Picture of lighthouse on the Faroe Islands, picture by philipp waldhauer unsplash

Nordic Entrepreneurship

Program 2011 - 2013 Closed

Growth enterprises are essential for disseminating innovations as well as for economic growth and renewal. The overall framework conditions of entrepreneurship are good in the Nordic countries and the region is well-positioned to fully benefit from entrepreneurship. A world leader in terms of innovation capacity, the Nordic region generates relatively many new firms but seems to lag behind the leading countries and regions in turning the high start-up rate to a good number of high-growth enterprises.

The ability to create new and growing firms as well as stimulating and accelerating growth in established companies is becoming a crucial task for enterprise policy. Such ability depends on several factors within the entrepreneurship infrastructure and ecosystem. A different policy toolkit is required for promoting entrepreneurship in general and for promoting high-growth entrepreneurship.

Nordic Entrepreneurship Monitor (2010) was a first systematic analysis of the Nordic entrepreneurship environment and ecosystem, and presented a broad range of proposals for strengthening companies’ operating environment. According to the Monitor, major challenges in the Nordic region are related to entrepreneurial capabilities and entrepreneurship education as well as entrepreneurial culture and attitudes in society.

The challenges call for a stronger policy focus on company growth, improved data and knowledge for policy making, and strengthening the ecosystem and culture of growth entrepreneurship. In addition, entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial capabilities play an important role.


The goal of Nordic Entrepreneurship Project is to establish a Nordic "Knowledge Centre" for Entrepreneurship. Objectives include better coordination of growth entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education programmes in Nordic countries, establishing a regular Nordic policy forum, and strengthening joint Nordic data, analysis and international benchmarks on growth entrepreneurship.

Growth entrepreneurship

Each Nordic country has implemented measures and programmes for promoting growth entrepreneurship but there are areas in which Nordic collaboration could bring added value. In the Project it is aimed at identifying the most successful policies to boost growth in start-up companies and among established, more mature companies, and also possible bottlenecks or barriers to growth.

Entrepreneurship education

Policy and guidelines for entrepreneurship education are in place throughout the Nordic countries but their practical implementation varies. One aim of the Project is to identify good practices and tools for implementing entrepreneurship education guidelines and strategies.

Nordic data and knowledge on growth entrepreneurship

In order to develop and improve growth entrepreneurship policy, the policy makers in the Nordic countries need good and reliable data and indicators on the state of high-growth entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education. An important aim of the Project is to strengthen Nordic data, policy analysis and knowledge on growth entrepreneurship, including international benchmarks.

The contribution of Nordic Innovation will be based on the Project workplan and total costs.

Project Outline

The activities of Nordic Entrepreneurship Project include:

Generating necessary information and knowledge in order to monitor the development and trends in growth entrepreneurship across the Nordic region,
Benchmarking Nordic and international growth entrepreneurship policies,
Seeking for collaboration between Nordic growth entrepreneurship programmes,
Intensifying co-operation and establishing a Nordic network between organizations engaged in entrepreneurship education,
Identifying good practices in the area of Nordic entrepreneurship education.


The project is led by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy of Finland in collaboration with Ministry of Education and Culture. Nordic Innovation acts as the project secretariat.

The Steering Group consists of representatives of the Nordic countries and organizations of the Nordic Council of Ministers as follows: Ministry of Emploment and the Economy, and Ministry of Education and Culture (Finland), Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth (Sweden), Danish Business Authority (Denmark), Innovation Norway, and Ministry of Education and Research (Norway), Innovation Center Iceland, and Ministry of Education, Science and Culture (Iceland), Nordic Innovation, and Secretariat of the Nordic Council of Ministers.




The project kick-off took place in October 2011 at the Nordic Entrepreneurship Conference in Finland. The Conference highlighted the importance of growth entrepreneurship for the Nordic region and gathered at place policy makers, managers of accelerator and high-growth programmes, representatives of national innovation agencies, research organizations and educational institutes as well as entrepreneurs, to exchange their views and ideas for collaboration.