Some say it's the entrepreneurial blood that runs deep in Nordic society, but there’s a common understanding that the Nordic region is one of the best in the world when it comes to starting and developing new companies. Despite its above OECD average in the number of new companies started, the challenge is that they seldom grow to scale. On average, Nordic countries have five scaleups per 100,000 inhabitants, while in the US this figure is close to eight, and in Israel it is 12.
High-growth enterprises create employment, lead to greater efficiency and economic prosperity, solve societal challenges, contribute to sustainability goals and more. Our vision is to make the Nordics the leading region in the world not only for starting up, but also scaling up businesses.
This is why Nordic Innovation initiated Nordic Scalers, a program designed to help the best Nordic scale-up companies accelerate their growth by providing access to new competences, networks, markets, customers and capital.
Driving Impact with four x key scaling strategies
“Since the inception of the Nordic Scalers Pilot in 2017, we’ve been able to better understand the stages of scaling, the common challenges the scaleup companies face and, with support, how some of them have navigated all of these successfully. As such, we’re continuing to witness impact, in terms of economic growth and job creation, which our Alumni are creating,” says Anna-Maija Sunnanmark, Senior Advisor at Nordic Innovation.
Much of the support given to scale-ups during the Nordic Scalers Pilot related to the development of stronger scaling strategies, particularly in the areas of sales and marketing. We were able to pinpoint four key trends and drivers in our cohorts’ scaling strategies:
- Leveraging tech-enabled disruption
- Attracting top talent
- Internationalization and conquering new markets
- Fundraising and exit strategies to scale
“One of the vital ingredients of a healthy scale-up ecosystem is knowledge sharing and, for this reason, we’re highlighting some of the best practices of accelerated scaling from the Nordic Scalers Alumni,” added Sunnanmark.
As such, this pamphlet puts a spotlight on nine of the Nordic Scalers Alumni and their unique strategies to deal with the most common growth challenges and seize upon opportunities to scale. Together, these companies represent over €60m in annual turnover, employ over 670 people, and project continued revenue growth in the coming 18-months at an average rate of +85%.