27 million PEOPLE

80%+ speaks english

94% internet penetration

95% mobile

THE HIDDEN GEM FOR Establishing international growth

Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland together host some 27 million people.  Small in gross numbers compared to France, Germany or the UK, but but still a hidden gem for the international companies that have successfully launched in the region. In particular consumer facing technology plays like Facebook, Google or Match.com have been surprised by the potential of the region. Why is that the region is a gem and why is it that it is hidden to many?

The challenges are pretty obvius:
Too many Flags. The Nordics consists of four main countries, each with their own flag. On top of that we have Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Åland, also with their own terrtories and own flags.
Too many Languages. As if Swedish was not complicated enough, then Danish, Norwegian and Finnish are destinct own langaues. Complicated.
Too many Currencies. Good news, Finland has adopted the Euro. But Sweden is sticking to their Krona, Norway and Denmark their respective version of the Krone.
Too much Land. The region is 3 500 000 square kilometers big, some 40% larger than the UK.

What is then that makes the region commercially so attractive?
We love the World. Nordic people a curious about the the world. We have never been able to rely on the sheer size of our home market, hence we have been forced to develop internationally with IKEA and H&M (then) and Spotify and Skype (now). This also means that we welcome the brands of the world in our home markets.
We love the Internet. If the population density of your homemarket is low, then the Internet came as a true blessing. The average internet penetration in the Nordic region is at  94% and the highest across Europe.
We love Technology. The Nordic region has a history of technological innovation, from the adjustable wrench, to the pacemaker and the cellular telephony. Its no surpise that Apple claim the region - in absolute terms - to be an absolute key market i Europe.
We love to Purchase. The purchasing power of the Nordic coutries outperforms most European countries, as a region the aggregated GDP is no 5 in Europe.
We love to speak English. Being located at the edge of the civilised world, we need to be able to speak and understand the world. International visitors often experience that "everybody seem to speak English", which is confirmed by the English speaking population being at 21 million, only surpased by Germany and England in Europe.  

These are some of the factors that creates an environent for international companies where the Nordic region out ranks most other parts of Europe. Curious? We would love to tell you more.

This is Sweden
Population: 10,1 million
Language: Swedish
Currency: Krona
Capital City: Stockholm

This is Denmark
Population: 5,7 million
Language: Danish
Currency: Krone
Capital City: Copenhagen

This is Norway
Population: 5,3 million
Language: Norwegian
Currency: Krone
Capital City: Oslo

This Finland
Population: 5,5 million
Language: Finish
Currency: Euro
Capital City: Helsinki

Who to Follow?

TWITTER: If you want a short cut to understanding the Nordic markets, here are some twitter handles to keep an eye on - all tweeting primarily in English:

@fredrik_ - the Nordic super VC Fredrik Cassel
@henrik - Tech nerd turned CEO Henrik Torstensson
@pawlo - the multi talented entrepreneur and PR genious Mikael Pawlo
@eldsjal - Mr Spotify Daniel Ek 
@jocke - no, unfortunataly not always in English, but makes it worth learning the langauge
@siwers - your very own Recapex founder

PODCASTS: Another short cut might be to listen to a few pod casts coming out of the region, but in the favourite second langauge of the Nordics.

Nordic football - Learn about Sweden through sports
The Stockholmer - Ex BBC journalist giving an angle to Stockholm
The Local - The expat channel of Sweden
Filip och Fredrik - LOcal podcast heros, at times in English 

NORDIC roll out Stories to tell

  • Gustav Radell @ Google
  • Albert Bengtsson @ Apple
  • Martin Ingemansson @ Facebook
  • Fredrik sellgren, Twitter etc