Although the Nordics already punch above their weight, there are plenty of reasons to continue to collaborate to improve the ecosystem for scale-ups across the Nordic region.
The Nordic countries are alike in their business culture. This allows companies with scale-up ambitions to expand their business to neighboring Nordic countries early on, in the first wave of internationalization, and to access resources that are important for successful up scaling.
Rather than encouraging Nordic politicians and other policy makers to rest on their laurels, the impressive statistics should give the business sector confidence that it is possible for the Nordic region to challenge world-leading scale-up hubs like London and Paris in Europe, Tel Aviv in Israel, Silicon Valley and Boston in the US, and Singapore in South-East Asia.
A first step towards realizing this bold ambition is to build a stronger knowledge base on the key challenges facing up-scaling and identify strengths and weaknesses of the ecosystems for scale-ups in the Nordic countries.
It is often assumed that the Nordics house an integrated ecosystem for innovation and growth. But in practice, there are significant differences between the Nordic countries, and relatively few structures and mechanisms are in place to support integration of the Nordic innovation ecosystem.
Thus, an important step is to identify areas within the Nordic ecosystem for scale-ups where closer collaboration among the Nordic countries is needed if the region is to be on a par with world-leading scale-up hubs.
This study aims to build a common understanding of the key barriers to scaling. It is hoped that it will help to shape policies aiming to create stronger ecosystems for scale-ups in the Nordics.