After Silicon Valley, Stockholm produces the second highest number of so-called “unicorns” (tech companies that have reached a valuation above $ 1 billion) per capita. Through the expert visit, SI wants to increase the participants’ knowledge and enable new collaborations.

The participants come from Serbia, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, India, Colombia, the United States, Nigeria, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and the United States. They will visit the Norrsken, Moving Floor, Hack for Sweden, Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship and meet researchers from Chalmers University of Technology.

One of the participants is Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata from Nigeria. He is the founder of GoDoHUb – with the vision of establishing a digital innovation ecosystem in Nigeria. The goal is to discover and support young talents in solving concrete problems in society.

– Nigeria has a population of almost 200 million people and of these 70 % are under thirty years old. It is a resource that the world cannot afford to waste. My opinion is that Africa is not in need of aid, but of help in developing business and innovation. In SI’s programme I get to meet others who are facing similar situations, and we learn from each other.

Parts of the experts participating come from the SI Innovation Leaders (SIIL) leadership programme. The aim of SIIL is to contribute to the innovation ecosystem in the western Balkan region. The goal is to create a platform for knowledge exchange and problem solving between experts within private and public sector and academia, with the help of Swedish expertise and experience.

Aleksandra Nakeva Ruzin is North Macedonia’s former ambassador to Sweden and is now one of three local advisors to SIIL. She sees many potential bridges between Sweden and North Macedonia, especially in the policy area, and believes that the Swedish expertise in this area can greatly benefit the development in the region.

– The Swedish Institute’s leadership programme brings together top forces from different sectors, all of which try to pass on their best practices and experience. The focus is not only on challenges but also on opportunities. It creates a mix that makes me very hopeful about the possibilities to reach our goal: the triple-helix model that may help strengthen our innovation power locally.