Lifestyle

The Danish election – Seen by an entrepreneur

A few weeks ago, we had en election for the Danish parlament.

179 danes from 9 different parties have been chosen.

Following an election is always exciting – and this year was no exception.

I followed the election as an entrepreneur.

I strongly believe that the major part of job-creation happens in small and middle-sized businesses (what we in Denmark call the SMV-segment for ”Små og Mellemstore Virksomheder”). You can see the definition on small en middle sized businesses here on Wikipedia.

We need more of those.

But the worlds highest taxes and a particular tax on investments (created by our former liberal gouvernment?!) doesn’t exactly help this.

Let me walk you through 3 of the different Danish parties – two who wants to do everything they can for entrepreneurs and one, who really just wants us to become employed by the state instead.

Liberal Alliance

A few years back the party ”Ny Alliance” was created. After a turbulent year it made it to 0.0 % of the votes – just to be reborn as a liberal party and at the recent election almost 8 % of alle danes voted here.

Liberal Alliance is the most entrepreneur-friendly party we have.

Cutting taxes and eliminating unneccessary laws is two of the main issues for the party.

Votes for this party comes especially from the area north of Copenhagen, known for habiting the more wealthy part of Denmark.

A friend of mine recently sold his company and is now being taxed both 25 % in his company (company tax) – and if he later wants to pull out money to himself, he’ll be taxed a minimum of 50 % here. Should he choose to invest the money, he’ll still be taxed at least 25 %.

I can’t be the only person who thinks this is crazy.

Alternativet

Two years ago, Alternativet was created. It almost immediately became the laughing stock of the political elite. The reason for this is that Alternativet (The Alternative) does not have well documented financed plans for what they want to do – but they do know a course.

They want the danes to work 30 hours instead of 37 hours per week; a society based on ecology; more small danish businesses (important!); only renewable energy; more rights for animals and so on.

A whopping 5 % of danes voted for this party – a shock for the political elite I mentioned before. My own little sister included.

While it may seem like a very socialist party, one of the main issues for this party is improving what the society offers for small entrepreneurs. The founder is a former entrepreneur himself.

Alternativet have shown in the recent election that danes do not care about a billion here or there in the final math piece – they want a course they can relate to instead.

Enhedslisten

Now I’ve mentioned two parties who want entrepreneurs the best. Let’s look at one who really doesn’t.

Enhedslisten is the closest we come to a communist party in Denmark. Besides getting rid of the police and military, they want to nationalise all danish companies and give the ownership party to the state; partly to the common employees.

It’s never worked before and of course it won’t in Denmark either.

Funny thing is that almost 20 % (!) of people in Copenhagen actually vote for this party, set aside what I just said.

That goes beyond me. I actually put together a little protest site on this party a few years back – if you want to, you can check it out here.

If you’re interested in the election, you can see the complete result here. Note that the second biggest party is Dansk Folkeparti (Danish Folk Party). A few years ago this was unthinkable. The party is known especially for wanting better conditions for elderly and a strick politic towards foreigners. When the result came in, people especially in Copenhagen threatened to move to Sweden because they were emberassed, while the rest of the country rolled their eyes and noted that Danish Folk Party actually listened to more than just the capital. If you can read danish, this is one of the more interesting things to read about in the paper!

If you’ve followed the election, please, do write a comment on here. You may disagree with me on how I feel on the parties and you may have viewen the election as something else than an entrepreneur.

I look forward to read your opinion!

Danes’ Favourite Travel Destinations

Winters in Denmark are long, cold, and grey, while the Danish summer weather is notoriously fickle, so it is no surprise that Danes frequently choose to spend their vacations abroad, nor that many of their favourite destinations lie south of the Danish border, such as Majorca, Tenerife, mainland Spain, Crete, and Malta.

With its white sand beaches, the Spanish island of Majorca has been cherished by sun-starved Danes for decades, from families making the most of the child-friendly hotels, to young people visiting for the bustling nightlife, and tourists exploring the island’s rich history and culture. Many consider Majorca the Danes’ favourite holiday spot, and their love of the island is reflected in the number of charter airlines offering vacation package deals or last minute deals, and the many Danes opting to buy holiday homes on the island.

Another popular Spanish island is Tenerife which, with its location west of Morocco, almost guarantees a warm and sun-filled break from the daily humdrum in Denmark. Many retired Danes also love the island for its golf courses, and book special golf holidays, often with friends and family.

Spain is naturally much more than just Majorca and Tenerife. Direct flights from Copenhagen to Madrid take just a little over three hours and come at favourable prices. Denmark is also a nation of campers where quite a few opt to hitch a caravan to their car and take their time driving down through Europe during the summer holidays. Popular destinations are Barcelona, and Alhambra in Grenada.

Danes are an active people, bicycling to and from work, and doing sports in their free time, several also enjoy mountain bike races, triathlons, and long distance running. In addition, Danes have a long-standing tradition of walking the Danish trade road, “Hærvejen”, so it is maybe not surprising that Camino de Santiago, and in particular, Camino Frances, holds its own attraction for the mainly Protestant, and often irreligious Danes, who view the walk both as a physical challenge and a spiritual experience.

