Julia Delin, SSE

Diversity and sustainability are high priorities at the SSE Business Lab


SSE Business Lab, the start-up incubator of the Stockholm School of Economics, promotes two of CIVICA's core values through its work.

SSE Business Lab is the start-up incubator of the Stockholm School of Economics, open to all current and former students as well as faculty of SSE who have founded a business. Diversity and sustainability are at the top of the agenda of the SSE Business Lab and, since over two years, both are a requirement for being a part of the incubator programme. Since these are also two of the core values of CIVICA, SSE contributes to strengthening these values through its Business Lab.

The start-ups in the incubator programmes are offered coaching, mentorship, workshops, and connections to networks of investors and partners. This spring, eight new start-ups have entered the prestigious incubator. The companies must first of all have a good business idea, but both gender identity and ethnic identity of the persons in the teams are also measured.

“We see that the teams with international talent look at expanding to markets abroad sooner than all-Swedish teams do. Many all-Swedish teams often have the strategy to start in Stockholm and then expand to Gothenburg, then perhaps to Malmö. Teams that have at least one international team member may on the other hand see Stockholm as a test market and then expand to the US or some other part of the world,” says Julia Delin, CEO at the SSE Business Lab.

The SSE Business Lab also offers education in diversity, why it is important, and how to build diversity in teams. Since it is a requirement for the incubator programme, teams that don’t have that diversity can still learn about the benefits and how they can include it in their vision.

Sustainability is another requirement at the SSE Business Lab. The team bets on these start-ups to become big players in the future and therefore they need to have a business idea with a positive impact on society.

“We have turned down start-ups that have a business idea that is not sustainable or is in an industry we don’t wish to promote in the future. We want people who venture into entrepreneurship to succeed, and we have allocated our resources to support companies with a sustainable business idea and with a diverse team,” says Julia.

The work of the SSE Business Lab is one way to build connections to various industries, which is one of the goals of CIVICA. One hope is that it will be easier for coming start-ups in the incubator to also make connections to companies in other countries in Europe through the CIVICA network further on.

Written by Astrid Lindholm (SSE)

Photo by Juliana Wiklund (SSE)