Step Two – english version

Hello! Welcome to Step Two!

During 2016 a new and exciting meeting place will be offered to entrepreneurs with foreign background running small businesses. We will offer a creative environment in a Business Hotel where we grow together. Do you want to be one of the new stars? Apply during January this year at: steptwo@coompanion.se. And remember, there is a limited amount of spots available so secure yours today!

What is Step Two?

Step Two, an EU-project which focuses on promoting growth among small enterprises where the entrepreneurs are born in another country than Sweden is essentially a Business Hotel with support functions. This effort shall contribute to regional development and the project should contribute to new employment in the county. Step Two is a physical meeting place characterized by a multi-cultural community in the form of a Business Hotel where a variety of support services within business development are included – everything to promote growth among the participating businesses (for more information about the offer, look down).

What do we offer?

“Growth is about mindset. If you are ready to grow, then Step Two will help you with all you need: office space, growth planning, advisory services, advice from organizations, specific information concerning your industry, building your business network and acquire new knowledge.” – Naimul Abd, Porject Manager Step Two

At Step Two we offer a creative and inspiring environment in an open office workplace for prime cost of the facility and its services. This environment will become the type where entrepreneurs get the opportunity to network – a place where experiences are exchanged and where international business cultures are mixed. Who knows, maybe you will reach out to new international markets through your contacts at Step Two and will grow together with your fellow entrepreneurs through your participation?

As a part of Step Two you will automatically be part of a bigger network which means a lot to microenterprise growth, since we connect you to organizations, educations, business networks, municipalities and agencies. Being a part of Step Two is in other words contributing to your legitimacy as an entrepreneur – which also plays an important role when growing a microenterprise.

But above all Step Two offers to take important actions in your companies in order to meet each entrepreneur’s specific needs – our service means we together form a growth strategy plan for each individual business that is supposed to create growth in Your Company and make it more competitive. Also our offer includes that we give the Step Two participants practical help and support in order to promote growth, such as help within economics, taxes, law, import and export, employment conditions, marketing, and so forth.

 

Who are we for?

“We want to create good examples when it comes to small businesses developing, growing and employing new staff – that is why we are looking for entrepreneurs with the right attitudes and ambitions!” – John Thyr, Project Manager Step Two

Among small business owners with foreign background there is a need and will to grow – that is why Step Two exist! The project’s target group is small business owners that are active in Kronobergs län and who have ambitions to grow and employ new staff. What type of business or in what industry you are active within doesn’t matter and is not affecting your chances to get admitted to taking part in the project. However Step Two is, as mentioned above, a project that is financed on the condition that is it aimed at entrepreneurs with foreign background and for that reason this is a requirement in order to be a part.

Important to remember is that we only target companies that already are doing business and are “on the go” – which means that Step Two doesn’t recruit companies that are in a startup phase but rather companies that are mature enough to grow and employ new staff. Thereof the name Step Two, the “second step” in enterprising is about growth and not starting up. If you want to start up a business Step Two, unfortunately, is not the right project for you.

Last but not least all entrepreneurs that take part in Step Two should be ready to invest both time and resources into a future collaboratively owned and managed Business Hotel, since the Business Hotel will be run as a cooperative after the project is finished (more information about the cooperative under “What happens after the project?” further down).

 

What values do we create?

Step Two exists because more businesses in the county shall grow and recruit. Small business owners that participate more in the business life through their place in the Business Hotel will contribute to new job opportunities. Four out of five jobs are created within small businesses, according to Växjö’s trade and industry manager Thomas Karlsson. The society benefits when the Step Two businesses grow! Also, there are less people with foreign background that run enterprises compared to people born in Sweden, and by creating more good examples we believe that a new trend in the society will take form.

Important to remember is that there are several actors working with advisory services concerning starting up enterprises, and that this project is a support for the next step (Step Two) when the company is mature enough to develop, recruit and grow through developing its business development processes, build a network, and so forth.

What happens after the project?

When entering Step Two you rent your office space and take part in the project’s growth program, but the idea is that Step Two in the future will become self-running and cooperatively managed and owned by the tenants. The opportunity that lies in this is that entrepreneurs together can invest in resources and share facilities which results in better prices. After a one-year period at Step Two the ownership and management of the Business Hotel is reversed to the participating entrepreneurs themselves – you are becoming a part of a cooperative that means that you own the Business Hotel through a so called “Ekonomisk Förening” (which is a Swedish company form). Also after the one-year period in the Business Hotel entrepreneurs will be offered help and support according to their specific needs and according to the specific growth plan.

What are the goals in the project?

  • Create a meeting place in a long-term cooperatively owned Business Hotel for entrepreneurs with foreign background
  • Stimulate growth in participating companies and create new employments
  • Increase the competence within enterprising
  • Increase sustainability in participating businesses
  • Increase the understanding of different business cultures, norms and rules