Slovenia, the Land of Startups
Years of systemic development of the startup ecosystem have already established an environment in Slovenia that can offer competitive conditions and numerous benefits to startups. The idea of developing Slovenia as a dynamic hub for startups becomes alive with successful startups who are a source of connections, inspiration and experience. Many successful start-uppers are willing to share with others.
According to the opinions and experience of many successful start-uppers, Slovenia is becoming one of the most attractive places to live and work! We invite you to watch a video in which start-uppers reveal why they founded the company on their home soil and what support was available to them.
Great things happen only under the right conditions, at the right moment. Slovenia is like a playground where you can start new projects.
So ... Take the moment! Be the change! Realize your idea!
Why Start Your Business In Slovenia?
Are you thinking about starting your own business in Slovenia? We can offer you many reasons why to start "On the Sunny Side of the Alps". Not only Slovenia's strategic geographical position, but above all its strengthened economic position relating to the crisis a decade ago, as evidenced by export growth and unemployment decline, makes Slovenia attractive for business. At the same time, the nearly 5% annual GDP increase is a consequence of the development and growth of entrepreneurship and of the demand for a more specialized workforce.
To make your decision for an entrepreneurial path in Slovenia even easier, we have prepared a Signpost for startups for you.
www.slovenia.info, Photo: Jošt Gantar
Slovenia, the "Hottest" Destination
Not only has Slovenia an excellent geographical location, which is of strategic importance, but according to Virtuoso, the leading global association in the field of luxury and boutique travel industry, it is the hottest destination in 2019. This is also a tribute to Slovenian tourism's focus on sustainability and boutique tourism and unique, personalized 5-star experiences. Read more...
National Geographic Traveler ranked Slovenia as the most sustainable country in the world in 2017, the year of International Sustainable Tourism Development as proclaimed by the United Nations. Read more ...
Ljubljana was the Green Capital of Europe in 2016, and USA Today advises world travellers to be ready to fall in love with stunning Slovenia. Read more...
All this gives Slovenia increasing visibility abroad and that is why many foreigners recognize their next investment opportunities are there, either by opening their own businesses or by investing in existing companies. Last but not least, doing business in Slovenia also provides an excellent opportunity to expand the business to other European countries.
www.slovenia.info, Photo: Barbara Kožar
Safe and Favorable Environment for Talent Development
The well-developed field of education and training in Slovenia creates a favorable environment for talent development Both the University of Ljubljana and the University of Maribor rank high in the world rankings of the top universities.
In general, Slovenia is also considered as one of the safest destinations, and the Global Peace Report 2019 ranks it as the 8th safest country in the world (More in the Global Peace Index 2019).
Fewer Obstacles and Better Conditions
The Government of the Republic of Slovenia has confirmed its awareness that startup companies are of utmost importance for the development of the Slovenian economy and promotion of entrepreneurship. Its Action Plan Slovenia, The Land of Innovative Startup Enterprises, was adopted in March 2018.
The beginnings of the Action Plan dates back to 2017. The startup community prepared a comprehensive overview of obstacles that hindered the entrepreneurial path of startup companies. It presented the document Detected Barriers of the Startup Business Community in May 2017 at the PODIM Conference to representatives of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia. In November of the same year, the Government became acquainted with the document and appointed an interdepartmental working group to eliminate these obstacles.
The working group discussed in detail all 34 obstacles, decided to act on individual obstacles and outlined activities for their elimination. They found that some of the obstacles had been eliminated in the meantime and that the correct interpretation of the legal provisions was sufficient to eliminate some of them.
However, for other obstacles, they prepared an action plan to address them. The Action Plan thus includes 17 obstacles and proposals for activities for their elimination.
Progress is continuous and major shifts have already taken place in some areas. Areas where most efforts are being made:
- Establishing the startup register, which was defined by the adoption of the Promotion of Investment Act led by the Slovene Enterprise Fund. The startup register is set up and provides an overview of the startup ecosystems in one place. It also gives confirmation to companies that they are startups, which can be useful in applying for tenders, both Slovenian and European. This also strengthens Slovenia's role as the land of startups and informs decision makers to give them more attention.
- Enabling Slovenian enterprises to conduct business on Google Merchant. Amazon Europe will enable Slovenian companies to conduct business on Amazon and Google Merchant platforms following the activities carried out by the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology.
- Facilitating the employment of foreigners in startup companies will be made possible by amending the employment, self-employment and work of the Foreigners Act. It will also bring about simplification and an exception to the regular process of employment of foreigners in startup companies. At the same time, the eBDP project is under way that will enable the digitization of recruitment processes.
- Allowing the establishment/recapitalization of a company in Slovenia from abroad. This will eliminate the requirement that investors must be physically present in Slovenia to establish or recapitalize a company.
- Building an optional rewarding system, which is an established mechanism in the startup world.
Any Systemic Barriers in the Startup Ecosystem?
Detecting obstacles in the entrepreneurial path and joining forces to take action to address them also has a strong linking effect in the startup community. This validated the process of identifying barriers and further strengthening the ties in the ecosystem, known for a willingness to share experiences and advice as well as for mutual motivation between startups.
The process of improving the startup ecosystem is demanding professionally and often needs political consensus to find the best model. In the startup community, there is great optimism; therefore, we believe that we are going in the right direction and every vote in support of these measures counts along the way. Any new idea or perceived obstacle is also welcomed to understand it well and to initiate the process of finding the right solutions for it, including through the STOP Bureaucracy portal.
Therefore, we also turn to you and ask you to write to us and report any additional obstacle that has not been detected yet, support a proposal or simply share your experience with us.