Another favourite holiday destination is the Greek island of Crete, and Danes have long ago learned to say, “efharisto”. With its bars and party scene, mountains, history, and more quiet beaches, Crete is by far the most popular of the Greek islands when Danes book their vacations. Crete has something for everyone, and for the active, nature-loving Danes, the Samariá Gorge is usually a must-see.

Last but not least, there is Malta. Few countries in Europe can brag about a history as interesting as Malta’s, and Denmark and Malta go way back; from the Norman invasion, to the famous story teller, H. C. Andersen, visiting the island in 1841 and falling in love with it. Today little has changed. Danes still adore Malta; its sunny weather, its beaches, the ancient Megalithic Temples and everything in between. The Mellieha Holiday Centre designed by the Danish architect, Hans Munk Hansen, is a perfect example of this, known to the locals as “The Danish Village” and with the majority of guests being Danish.

The elderly in Denmark rock the Internet

Sometimes in Denmark I meet a prejudice about the older generations, that they don’t know how to use the Internet, and that they don’t take advantage of all its possibilities. This perception is far away from my own.

In my family the older generations really know how to use the Internet in every way possible. They find delicious recipes, comment on different blogs, use social media, and shop all different kinds of stuff. That is no problem for them.

I grew up in a period where electronics was very normal, and therefore I naturally don’t have any issues when having to use the Internet. But I am really impressed of the older generations in Denmark. They understand how to use not only laptops, but also tablets and smartphones. Despite the fact that they grew up in a period where none of these devices were available, and where the Internet wasn’t even invented.

In my social circles I have a few people who use the Internet professionally in different ways, and they also confirm, that older Danish people are very good Internet users.

As an example, my friend Dennis has specialized in selling yarn and hobby stuff, where the primary audience is the older generations.

“At first people didn’t really get why I wanted to sell products to older people, because they had the perception that “the elderly aren’t even able to use the Internet”, but I managed to disprove that. It turns out that people in this group of age is just as active online shoppers as the rest of the nation”, says Dennis, and continues:

“From my point of view, the elderly in Denmark are very fashionable in terms of using all the possibilities on the Internet. I don’t know anything about the situation in other countries, but I have a feeling that the older generations in Denmark really rock the Internet.”

Dennis isn’t the only one seeing it like that. My other friend Michael who also runs his own website is of the same opinion.

“I sense that the elderly in Denmark have really thrown their love for the Internet. First of all I think this success is due to a positive attitude – they actually want to be online. And today most websites are very user friendly, which makes it easier to navigate around. Lastly, I feel that Apple can take much credit for this success, because they have made a bunch of different devices, which are extremely easy to use.”

I am truly exited to see how the next couple of years will develop the older generations and their use of the Internet. Can they get even better?

New York’s Black Book Magazin Premiere new song with Blue Foundation


Black Book Magazin premiere Blue Foundation perform a new song, “Punk Rock,” live in front of 45,000 people!

3 Excellent Places to Go in Copenhagen During Spring

Now, I usually write on the topic of entrepreneurship.

But as I’m writing this, the sun is shining and I’d actually rather help you figure out places to go to enjoy this great weather – at least, if you live in Copenhagen.

I’ve been living and working in Copenhagen for one and a half years now. I’ve gotten to know a lot of people and have tried exploring the city quite a few times.

If you don’t know what you should during the upcoming weekend, let me give you a few suggestions:

frederiksberg haveFrederiksberg Have

I live in Frederiksberg right across from the main entrances to the Frederiksberg Have (Gardens of Frederiksberg). Being a few miles wide, the Frederiksberg Have is an incredible place to spend your time during the warm weather.

There are no cars, not many people running around, and lots of spots where you can sit and eat, feed the birds, and get a great view of the elephants in the zoo.

Personally, I recommend taking a run around the Søndermarken as well. You can easily cross the road and circle around the zoo. One lap around the Søndermarken is roughly 5 kilometers. However, it’s up to you to see how fast you can run it.

You can’t bicycle in the park – but you can bicycle around it, of course. I’m rocking a Trek mountainbike from Bikester.

Outdoor Concerts (and Distortion)

From April to November, Copenhagen offers plenty of outdoor concerts. You can get an overview of your options using AOK.dk (Alt om København or All about Copenhagen).

Also, if you’re here in June, don’t miss out on Distortion. What started out as an outdoor party in only select areas of the city has now spread around the entirety of Copenhagen. There are parties going on every night for an entire week, always in new places. Seriously, you don’t want to miss out!

Copenhagen Boulders

When was the last time you went rock climbing?

Climbing is both fun and challenging, and for around 120 DKK, you can rent your own climbing shoes and try it out at Copenhagen Boulders, located in Sydhavn near Unisport. You can buy any sports equipment or clothing you need in case you’re lacking something when you arrive.

Spend an hour or two at Copenhagen Boulders with a few friends and you’ll be able to experience something you don’t get to do everyday. I’m a member of a Facebook group (also inhabiting Mads Phikamphon, who writes here on Blogs.denmark.dk) that organizes outing to Copenhagen Boulders every now and again.

What am I missing? Seeing as I haven’t yet lived here for two years, probably a lot. So please, make some suggestions in the comments below!

PS: If you can’t come to the spring, remember the option to take the spring home to you instead. Friends of mine recently opened a shop and I promised to share the message.