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Grow and Go? Retaining Scale-ups in the Nordic Countries

Scale-ups, i.e. firms that grow fast over a short period of time, significantly contribute to job creation and economic growth. This study uses granular firm, establishment and employee data to understand how relocations, domestic expansions or foreign acquisitions impact the life cycle of scale-ups. Around 95% of scale-ups remain in their “home” region over the 2014-20 period, reflecting the importance of their personal local business networks in driving growth. Instead of relocating, many scale-ups create new plants or branches in different regions to serve new customers, tap into new markets, or to gain access to new resources and capabilities. Scale-ups that relocate or expand continue to grow. However, relocations and expansions can be a challenge for talent retention, as they may lead existing employees to find other opportunities in new places. Foreign capital appears to support the scale-ups’ growth process. Across the five Nordic countries, between 6% and 20% of scale-ups became foreign owned between 2014 and 2020.

Published on August 04, 2023

In series:OECD Regional Development Papersview more titles