Samhall, formerly ”Samhällsföretag”, was established as a state-owned group in 1980 and took over 370 workshops that provided sheltered employment along with other operations managed by county councils, municipalities and other authorities. The aim was to co-ordinate and streamline what was a very fragmented operation.

Between 1980–1992, operations were run as a foundation with 24 regional county foundations and one central foundation. In 1992, the company was restructured into a corporate group with wholly state-owned Samhall AB as the parent company along with other regional companies. After 1992, the number of regional companies gradually diminished through mergers and since 2002, all operations have been conducted within the framework of one single, common company.

Since the beginning, Samhall has largely had the same assignment, however operating conditions and the direction of the business have changed greatly through the years. In the 80s, Samhall was an industrial group solely with its own production facilities. The company was a contract manufacturer, as well as a significant producer of its own products including furniture, wooden shoes, work clothes and more. In the early 90s, when Samhall was a significant sub-contractor to the telecommunications sector, an effort was made to develop new operations in the services sector. This was in response to structural changes in the economy where more and more production was outsourced abroad. In the 2000s, an increasing share of Samhall’s operations was relocated to clients in the form of contract work and manned solutions. Currently 85% of Samhall’s employees work in the client’s workplace.

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