The founder's presentation
I didn't start AktieTorget because I am particularly fond of shares and financial matters, but because I care a lot about entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is the engine of economic development and the foundation of human wellbeing and democracy. Entrepreneurs are essential to a good society. Besides, they are usually intelligent and interesting people.
To foster entrepreneurship in Sweden, I started Jobs & Society in the 1980s. Jobs & Society is a non-profit, business sponsored chain of shops where business starters get free advice. Today, there are more than a hundred such shops in Sweden, and the initiative has been copied in other countries.
One of the main problems facing growing companies, I learned, is the lack of capital. This problem is problably more acute in Sweden than in most other places since political decisions have forced so much of the countries' savings into large institutions and funds from where little or nothing trickles down to growing, entrepreneurial businesses. Sweden needed a new piece of financial infrastructure to improve the availability of risk capital. That is why I started AktieTorget.
Initially, AktieTorget was owned by a non-profit foundation in order to infrastructural character of the endeavor. But the Financial Supervisory Authority decided AktieTorget needed a share capital of several million crowns, and that spelled the end of charity. I and some board members put up the money.
The ambitions and goals are unaltered, however. The purpose is to provide entrepreneurs and growing businesses with risk capital and the other advantages of a public listing - at lower price and better service than anybody else can offer.
In addition, we are very keen on protecting the investors. The best investor protection is not the same thing as the harshest set of regulations for the listed companies. No investor is served well by a regulatory framework which keeps the companies following rules rather than running a business. The best kind of investors' protection is a well balanced set of rules for the listed companies. We think we have that. AktieTorget's rules are of course a little tougher than those that the laws require and those that our competitors apply, but they are no more stringent than good companies can follow and the investors reasonbly demand.