Strategy Analysis International

Business in Nordic Europe: Where To Start?


There are three Scandinavian countries: Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Together with Finland and Iceland, the five are known as “Nordic”. On the European business map, these are lumped together, mostly for the wrong reasons.

4 are rich. One is filthy-rich.

Iceland has the population of Saint Louis and an area the size of Kentucky. It is known for a mega-default of all of the country’s banks (joke in 2008: what is the capital of Iceland? Answer: $6.50). Unless you are into geothermal energy, fish or genetic databases, don’t start here.

For the opposite reason, don’t start in Norway either. The country doesn’t need you. It has the world’s largest wealth fund, not per capita, but absolutely. It doesn’t need you to help it get richer; its 5 million people have what they need.

So as a US company wanting to expand in Scandinavia, start with Sweden. Why? Sweden has the largest and most dynamic Nordic economy. It does everything right.

Finland comes next: It did everything right too, it’s market is open and the distribution system Europe’s most concentrated. Then delve into Denmark.

And the added bonus is that almost everyone in Nordic Europe speaks excellent English too!

Contact us to see how we can help expand your US-based business in Europe too!

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