Scale-ups in the Nordic countries


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High growth enterprises are important contributors to employment and wealth creation in the Nordic countries. Especially,established medium-sized enterprises thatinnovate and scale-up are a driving force behind sustainable economic growth. Notonly by the scale-ups themselves, but alsooften by ensuring the coordination, upgrading and participation in (global) supplychains of smaller enterprises.1 Increasingly,governments focus on enabling conditionsfor the scaling up of enterprises as a leverto boost productivity growth and competitiveness as well as to create high quality jobs in knowledge based economies. This attention on growth enterprises such as scale-ups has created a need for further statistical evidence about the actual contri-bution in terms of numbers and economic performance of fast growing enterprises, such as scale-ups, see Box 1 for definition of scale-ups.Nordic Innovation has commissioned the Nordic statistical institutes to produce statistics on scale-ups supplementing the existing official business statistics which applies a slightly different definition thanused in official statistics, see Box 2. This publication is the third publication describing scale-ups in the Nordic countries.Comparison with Eurostat definition of scale-up enterprisesThe definition applied in this analysis is stricter than the official definition of high growth enterprises used by Eurostat and the European statistical offices as the annualgrowth rate is set to 20 per cent instead of 10 per cent and also adding an annual turn-over threshold of 2 million EUR in the start year of the growth period, see Methodologicalannex. Furthermore, the enterprises shall employ 10 or more full time equivalent numberof employees (hereafter employment (FTE)) in the start year of observation. This definition has been chosen in order to focus on the fastest growing established enterprises,the so-called scale-ups. But at the same time less strict compared to the official definitionas scale-ups not only by employment but also by turnover growth only is included in the definition. The reason for including scale-ups by turnover growth is, these enterprises have proven their business model by achieving considerable revenue over a period and therefore potentially to a larger extent contributing to sustainable economic growth.The growth measured can be caused by organic growth as applied by Eurostat by also by growth due to mergers and acquisitions.