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The role of academics as entrepreneurs

  • Publisert 11.06.2012
  • Sist oppdatert 13.06.2012
Growth is the foundation for development and welfare. For continued growth, we need entrepreneurs who start new companies that grow and create new jobs. The aim of this report is to identify the role of academics as entrepreneurs in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Education and a highly educated staff is a growth factor in companies and in this report we will highlight the characteristics of companies established by academics and which factors are crucial for these companies to grow. A special focus has been whether academics organise their companies in a particular way – a way that we may expect will become more common in our knowledge society.


Comparing the three Nordic countries has been challenging. In spite of the differences of size between the three Nordic countries the number of entrepreneurs is remarkably similar, with a slight overweight of entrepreneurs in Norway.


In the report we focus on entrepreneurs and growth entrepreneurs with a tertiary education. In Denmark we define tertiary education as a university master degree, based on five years of university study.


In Norway we define tertiary education as a master degree or equivalent, based on more than four years of university study.


In Sweden we define a tertiary education as three years of university study or more than three years. The university studies vary depending on the study subject.


In order to be able to compare the data from the three countries we use the definition four years or more in the chapter comparing data from the three national studies.


The statistic data in the report is based on figures on academic entrepreneurs starting their company in 2004 and following the development in the number of entrepreneurs until 2008.


Growth entrepreneurs are defined as entrepreneurs starting a company in 2004 and having experienced an average yearly growth of 20 pct in the number of employees from ultimo November until ultimo November 2008.


We hope that this study shall put the issue of growth and academic competence at the agenda in the Nordic countries.



Orginal title: Entreprenørskab og vækst blandt akademiker i Norden

This report contains an executive summary in English, a Nordic overview in Danish, as well as national reports written in Danish, Norwegian and Swedish.


ISBN 978-82-8277-021-7 (Digital)

ISBN 978-82-8277-020-0 (Print)

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