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Head North! Start out, start up business in SWEDEN

“We need to give the French a taste for the North,” says David Cvach,
the young French Ambassador to Sweden.

France would like to attract more and more of businesses to Sweden and the Nordic countries, especially SMEs and startups. Crédit Agricole shares this goal; supporting entrepreneurship and innovation in France and abroad, notably by assisting the development of SMEs, mid-cap enterprises and startups overseas, is part of its medium-term plan.

Here are some good reasons to make Crédit Agricole customers want to set up business in the “small countries” of the northern lights.

Head North! Start out, start up business in SWEDEN - credit agricole bank and group france


A strategic partnership between France and Sweden

France is a special partner of the Nordic countries, and notably Sweden. The Franco-Swedish partnership for innovation and green solutions, signed in 2017 by French President Emmanuel Macron and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, is the perfect illustration. This partnership carries with it an operational roadmap with four main work focuses:

  • green solutions for transport, clean energy and smart cities
  • development of green finance
  • smart industry and startups
  • innovation in health and the life sciences.

All of these areas are oceans of opportunity for the Crédit Agricole Group. According to Guillaume Lefebvre, Crédit Agricole’s raison d’être – acting each day in the interest of our customers and society – takes on its full meaning in the Nordic countries.

Crédit Agricole is the international bank with the longest presence in Sweden and is considered as an essential and legitimate partner of major companies in all their green investment projects.”

Sweden: an ecosystem conducive to innovation and entrepreneurship

Sweden is home to a remarkable one million businesses for ten million inhabitants and some 10,000 startups, making it an el dorado for entrepreneurs. Why? Strong R&D investment, with 3.26% of GDP allocated in 2016, versus just 2.23% for France. In 2017, Sweden was considered as the most innovative country in the European Union. In Sweden, innovation and entrepreneurship are considered more as opportunities than as risks.

Sweden’s growth rate outstrips that of the eurozone by at least 1% every year, 80% of the country's ten million inhabitants speak English, the social climate is calm, and the country has strong resource potential for developing innovative business activities. All of these advantages make it a true “laboratory” for startups looking to “try out” an idea before launching it in a bigger market.

What kind of support does the Group provide to customers?




"The potential of the Nordic countries is often under-exploited by our SME and mid-cap companies. Albeit demanding, these nieghbouring markets with high purchasing power offer very interesting perspectives."

Catherine Eydoux, head of International Business Solutions Division





Group customers already benefit from the comprehensive bespoke support offering provided by the International Business Solutions Division (PAI), notably including its Nordic Countries Desk which centralises solutions for customers in synergy with local Banking partners and service providers, including Business France and the Chamber of Commerce.

More recently, the support system has been rounded out by a practical new tool, “The practical guide for startuppers in the Nordic countries”.


lefebvre marge



"The vitality of the Nordic countries owes just as much to the innovation of their startups as to the capacity-to-transform of their big companies".

Guillaume Lefebvre, Senior Country Officer, Crédit Agricole CIB Nordic Region



VISA POUR L'EUROPE DU NORD, the LonelyPlanet Guide for French startuppers 


The aim of this guide is to provide all the necessary information to startups, SMEs and mid-cap businesses looking to grow within the Nordic countries. It was developed by Crédit Agricole CIB Nordics, with support from Crédit Agricole S.A., the French Embassy in Sweden and Business France (and published by Uni-Médias).
The project was officially launched in Sweden at the French Embassy in November 2019. Its circulation to other Nordic countries is planned during 2020. In France, the flipbook was distributed to the startup network of the Villages by CA and the Guide was also circulated at the 2020 Paris Fintech Forum on the Crédit Agricole stand.

It contains:
• information on the current momentum in Sweden and other Nordic countries in terms of innovation
• practical advice on how to explore local potential
• concrete information on how to establish a new business or partnership.


› To acces the flipbook, click here



the nordics in figures - credit agricole bank and group france


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