A historic region all set for the future.

The history of Dalarna as a prosperous business region with strong international relations go way back. In the 17th century The Great Copper Mountain in Falun produced as much as two thirds of Europe’s copper. During the history Dalarna has also proven to be a healthy environment for entrepreneurs, many successful multinational companies root in Dalarna. It is clear that the grand nature is appealing not only for tourists but also for the everyday life.

 

1. ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT


 

From copper in the mine pit to music in the chalk pit

Dalarna has been a haven for many entrepreneurs in various sectors through the years. Back in the 17th century, Falun was at the centre of the mining industry, leading to its transition from village to city. Falun has since been a greenhouse for many companies, offering a creative business atmosphere.

A prosperous region for entrepreneurs

Some of Sweden’s most famous commercial entrepreneurs we’re born in Dalarna. Among others, we note J.P. Åhlén who in 1899 founded what was to become the nationwide Åhléns retail chain, Clas Ohlson, who started his chain of department stores now found in 5 countries with 4700 employees and Carl Erik Wickman who emigrated to USA and founded the Greyhound Lines.

Alongside these two “old gentlemen” and their major enterprises, there are many new entrepreneurs with their roots in Dalarna. Two examples are Lina Richardsson with her carpet design company Pappelina, and Per Holknekt, one of the founders of the international fashion brand Odd Molly.

Dalarna also hosts a world-class research environment in the gaming industry, including game development and education.

Several entrepreneurs in the cultural sector have realized their dreams in Dalarna. Distinct examples include the Peace&Love Festival in Borlänge, the multi-event Tällberg Forum and the unique outdoor arena of Dalhalla close to Rättvik.

 

2. INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH


 

World class steel, forests and power supplies

For centuries, Dalarna has been developing an influential steel industry. Multi-national giants such as SSAB, Ovako Steel and Outokumpu have operated in the area for centuries, each company is specialized in different ranges and develop high end products. A result of the increase in demand and the world market price of iron ore, the mining industry in Dalarna is in an expanding phase with extensive investments to be made in the next couple of years.

One of the world’s most cost-effective and modern mines can be found in Hedemora. The Garpenberg mine has been active since the 13th century and is Sweden’s oldest mining area still in operation.

The vigorous industry puts Sweden on the world map.

Industries central to Swedish exports based on steel and forests have grown vigorously in the region for centuries and play a vital role in society. Dalarna is a large export region in Sweden and the country’s largest set of railway sidings in Borlänge form the hub of extensive rail cargo traffic.

With 70 percent of its area covered by forests, Dalarna is naturally one of Sweden’s strongest bastions of the forestry and paper industries. Stora Enso in Kvarnsveden has one of the world’s most modern paper manufacturing plants. The services and products of another 200 companies in Dalarna are linked to the forests, including successful manufactures of single-family homes like Fiskarhedenvillan and Tomoku hus.

Dalarna’s third industrial base is the supply of electrical power. ABB, the world leader in power transmission equipment with HVDC technology, has 2,700 employees, one third of their Swedish work force, in Dalarna. At the plant in Ludvika, ABB manufactures the world’s largest transformers for power networks.

 

3. A WAY OF LIFE TO LONG FOR


 

Flavour to everyday life.

Dalarna also possesses a third characteristic, perhaps the most important of them all, involving the quality of our daily lives. We all dream of living “the good life” and this is a real possibility offered by the region. You can combine an on-track career and a fulfilling family life. In Dalarna, work and family go well together with excellent housing, healthcare, education and infrastructure.

Beautiful countryside and world famous sights around the corner.

The red houses, the painted tree horses, the beautiful forests, the spread of the hills, the richness of the open air and the wildlife – these are all aspects of the real Sweden available in Dalarna. Life feels simple and genuine. With Sweden’s unique right of public access, the beautiful countryside and surroundings are freely available.

It is hardly a matter of chance that Dalarna is the most visited tourist area of Sweden by far, apart from the three major city regions of Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. If you are not a tourist, but are looking to settle in Dalarna, chances are good that you will live in a large house with a generously sized plot of land.

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Advantage Dalarna (pdf)
Discover business in the First Region of Sweden