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Keeping the entrepreneurial spirit alive

I’ve had the pleasure of being the CEO of Accedo for more than twelve years. Most of you also know that I’m the co-founder together with Fredrik Andersson. We met when we worked as management consultants at the height of the dotcom bubble and during the following years. When we realised that we shared the same vision of the industry and shared the same cultural values, we decided to start a company together.

This past week, Fredrik and I were recognised in the Swedish business community, receiving the award for “Best International Growth” in EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year. Before the event, I’ve always thought that running a successful company is rewarding enough for all the hard work over the years, but I was surprisingly pleased with receiving the award. The EY process has been very professional, reviewing more than 700 candidate companies, and while I knew that we have had a relentless focus on global growth from day one, it was a great milestone to get this recognition from EY and the jury, consisting mostly of well-known entrepreneurs in Sweden.

One of the questions we received during the qualification process was how we keep the entrepreneurial spirit alive in the company when we have been in business for more than twelve years and now have more than 500 team members in 19 offices. The answer is obviously in the Accedo people. Our company values are Aspiration, Courage and Trust, which Fredrik and I feel are capturing our personal view on what makes a good entrepreneur. Aspiration means that we’re never satisfied. We always want to learn new things, grow with our customers into new markets and technologies and aspire to lead the industry change instead of following. Courage is our willingness to make calculated bets and be on the offensive instead of just relying on existing ways of working. And finally, Trust is the key essence of being a successful business. Any successful business, especially a B2B business needs to be trusted by its customers. This trust should not only be external but also internal, between team members in various offices and functions. These three values are the essence of “the entrepreneurial spirit”, and they are still core to how I see us developing the company going forward. By recruiting people who share the same values, we are confident that we will succeed over the coming twelve years as well.

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