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32 MNOK to boost growth entrepreneurship in the Nordics

The Nordic High Growth Entrepreneurship Initiative aims to create joint Nordic growth enhancing activities and increase the deal flow of young innovative companies that are able to scale into Nordic and international markets.
  • Publisert 17.12.2013
10 joint Nordic projects have been selected for funding among 51 applications. The common objective is to accelerate growth among Nordic entrepreneurs by improving their competences and access to finance.

 

 

Young, innovative companies are crucial for the future competitiveness of the Nordic countries. But it can be difficult for these to grow in a small market. Together, the Nordic region constitutes a much larger critical mass. In fact, it is the 11th largest economy of the world.

 

- By working together on a Nordic level, we can provide entrepreneurs with a larger home market, greater visibility and better access to resources across borders. The objective is to create an environment where ambitious entrepreneurs can thrive and build globally competitive companies, say Hans Christian Bjørne and Natalia Glette, senior advisers at Nordic Innovation.

 

 

Large number of applications
Nordic Innovation launched a call for proposals within the Nordic High Growth Entrepreneurship Initiative in June 2013, based on Nordic studies and dialogues on the possibilities and challenges of Nordic entrepreneurs. The funding program attracted as many as 51 applications with a total budget of 353 MNOK. After a thorough review, 10 projects were selected for funding.

 

Read a detailed description of the 10 projects

 

 

Helen Gjester, special adviser at Innovation Norway, is a member of the Nordic Agency Growth Forum that has supported Nordic Innovation in the evaluation process.

 

- I am very pleased with the outcome and have high expectations for the projects, which I believe can contribute to strengthening Nordic entrepreneurs’ skills in relation to internationalization and growth, she says.

 

Thomas Ebdrup, project manager at FORA under the Danish Business Authority, and also a member of the Nordic Agency Growth Forum, agrees.

 

- The projects will help develop the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Nordic region, and will no doubt increase access to both capital and global markets for Nordic entrepreneurs.

 

 

Best done on a Nordic level
One of the projects that received funding through the Nordic High Growth Entrepreneurship Initiative is the Nordic Cleantech Accelerator. Project members are Cleantech Scandinavia (Sweden), Ladec (Finland) and Oreec (Norway), and the purpose is to prepare and support Nordic cleantech companies for expansion and internationalization.

 

- In the Nordic countries, there are plenty of innovative companies within the field of cleantech, but these are very often struggling to grow outside their own home market. Sometimes this is due to lack of funding, but often also lack of skills and knowledge, says Magnus Agerström, founder and managing director at Cleantech Scandinavia.

 

The Nordic Cleantech Accelerator wants to catch the companies that have started to sell, but not succeeded with internationalization. These will get the possibility to learn from experienced entrepreneurs and participate in conferences and seminars where they can meet potential future customers.

 

Agerström is convinced that this is best done on a Nordic, rather than national, level.

 

- The market in each country is far too distinct. This way, the message becomes more powerful and we can reach the next level when it comes to creativity and developing spirit.

In January, there will be a detailed presentation of all the projects in our newsletter and at our website: www.nordicinnovation.org

 

 

 

The Nordic High Growth Entrepreneurship Initiative aims to create joint Nordic growth enhancing activities and increase the deal flow of young innovative companies that are able to scale into Nordic and international markets. The Initiative is a result of the lighthouse project for growth entrepreneurship under the existing Nordic Cooperation Programme for Innovation and Business Policy. It is developed in close cooperation with national innovation authorities and public early investors in the Nordic countries: Tekes, Innovation Norway, Danish Business Authority, Innovation Center Iceland and Almi. Futhermore, the Initiative creates a bridge to the new Nordic Cooperation Programme for Innovation and Business Policy starting from 2014, in which growth entrepreneurship once again will be one of five lighthouse projects.