"Much like my own relocation to Sweden, the Entrepreneurship Journey is never straight forward and is often thwart with challenges and difficulties. When the stresses, trials and tribulations pile high, we often have to have a reminder of why we do it. The pull towards the opportunity to follow and pursue our passions is strong, for those who are brave enough."
As an international living in Sweden, I am often asked "what made you decide to move here?" I wish that my answer was a straightforward, like "love" or "work", but my answer begins when I had to study Sweden for a paper during my education. Whilst writing, I fell in love with the country, and you could say it was then that the seed was planted.
Nine years ago, when I was finally in remission from a devasting illness which took over five years of my life, and during a change in the UK’s political climate, I was finally given the push I needed to make the move in search of a better life and finally pursue my dream of living in Sweden.
It was a journey that had its ups and downs, and whilst everything didn't work out quite as planned, after nine years I am finally beginning to feel at home and settled in Sweden.
Much like my own relocation to Sweden, the Entrepreneurship Journey is never straight forward and is often thwart with challenges and difficulties. When the stresses, trials and tribulations pile high, we often have to have a reminder of why we do it. The pull towards the opportunity to follow and pursue our passions is strong, for those who are brave enough. I have learned a lot with my own journey through entrepreneurship, and from my clients, who I support as a Transformation Coach, to empower them to overcome their barriers and achieve their own life goals.
A shared theme I have in common with many of my clients is being an international, far from my country of birth, childhood and lived experiences. Striving to build a new life (and career) often alone, away from family and a support network of established friends. A feeling of displacement from where you once belonged, and a disconnect from where you are now.
I worked as a therapist back in the UK, and so I understand that this feeling of not knowing where we fully belong, can have a huge impact on who we are as people. One of the best remedies to counter act this, is to develop new networks, new connections, and new communities, both to support your personal life and to support your professional life.
Being an entrepreneur often comes with feelings of isolation. Going it alone lacks the camaraderie that often comes with stable, long-term employment. But having friendships and connections isn't just essential for growing a business, it important to have friendships for understanding and moral support.
A place which has been instrumental at providing this for myself and thousands of other internationals, is the International Citizen Hub Lund based at Ekska huset. The staff are from a range of nationalities and backgrounds, integrating internationals and Swedes, and all under one roof. Their support, passion and knowledge has been essential to me, as I take the next steps in my entrepreneurship journey.
Another invaluable experience ICHL provided, was an opportunity to join and network within Swedish speaking business networks, that without the ease of this introduction, with my limited Swedish, I would previously have been too intimidated to join.
The opportunity to take part in the Företagarboost network and LNC Lunchen, has not only afforded me the experience to immerse myself in a Swedish language setting, to support my own struggles and development in learning Swedish, but also has opened doors to connections with other amazing and inspiring professionals and potential collaborations. These connections will bring added value to all our clients.
ICHL were also able to cover the entry costs for myself and other members, to attend the ‘Mind your Business’ summit. This was a fantastic, inspiring day of energising lectures, all from a range of brilliantly minded professionals based here in Sweden, who have helped to support and empower us as we continue with our Swedish lives.
And finally, I have also been able to meet so many fantastic, new people. The connections I have made on this journey are with people also striving forward to craft their dream into creations, all the while doing this with varying grasps of the Swedish language and navigating multiple bureaucracies. Being around like-minded people was always going to provide me with the motivation, inspiration, and support that I would need on my entrepreneurship journey. I always knew this. What I didn’t realise, was that I would meet so many smart, creative, brilliant people, who would in turn become my friends.
/ Alyxandra Savage