EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Support for starting a business

Phase: Management
  • Access to finance
  • Start-up support
  • Support of SMEs
  • Training
Sidst ændret: 19 August, 2020
Lokalt navn:

Stöd till start av Näringsverksamhet

Engelsk navn:

Support for starting a business


This instrument is available for people who are registered as unemployed or who are facing dismissal and have an approved business concept by the Swedish public employment service (satisfactory level of profitability and long-term job stability). 

Applicants must fulfil the following conditions: 

  • be over 18 years of age  
  • unemployed or facing dismissal 
  • have a business idea that can lead to sufficient income

Main characteristics

The purpose of this measure is to help unemployed people or those facing dismissals and who are capable of starting a business by providing them with financial support during the start-up phase. The public employment service offers to counsel and advises when starting the business. In some areas, PES also offers informational meetings and education in entrepreneurship (Arbetsförmedlingen, 2018).

The support payment is for a maximum of six months and the amount equals the amount as the unemployment benefit. This means that the individual receives reimbursement between SEK 910 (€90) and SEK 365 (€36) a day. Applicants with a disability may receive extra support worth SEK 60,000 (€6,000) (Arbetsförmedligen, 2019). 




  • National funds

Involved actors

National government
Public employment services
The public employment service offers counseling and informational meetings, and advises when starting the business.


A total of 6,667 participants received support for starting/continuing a business programme in 2017 (Arbetsförmedlingen, 2018). In 2018, this number was 4,863 (Arbetsförmedligen, 2019). 

Foreign-born accounted for 38% of all participants in 2017 and 41% in 2018 (Arbetsförmedligen, 2018; Arbetsförmedligen, 2019). The proportion has increased each year. As of 2018, bigger efforts are made towards increasing the level of participants from the group of foreign-born women (Arbetsförmedligen, 2019). 

People with disabilities that result in reduced workforce accounted for approximately 13% in 2017 (Arbetsförmedlingen, 2018). In 2018, this number had increased to 16% (Arbetsförmedligen, 2019). 

Compared with other labour market support programmes in Sweden, this instrument has normally the best outcome in terms of employment figures. In 2017, 81.6 % of those who left the programme was working 180 days later (Arbetsförmedlingen, 2018). In 2018, this figure was 80.7% (Arbetsförmedligen, 2019). 

An examination made by the Swedish National Audit Office in 2012 shows that the support has positive effects on the individual's employment. However, the effect is smaller for immigrants (Riksrevisionen, 2012). One reason is said to be the lack of a long-term action plan by the Swedish public employment service after the individual has started his or her business. Long-term action plans are more common among Swedes receiving support for starting a business than for immigrants.


This support measure for starting a business has consistently shown very positive outcomes both in terms of entrepreneurship and employment. In addition, companies that are established might, in the long run, hire more people. This will also have a positive effect on the employment rate (TCO, 2009).


Competition may arise when companies that obtained financial support to start a business gain a competitive advantage over firms in the same industry that have not received support (TCO, 2009). 

An evaluation made by the Swedish National Audit Office shows that the positive effect of the support is smaller for immigrants. Moreover, the evaluation shows that many of those who have received support and continue to run their businesses have incomes below the poverty threshold, especially immigrants (Riksrevisionen, 2012). 


No information available.
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