

A Unique Approach to Innovation

By focusing specifically on the focus areas of smart and sustainable cities, personal health, and smart materials, the region aims to further strengthen the various industries that fall within those three categories. These include traditional industries that Skåne has historically excelled in, like packaging and materials science, to new industries like the automotive industry. Major actors in the automotive industry, like Bosch and Volvo recently established software development centers here because of the region's strong tech competency, and effective collaboration between academia and the private sector.

Orbital Systems shower

The patented technology developed by Orbital Systems makes the world’s most advanced and efficient shower system possible, and saves over 90 per cent of water and 80 per cent of energy while also making the water cleaner than normal hot tap water.

Cross-sector collaboration is a cornerstone of innovation in nearly every key industry in Skåne. The results of this multi-helix approach include the globally recognized Bluetooth, to the Hövding helmet, and more recent innovations like, Innoscentia's smart packaging and Orbital Systems' sustainable shower. The region's unique infrastructure has allowed it to serve as a fertile testing ground for researchers and developers from around the globe. It is also one of the core reasons why the innovative landscape in the region is expanding. The urban renewal project H+ in Helsingborg and the advanced research facilities MAX IV Laboratory and the European Spallation Source (ESS) facilities in Lund are prime examples of new initiatives that contribute to the local ecosystem and present new opportunities for investment.


  • Skåne and Greater Copenhagen are home to roughly 75 incubators, accelerator programs, clusters, and science parks.
  • The Medicon Valley cluster that Skåne is a part of is made up of more than 400 life science companies.
  • Skåne's startups received the third highest number of investments in in the Nordics in 2016, right behind Stockholm and Copenhagen.
  • The innovation strategy being used to help Skåne become the most innovative region in Europe was developed by FIRS, the Research and Innovation Council in Skåne.

Five reasons to invest in Skåne