Yesterday marked the final day of 2011. In the past year, I have finished the tenure of my presidency for the entrepreneurship club, elected a new president, traveled to Italy for two weeks, finished a semester that I consider tied for first in terms of difficulty, made plenty of new friends, a cute girlfriend, and finished up my year in the beautiful country of Sweden.
Some cool things about Swedish New Year is that people love their fireworks! When I celebrated with Emelie and her friends, fireworks filled the sky in every direction. People lit their own fireworks, fired their own firecrackers, and put plenty of candles up into the sky in little red balloons. It was a beautiful sight to behold.
Another thing that I noticed over the past week is that even though I may be considered a "fat American", I'm certainly not a hungry American. It seems like everyone is able to eat a plate extra of food than I... And I think the food here is very tasty so I don't know why my appetite is not able to compete with everyone elses. And maybe its because I'm here in a holiday season. I don't know if we'd be having such huge helpings during regular meals. I guess a huge difference in these meals and meals in the USA is that these meals use a lot less processed foods, and more bread! I eat too much bread here.
Also I read a really interesting blog post about entrepreneurship today. I loved the introduction to the post:
The old saying goes the best tax shelter in Sweden is not in Sweden....
How to succeed as an entrepreneur in Sweden.
1. Do it somewhere else. It will probably be easier.
2. If you are a sadomasochist like me read on.......
but I went on to read it and it gave a ton of great advice for entrepreneurs in Sweden!
The article was found on a Swedish news site for english speakers The Local, and you can read it yourself here: http://www.thelocal.se/discuss/index.php?showtopic=27374
Some of my major learnings from this post is the following:
1. Entrepreneurs need to get in touch with the Skatteverkat (http://www.skatteverket.se) to learn about the tax laws.
2.Arbetsförmedlingen (http://www.arbetsformedlingen.se) is essentially an unemployment office that is a great resource for entrepreneurs for finding labor and growing their business. They give 3 great resources for supporting your business by helping to subsidize employee costs:
1. Praktik. This option will give you a employee over the age of 25 where the salary is completely paid by Arbetsförmedlingen for a period of up to 6 months.
2. Integgsjobb as described above.
3. Nystartjobb - If you hire someone unemployed for at least 12 months or a new immigrant you receive a bonus to your tax account of twice what you would actually pay in employment tax per person.
I thought that was a somewhat lengthy blog post. My sponsors should like that.
Have a great 2012 everyone!