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 Scandinavias 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. Youll see quick-fire development, job creation and economic growth.
Hellstens 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. ....