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PRESS RELEASE: The Nordic scaleup ecosystem decreased during the pandemic

The decline in number of scale-ups is most likely caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This new report, that has analyzed scaleups within the non-financial business economy in the five Nordic countries, also shows increased turnover and export during the period 2017-2020. 

High growth enterprises are important contributors to employment and wealth creation in the Nordic countries. The report investigates number of scaleups in the Nordic countries, their contribution to employment, productivity, economic performance, and as a new dimension nationality of ownership. Nearly 80% of scaleups are domestically owned in the Nordic region.  

“The report from the five Nordic Statistical Organizations underlines the importance of scaleups in the Nordics. They count only 0,4% of the number of enterprises but have created 66.900 (7,2%) new jobs from 2017 to 2020. This underscores how important they are for the Nordic economies and societies”, says Svein Berg, Managing Director at Nordic Innovation. 

In the last years, there has been a focus on how to help and nurture startups in the Nordics. This has made the Nordic region one of the best in the world when it comes to starting and developing new companies: Nordic Innovation’s vision is to make the Nordic region leading also in scaling up businesses. 

“The report is a third update on the Nordic scaleup landscape. By providing scaleup statistics, we want to raise awareness about the importance of Nordic high-growth companies and entrepreneurs that run them. The analysis also underlines the importance of statistical evidence for policymaking and how we can use it to support these companies more effectively”, says Anna-Maija Sunnanmark, Head of program at Nordic Innovation. 

Read more in the report

Definition of scaleup enterprises

Enterprises with 10 or more full time equivalent number of employees (hereafter employment FTE) and an annual turnover of 2 or more million EUR in the start year of observation. Enterprises with average annualized growth in the number of employees (FTE) and/or in turnover in current prices greater than 20% over a three-year period. Due to the user needs expressed by Nordic Innovation the analysis operates with three types of scaleup enterprises:

  • • Scale-ups by employment (FTE) growth only 
  • • Scale-ups by turnover and employment (FTE) growth  
  • • Scale-ups by turnover growth only

The publication: Scale-ups in the Nordics 2020 is supplementing and updating the previous publications on Nordic scale-ups, Scale-ups in the Nordics – statistical portrait 2008-2016 and Scale-ups in the Nordics 2017, produced by the national statistical institutes in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and commissioned, funded and published by Nordic Innovation. 

Read about Nordic Scalers Summit and Nordics Scalers Awards 2022