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Scale-ups in the Nordics – Statistical Portrait 2008-2016

The report is the first of its kind and gives the reader an insight into the Nordic scale-up landscape.
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'Scale-ups in the Nordics – Statistical Portrait 2008-2016' has been carried out by the Nordic national statistical institutes in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

In 2017, Nordic Innovation kickstarted the two-year pilot Nordic Scalers, a programme designed to support high-growth companies in accelerating their next stages of growth as well as giving an in-depth look at the Nordic scale-up landscape.

One of the goals of the pilot was to increase the knowledge base on Nordic scale-ups, including creating statistical data which has not existed so far. The five national statistical institutes in the Nordics, with Statistics Denmark as lead, have produced statistics on scale-ups in the individual Nordic countries and the Nordic region as a whole.

Nordic scale-ups constitute only 0.19% of all enterprises, but stands for 5.2% of all employment in the non-financial business economy.


Scale-ups in the Nordics – Statistical Portrait 2008-2016

The report shows that there is an increasing number of scale-ups in the Nordic countries: the number has increased to 3,000 scale-ups in 2016, and the scale-ups created nearly 200,000 jobs across the Nordic countries in the period 2013-2016. The scale-ups constitute only 0.19% of all enterprises, but stands for 5.2% of all employment in the non-financial business economy. It shows that there is a need to increase the number of Nordic scale-ups as they are significant contributors to employment and wealth creation.

“The project on measuring scale-ups in the Nordic countries is not only innovative because for the first time a common and harmonized definition of scale-ups is applied by all Nordic statistical institutes. But also, because the statistics in addition to information about the number of scale-ups in the Nordics include data on important growth creating factors such as the engagement in global value chains as an exporting enterprise or being part of multinational enterprise group. The results achieved are so interesting and promising that Nordic Innovation and the Nordic statistical institutes will promote the method in international fora a such as OECD and the European Commission to establish internationally harmonized statistics on scale-ups”, explains Peter Bøegh Nielsen, Chief Consultant at Statistics Denmark.

The report has gotten a lot of attention from the scale-up ecosystems around the world, and it shows that more in depth data and research is needed in this field. The report will be followed up by a qualitative study by the Iris Group later this year.

The results achieved are so interesting and promising that Nordic Innovation and the Nordic statistical institutes will promote the method in international fora a such as OECD and the European Commission to establish internationally harmonized statistics on scale-ups.


Peter Bøegh Nielsen, Chief Consultant, Statistics Denmark

The statistical report is an initiative under the Nordic Scalers’ program and the first of its’ kind globally.

Contacts

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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