Innovation is high on the agenda in East Sweden
Lena Miranda from the recruitment and employment agency Skill gives her views on enterprise, entrepreneurship, and everyday logistics in the East Sweden region.
Tell us about yourself and your business.
My name is Lena Miranda and for ten years, I've been running the company Skill, which works with recruitment and surveys. The company was started by students at Linköping University in 1997, and was hived off from the university in 2008. During the autumn 2013, Skill got new owners when Industrikompetens i Östergötland bought the company. After 10 years as CEO, six of which were as a self-employed entrepreneur, I am now in a new role as marketing and business development manager in the joint venture company. It will be an exciting challenge to be able to operate in a bigger context with both IT and industrial companies, and continue to work with attracting the right skills to the region.
Our ambition is to be a dynamic and innovative company. Skill has niched itself as a provider of skills for the IT industry and Industrikompetens has niched itself for industry. What we have in common is that we are both doing our utmost to provide the region with skilled labour. We recruit a lot from Linköping University, but also look for highly-skilled labour from other parts of the country. Together with several very interesting employers from the region and Marknadsbolaget, we run Career East Sweden, a network in which through joint activities we strive to put Östergötland on the map as a region of interest to live and work in.
What makes East Sweden a region that is attractive to entrepreneurs?
Something that I myself really appreciate about our region is its go-ahead, enterprising spirit and how ambitious the people, entrepreneurs and politicians are. Innovation is high on the agenda, and I feel that we are really doing things – not just talking about doing things. I think that the region is investing in long-term growth: Mjärdevi, the airports and the Visualisation Centre are some examples. We are just in the starting blocks for the Eastern Rail Link, a major national infrastructure project that will lead to great opportunities for our region.
How do you yourself experience life as an entrepreneur in the region?
I am really happy about living and working in our region. I wake up in the morning to the sound of the Motala River gushing past my bedroom window in Norrköping. My son goes to a school that is less than five minutes' walk away. I have my head office in Linköping, but also work in Norrköping and Jönköping to some extent. Good roads and a good public transport system mean that most places feel easily accessible, and it is easy to move around between the cities and companies in Östergötland and the northern part of Småland. The region is big enough to be able to offer a good labour market and a good range of leisure activities, and small enough that you can quickly access networks and can create a good base from which to operate. Everything I need is within easy reach.