The Founder – an entrepreneur and philanthropist
Curt Bergfors, a renowned Swedish hospitality entrepreneur, was born on February 27th, 1949, into a mining family in Gällivare, Lapland. When he was just fifteen, Bergfors decided that he would not only become financially independent but also support people and causes in need.
Although he would launch several companies and become involved in many more, Bergfors is best known as the founder, majority owner, and working chairman of MAX’S Burgers AB, Sweden’s leading QSR chain. Internationally recognized as a responsible business pioneer, the company has been climate-neutral since 2008, offsetting its entire greenhouse gas footprint through re-forestation projects in Africa. In 2018, MAX’S became the world’s first major climate-positive company, overcompensating for its carbon footprint across the value chain to achieve 110 percent capture. In December 2019, MAX’S was granted the UN Climate Change Action Award for this work.
Bergfors is also involved in projects that promote accessibility and diversity in the workplace. Since 2006, MAX’S has cooperated with Swedish government-owned Samhall to increase employment among people with functional diversity. A wheelchair user himself since a 1986 diving accident, Bergfors has a deep understanding of the associated issues.
Since 2005 — and out of the public eye — Curt Bergfors has supported various projects that promote healthcare and fight poverty in vulnerable countries. In 2008 he donated 9% of the shares (preferred stock) in MAX’S parent company to a newly formed foundation, Stiftelsen Rättvis Fördelning (Fair Distribution). So far, the foundation has received over 200 million SEK, half of which was obtained in the last three years. The funds are deployed in projects that secure and develop critical healthcare facilities in poverty-stricken areas of Africa and Haiti, and that restore infrastructure and local economies after natural disasters.