Finnmark – where dreams become reality

Started her own business

Lone Synnøve Hegg wished to create an attractive workplace in her home county, and to become her own boss. Now she has made those wishes come true: Kreativ Industri, founded one evening on her couch, fuses science and knowledge with creativity and innovation.

Three years on, the company has five employees in Vadsø and Alta, and attracts a local, regional as well as national clientele.

- I started out in 2009. My previous experience, and the connections I brought from earlier jobs for Finnmark county, Vadsø municipality, and Finnut Consult, were very useful. I had contracts from day one! I find it extra stimulating to compete and win against Scandinavian firms with more than a hundred employees. But before getting to this point we certainly experienced low points and red numbers, like any private enterprise. For a small and vulnerable new business the payroll tax exemption we get in Finnmark was very helpful. In that first period, we also benefited greatly from the support of Innovation Norway Finnmark, Hegg adds.

Lone and her husband Andreas, a lawyer, had student loans to pay back when they graduated from Tromsø University, and saw the advantage of moving to Finnmark, where residents get an annual student loan reduction. And just over a year ago, the couple and their two children moved to Alta and set up offices here.

- It feels wonderful that my company has become an attractive source of employment for people who wish to live here. We announced two job positions in spring 2012, and received almost 50 applications, many of them from highly competent people. Many were from Finnmark, and wished to move back. This is a great place, the innovative businesswoman says, and not just because of our natural environment. These days, it also has many interesting job opportunities and exciting business developments.