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"Getting companies to grow is a problem that the Nordic countries can solve together"

  • Published 03/07/2013
The Danish Business Authority and Accelerace are positive to Nordic Innovation’s Nordic High Growth Entrepreneurship Initiative.


Two recent studies* on Nordic entrepreneurship performance show that there are many startup companies in the Nordic countries, but that just a few of them manage to grow big. Despite generally good framework conditions, two areas are pointed out as sub-optimal for high growth; access to finance and entrepreneurial capabilities.


To contribute to strengthening the capabilities of Nordic entrepreneurs and improving their access to resources and markets outside their home country, Nordic Innovation has recently launched a funding programme, and a matchmaking event where Nordic players can network and build potential partnerships across borders.


- The aim of the Nordic High Growth Entrepreneurship Initiative is to stimulate growth entrepreneurship in the Nordic region. We believe that this has a greater chance of success if we join forces and work together, says Hans Christian Bjørne, senior innovation adviser at Nordic Innovation.



Putting growth on the agenda

Thomas Ebdrup, project manager at FORA, a research, analysis and policy development division of the Danish Business Authority, applauds the initiative, and says that for the Nordic region to maintain its position in the future, it is crucial that the issue of growth entrepreneurship is being put on the agenda.


- The Nordic countries are basically struggling with the same problems. We can and should develop networks and partnerships across Nordic borders to share knowledge and best practice, he says.


One of these common problems is the weak entrepreneurial ecosystems.


- What we need are big, established companies that actively work to stimulate innovation and growth, as well as serial entrepreneurs that share their knowledge and experience.


He says that it is important that we keep comparing ourselves with the best regions in the world.


- These regions don't have anything that we don't have. I am convinced that we can do it too!



"Not one day too early"

Lone Gammelgaard Schwarz, Peter Torstensen and Morten Mølgaard Jensen from Danish Accelerace, the leading accelerator in Scandinavia, say that the Nordic High Growth Entrepreneurship Initiative was not launched one day too early.


- Together we create a larger market and we can more easily reach a critical mass.


As one of the results of the Initiative, they would like to see a Nordic accelerator, and they emphasize a joint branding of the region as a clear advantage.


- By focusing on the best companies in five countries, instead of one country, the Nordic region will become more attractive to foreign investors and talents – knowing that they automatically get access to a bigger market.




About the Danish Business Authority

The Danish Business Authority works to create growth through effective regulation, strong digital solutions, access to business data, modern communication technologies, and international cooperation. It is a part of the Danish Ministry of Business and Growth.



About Accelerace

Accelerace helps startups achieve success through training, funding and business development, and has until now worked with more than 163 companies within life sciences, industry and IT. Accelerace is supported by some of the leading investors in Scandinavia and manages currently €35 million.



*Nordic Entrepreneurship Monitor (2010)
*Nordic Growth Entrepreneurship Review (2012)