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Scale-ups in the Nordics 2017

The report is supplementing and updating the first statistics on Nordic scale-ups, Scale-ups in the Nordics – statistical portrait 2008-2016.
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High growth enterprises are important contributors to employment and wealth creation in the Nordic countries. Increasingly, governments focus on enabling conditions for the scaling up of enterprises as a lever to boost productivity growth and competitiveness. This attention has created a need for statistical evidence about the numbers and performance of fast growing enterprises, such as scale-ups.

Turnover scaleups generate an average 145 000€ per employee

Scale-ups in the Nordics 2017

According to the analysis, there are 6350 scale-ups in the Nordic region in 2017. More than half of them are turnover scale-ups. Scale-ups constituted 0.4% of all enterprises in the Nordic region, but they employed 549.500, a growth rate of 85% from 2014 to 2017.

The follow-up report focuses on export-oriented industries, and it shows that turnover scale-ups are most productive. Turnover scale-ups generate an average 145 000€ per employee in gross added value which is 50% more when compared to employment scale-ups. Scale-ups are also international in nature. Scale-ups within manufacturing and wholesale exported for 17.4 billion EUR of goods in 2017, up from 9.7 billion EUR in 2014.

Scale-ups in the Nordics 2017 introduces a new and enlarged definition of scale-ups, as enterprises showing high turnover growth are included in the definition of scale-ups supplementing the population of enterprises with high employment growth. The traditional definition focuses on employment growth only.

The publication is based on harmonised national databases holding statistical information at enterprise level from statistical registers covering variables from structural business statistics, business register, international trade in goods and business demography.

Statistics Denmark coordinated the project and the project group consisted of the following persons:

  • Statistics Denmark: Peter Bøegh Nielsen (chairman),
    Kalle Emil Holst Hansen and Kamilla Elkjær
  • Statistics Finland: Henri Luomaranta and Sini Liukkonen
  • Statistics Iceland: Alina Kerul and Gísli Már Gíslason
  • Statistics Norway: Øyvind Hagen and Jan Olav Rørhus
  • Statistics Sweden: Andreas Poldahl.

The first statistical report is available here.


Portrait Anna-Maija Sunnanmark

Anna-Maija Sunnanmark

Senior Innovation Adviser
Anna-Maija is a finance and business development professional with 20 years’ of experience in identifying innovations and scalable business models in various industries in international context with execution capability, a can-do-attitude, holistic perspective and passion to build on Nordic strongholds.

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Portrait Nina Egeli

Nina Egeli

Senior Innovation Adviser
Internationalization, innovation and business development support, in combination with a strong background in strategy and policy development are main pillars in Nina’s professional life. Through project design and management, she aims to fit market needs with relevant services and opportunities that allows new business partnerships and business projects to prosper.

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