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Photo: Anna Hugosson

What makes Stockholm the Home of Impact?

What makes Stockholm the Home of Impact?

The drive to create change is part of Stockholm and its inhabitants’ DNA. For more than half a century, the country and its capital have been pioneers of sustainability, equality and progress. Blend this with the city’s innovative startup scene and you’ve got a formula for generating global impact.

Impact is much more than a punchy buzzword to us. Achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and maintaining the good work done along the way, is a driving force for the City and its changemakers. The Swedish Government, academia, Stockholm and its business community continuously work together to meet the SDGs and pave the way for others around the world to reach them too.

An impact-minded population

With its thriving tech industry and commitment to sustainability from the top-down, Stockholm has become a noteworthy player on the international impact scene. The city offers the perfect environment to start, run and scale a successful enterprise, from digital infrastructure and relevant education and mentorships, to innovation hubs, incubators and accelerators. A notably large number of startup support organizations and enablers primarily focus on sustainability and impact.

Stockholm is a globally-renowned startup hub, but to be considered a true ‘impact startup’ is a different matter. It’s not enough for a company to claim it creates impact. It has to generate measurable positive environmental or social change, addressing one or more of the SDGs at its core.

Stockholm has long fostered an environment that inspires an impact mindset. Stockholmers striving to solve the world’s most pressing issues enjoy a strong support network and vibrant forum for impact-related topics. This large, active community is central to Stockholm’s position as a leading impact meet-up arena in several mission areas including CleanTech, BioTech, FoodTech and FemTech.

Funding a brighter future

Impact Week is an annual summit held in Stockholm that brings together some of the world's leading experts in business, academia, entrepreneurship, and policy to address the critical problems facing the world today and develop solutions to them. The event is based on the innovative work of various Swedish organizations, including the Stockholm Resilience Centre and the Norrsken Foundation, which focus on global problem-solving through a combination of philanthropy and venture capital.

Impact investments are essential to achieving global environmental and social goals. Investing in companies that have a measurable way to generate positive outcomes accelerates the speed at which they can make a difference. Stockholm has the second-highest amount of VC investments into impact startups in Europe, and the future continues to look bright for the city as an international hub for impact entities and funding. But there is always room for improvement. Impact investments must continue to grow as fast (if not faster), both in Stockholm and globally, in order to reach the 2030 goals.

There is still work to be done, and Stockholm is ready for the challenge. With its agility and vibrant ecosystem, energy and purpose-driven business culture, the city is primed and ready to generate meaningful change.

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