The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise produces concrete proposals for measures and reforms that improve the business climate. We provide knowledge and inform opinion. We seek to influence politicians and other decisionmakers. We represent business in discussions with unions and authorities. We give Swedish business a voice in the EU.
Swedish Enterprise brings together 60,000 companies and 48 industry and employer organisations. We are true to our name: we are the voice of Swedish enterprise. We work on issues that are important to all companies, irrespective of sector and size. But our role is also to provide a voice to all those companies and sectors that do not yet exist, but that may emerge in the future if the conditions and climate are right.
Our member organisations focus on issues that are important to their own sectors and inform and provide advice directly to member companies. Member organisations that are employer associations provide advice on employer issues and negotiate collective agreements with unions.
Swedish Enterprise’s collectively agreed insurance policies provide member companies’ employees protection at attractive rates for companies. If a member company is hit by industrial action, such as a strike, Swedish Enterprise is able to provide financial support to the affected company.
A better business climate, successful companies and thereby secure jobs and a better Sweden. This is the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise’s mission.
Laws and regulations at national, municipal, and EU level, and cross-sector agreements with unions, authorities, or within the business sector itself all define the structures and conditions that apply to running and developing businesses in Sweden. These are therefore key areas that the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise seeks to influence.
Our opportunities to exercise influence are built on three main components:
First, we represent the entire business community. Companies’ challenges and needs can vary between different sectors and over time. But through our member organisations, which have daily contact with companies in their sectors, our boards and regional representatives and our digital entrepreneurial panel of member companies are able to react quickly to the needs of the business community and the issues we should focus on. This amplifies our voice. No one who genuinely realises the value of a successful business climate in Sweden and elsewhere can ignore what the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise has to say.
Second, we have expert knowledge in areas that are important to the business community. Here you can see all the areas where our experts are present. Together with our sector organisations and individual member companies, they gather and disseminate knowledge, and make concrete proposals on how the business climate can be improved.
Third, we have the influence and capacity to trigger business action. Our advocacy work is often conducted through dialogue with investigators and decisionmakers in municipalities, national government, and EU institutions. We share experiences and knowledge from the business community, develop solutions, and react to proposals. This work is typically undramatic and does not grab the headlines.
Sometimes, companies, sectors, or the entire business community face severe threats that harm Sweden as a whole. In such circumstances, it is the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise’s role to mobilise the business community and the general public. Some such occasions have also become important milestones in Sweden’s contemporary history, where Sweden would have become a different country if the business community’s voice had not been as robust, for example opposing proposals to introduce a planned economy in the 1940s, “workers’ funds” in the 1980s, or the referendum on Sweden’s membership of the EU in the 1990s. Even today, proposals are made that, if implemented, would harm the entire business community, including companies that have not yet been established. This might involve a ban on dividends or profits in entire sectors. In such circumstances it is important that the business community’s voice is projected and united.
One of the Swedish Enterprise’s most important roles is to provide a space for businesses to meet and collaborate right across sector and size silos. This is vital in contract negotiations, where individual sectors enter into their own agreements, but collaboration between different sectors is important to achieve outcomes that benefit the business community as a whole.
But when it comes to concluding agreements with unions that apply to all sectors, Swedish Enterprise represents the business community and employers. This may apply, for example, to negotiations on employment rules or to pensions and insurance in collective agreements.
Everyone wants Sweden to be a prosperous country with a good environment, a functioning welfare system, and secure jobs. But not everyone knows how this is ultimately determined by how successful our business sector is. Disseminating knowledge about economics, entrepreneurship, jobs, welfare, and how all these are connected is a key role of Swedish Enterprise. This is necessary for democracy and for us all to be able to make informed decisions. The Confederation supports schools with teaching materials on business and economics, we help municipalities understand what makes a good business climate and what does not, and we ensure that facts and statistics about business, economics, and society are available to all.
In addition to helping society understand entrepreneurship, the Confederation helps companies understand and keep informed about what is happening in society and their wider world. Through the fPlus news service, everyone has the opportunity to keep themselves updated about key developments, and greater detail about everything related to business and entrepreneurship.
Whatever you do, whatever you think, and whatever you think is most important, everything depends on a successful business sector. Swedish Enterprise is therefore no ordinary interest organisation. Because what we represent is of interest to everyone: the public interest.
More than three million people in Sweden work in business and are dependent on business for their livelihoods. The majority of all other people are, too, because business and everyone who works in business creates demand and provides goods, services, and tax revenues that maintain national and local government services.
A large proportion of the goods and services we consume are provided by business. And all the services that are not provided by business are dependent on business to be financed, produced, and delivered. Business is the engine of the economy and the public sector.
A large proportion of the products that surround us are innovations from business. And many scientific discoveries from research institutes and universities become practical solutions and products through business. To create is to also take risks. Not all risks are successful. Therefore, risk must be spread in different areas that are driven by different ideas and solutions. As is the case in a free and healthy business climate.
Future challenges – be they jobs, the economy, the climate, infrastructure, or welfare – require new solutions, innovations, and capital to address. To a large extent, business must be responsible for this. Business is crucial not only for the society we live in today, but also for the society we want to build for the future.
Everything from everyday objects to the food we import is made possible because we can also export to other countries. Trade between people, companies, and countries benefits everyone. Business makes it all possible.