More successful entrepreneurs

In order for start-ups to grow and succeed, access to capital and expertise is important. In 2021, we have continued to work to ensure good financial and expertise services, and worked to achieve the best possible ecosystem for entrepreneurs.

One of Innovation Norway’s sub-goals is to promote more successful entrepreneurs. To achieve our goal, we must ensure that start-ups succeed in commercialisation and growth. Access to enough capital is particularly challenging for good start-ups with high technology and market risk, and the risk is often too high for the private capital market alone.

Significant funding for entrepreneurs

In 2021, Innovation Norway allocated 647 market clarification grants, commercialisation grants and start-up loans. In total, this amounted to NOK 268.6 million in start-up financing.

In addition, entrepreneurial grants (0-3 years) make up a significant proportion of other financing services. In 2021, 28.7 percent of the allocations (in amount) went from the Environmental Technology Scheme to start-ups. In terms of the extraordinary innovation grant, the share was 35.8 percent, and the share for innovation contracts was 33 percent.

In total, Innovation Norway granted NOK 2 billion to entrepreneurs (0-3 years), divided into NOK 1.1 billion in grants, NOK 740 million in loans and NOK 190 million in guarantees.

Of all the entrepreneurial projects we supported in 2021, 33 percent were female-oriented. This means that they had a female founder, had more than 30 percent women on the board/management team and/or a female-oriented goal. This figure has remained pretty much unchanged since 2015. Measured in the amount allocated, the female-oriented share was 30 percent.

In December 2021, we started a review and evaluation of the financing schemes for start-ups that will provide the basis for future adjustments. The evaluation is organised by Menon and will be completed in June 2022.

Growing faster than others

According to the Customer Impact Survey conducted by Economics Norway on behalf of Innovation Norway, enterprises that have received financing from Innovation Norway grow faster than other start-ups.

On average, companies that have received funding have increased their annual growth in sales revenue by 16.4 percentage points compared to similar companies that did not receive support. The corresponding figures for growth in value creation and productivity are 16.9 and 11.7 percentage points, respectively.

A wide range of expertise services

The entrepreneur service from Innovation Norway includes more than just financing. Through dialogue and sparring with our customers, we offer advisory services, workshops, networking activities and links to relevant partners.

Through the mentoring service for entrepreneurs, 177 start-up companies have received 1-to-1 sparring with mentors.

We offer several global accelerator programmes to help Norwegian start-ups compete and grow in an international market.

Further development of the ecosystem

A strong ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship comprises public actors, investors, incubators, start-up helpers and serial entrepreneurs. The ecosystem plays an important role in stimulating entrepreneurship, but also in ensuring access to expertise, networks and capital for entrepreneurial companies.

Through the ‘ecosystem grants’ scheme, 23 communities received a total of NOK 10 million in grants from Innovation Norway to develop and strengthen their services to entrepreneurs.

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