The Swedish Free Enterprise Foundation

Welcome! This is Stiftelsen Fritt Näringsliv - SFN (The Swedish Free Enterprise Foundation)

On March 1, 2003 the industry association The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise together with Näringslivets fond founded Stiftelsen Fritt Näringsliv - SFN (The Swedish Free Enterprise Foundation).

This new foundation was established in order to grant long-term stability to the opinion work done within the framework of Näringslivets Fond since the mid 1940’s, primarily by the free market think-tank Timbro since its inception in 1978.

Our aim is to further and continue the development of ideas and the open public debate based on the values of market economics, the right to own, and free enterprise until now made possible by Näringslivets fond for more than 50 years. The Foundation for Free Enterprise is not tied to any political party.

We wish to broaden and strengthen the support for our core values - individual liberty, economic freedom, and an open society.

Please contact us if you wish to know more about the foundation and our work.

Urban Bäckström
Chairman of the board


Näringslivets fond – the predecessor of Stiftelsen Fritt Näringsliv

More than half a century of support for free enterprise and the open society

Näringslivets fond was founded during the Second World War with the explicit purpose of providing the political debate with new and independent research, and a different way of posing questions on economics and enterprise.

In the mid-forties business leaders in Sweden felt that the radical social democratic leaders were merely waiting for the war to end and the period of coalition government to be over in order to start implementing radical socialistic policies. So in defence of free enterprise and market economics Näringslivets fond was instituted.

In the elections of 1948 it was clear that even though the social democrats could stay in power after the elections there was no clear majority in the Swedish populace interested in radical socialism. This was most clearly manifested by the success of the liberal party lead by Mr. Bertil Ohlin.

The need for the fund has varied over the years. During the period of cooperation between the social partners in the 1950s and 60s it seemed that the role of Näringslivets fond had diminished. However, in the 1970s with the rapid expansion of the welfare state it was clear that socialistic public policies were prevailing and receiving strong popular support. Through laws and regulations social democracy moved to prescribe the terms for Swedish enterprise including the setting of wages and the control of capital.

In 1976 after almost 50 years of social democratic government there was a prevailing feeling of resignation among businessleaders and entrepreneurs. Therefore Näringslivets fond was reactivated and Timbro was started in 1978.