Below, we provide an overview of the basic conditions, requirements and support available in the project countries: The Netherlands, Italy and Sweden.
Starting and running your own business in the Netherlands is considered to be easy, once you meet the requirements for visa and resident permits regulations. The Chamber of Commerce provides necessary information and even inspiration to help you launch your business. On its webpage you can find all necessary information in English: a check-list for starting your own business, legal forms of business, general terms and conditions, registration, qualifications and diplomas.
There are also important governmental services responsible for the requirements of registration and running of a business (enterprise): Startup Information Desk, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, Tax and Customs Administration, Immigration and Naturalization Service.
In addition to providing necessary help within the scope of their responsibility, they also offer consultation and different workshops. For instance, there are webinars on up-to-date regulations and Dutch business climate available.
Orientation for starting a business in the Netherlands
Dutch life and personal matters
Tax and Customs Administration
Italy offers a wide range of legal structures for setting up businesses, depending on its objectives, the model, the amount of capital, the extent of liability of the founders, and tax implications.
The Italian government also allows the creation of innovative start-ups, under certain conditions. Indeed, the main activity must be the development, production and/or marketing of innovative products or services. The company must also be created for a maximum of 48 months and not exceed a turnover of 5 million euros.
Even though the requirements for starting an enterprise in Italy may differ from those in Sweden and the Netherlands (not least in terms of bureaucracy), it is still considered to be easy and attractive. Italy is a country of Catholic religion, with strong culture and identity. Around 96% of population speaks Italian, but there are also many other ethnicities in the country. There is also a growth of the Muslim population due to the immigration waves towards Italy.
To start a business in Italy, one needs to have the legal right to live and work in Italy and a residence permit. If a person is from a country outside of the EU, he or she will also need a license before starting business operations.
Italy operates its market on a condition of reciprocity; any one looking to set up a company in Italy can only do so if an Italian citizen can set up a company in the country where that citizen is from. Exceptions to this rule include: EU and EEA citizens, citizens of countries which have made an international agreement with Italy, or a refugee and stateless person.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Italy)
Chamber of Commerce
Public administration for businesses
National Agency for Investment and Business Development
Directory of companies in Italy
There are many official fees that a person has to pay depending on the type and form of their enterprise.
Business start-up costs in Italy
Most of information about new business registration on the official sites is in Italian, but there is essential information in English too. You can start with visiting a webpage of The Chamber of Commerce. It provides all initial information on how to start a business in Italy.
In Sweden there are effective services for business and new start-ups. A number of governmental services and agencies, including Tax Agency and The Swedish Public Employment Service, provide consultation free of charge.
In addition, newly arrived persons as well as asylum seekers can start a business receiving necessary advice and in some cases subsidies. The support for setting up a business in Sweden is available in different languages.
If you received a permanent or temporary residence permit, you must register yourself in Sweden’s population register through the Swedish Tax Agency as soon as possible. Registration in the population register is essential for access to courses in Swedish for Immigrants (SFI) and becoming part of the Swedish social insurance system. Once you are registered, you can also get a Swedish identity document, which you need to open a bank account, for example.
The Swedish Public Employment Service
Assistance for starting a business (in Swedish)
In the booklet “Starting a business without money”, you can read about others who started a business and get further tips and advice. This book is available in Swedish, English, Farsi and Arabic.
Download the English version of “Starting a business without money”
Marketing has a bad reputation among general public and even among business folks. People often assume that marketing is some kind of trick that helps big companies to sell you something you don’t want. In fact, marketing is the opposite: it helps your company to formulate your offer, to communicate your offer efficiently to the right audience and to deliver the value to your customers, partners and to make positive impact on society.
Another misconception I often come across is that startups don’t need marketing. There is this deeply rooted assumption that if your product is good enough, customers will come to you. But if you only focus on your product, your business will be just a hobby, and will never the target market.
You can have the best idea in the world. But if you don’t know how to spread your story, nobody will listen. As a startup, you are new to the market, and nobody knows you yet. So, marketing is essential for fining potential clients.
You might think marketing is too expensive. But not doing marketing will cost you much more. Besides, now with Goggle and Facebook analytics, marketing becomes really cheap. If you don’t have a budget for marketing, think of social media. They are excellent for testing your concepts, getting consumer feedback and spreading the word about your offer.
In this module, we will talk about three main activities of marketing. The first is market analysis. It will help you to figure out who your potential customers are, what are their needs how your product or service can help them solve their problems.
The second main topic is marketing strategy. Here, we will learn how to select your target market, how to position your product or service on the market, and how to delight your customers.
Did you know that delighted customers can spread the word about your company? When your product is really exceptional, you don’t need to invest extra money in marketing communication. You can leverage the power of social media and word of mouth to help customers learn about your offer. But, of course, you need to have a great story and communication strategy.
The business budget enables the business owner to concentrate on cash flow, reducing costs, improving profits, and increasing returns on investment. Budgeting is the basis for all business success. It helps with both planning and control of the finances of the business. ... make sure that the business has money for future projects. So please give a look at this video for the basics of budget creation.
Personal financial management is a significant and ongoing challenge that can cause confusion even to the most economically savvy person.
The aim of the session is to encourage and develop the ability to identify sources of earned and unearned income, different types of expenditure, and to understand the concept of balance as the relations between income and expenditure.
Cultural influence in business management
You know, the influence of cultural factors on business is extensive. Culture impacts how employees are best managed based on their values and priorities. It also impacts the functional areas of marketing, sales, and distribution. It can affect a company's analysis and decision on how best to enter a new market. So give a look at this video in order to see and know how culture can affect your own business.
BUSINESS MODEL FINANCIAL PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT SELF-CHECK LIST
|Business Model, Financial Planning & Management, check your situation with a “X”||I have it||I need
|I stay current on developments in my field and I learn quickly and am able to adapt to change|
|I regularly seek opportunities to connect and learn from others in my field|
|I typically have a very positive mindset and struggle with holding difficult conversations that need to take place|
|I am mindful of my own interactions as a customer so I can better understand our customers’ perspective|
|I actively listen to understand the customer’s point of view|
|I effectively handle difficult or hostile customers|
|I follow through on my commitments to others and keep them aware of any challenges I face|
|I use my time effectively and am able to prioritize my work|
|I am mindful of my team and customers’ needs and schedule my planned time off well in advance|
|I regularly show up on time and fully prepared to start my day|
|I am not afraid to ask for guidance when necessary|