In 2004, in the aftermath of the devastation in the world economic markets, Swedish entrepreneur Per Hellsten was struggling to get his hotel business started. Six years later he has a company with more than 100 employees, hotels in four countries and three continents and plans for several more.

At a time when small businesses worldwide are stifled by indifferent government policies and the exorbitant cost of credit, Hellsten is succeeding — with government support but and credit from Nordea, one of Scandinavia’s largest banks.

The lessons for government are simple: Create a climate in which so-called low-tech businesses can thrive and grow. Work with those businesses. Make sure credit windows are open and accessible. You’ll see quick-fire development, job creation and economic growth.

Hellsten’s idea for a hotel came in the 1990s. An anthropologist by education, a former merchant marine and a PR executive, he had been working with some of the major music groups in Stockholm on building and developing production studio spaces. But the building he was using had a huge amount of unutilized space, which Hellsten felt could be converted into hotel rooms.

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