The short answer: we are super rich and running out of oil. We are for all intents and purposes identical to our Nordic neighbours in social composition, technical skill level and education. The difference being that we have way more money to spend. And we are increasingly starting to spend it on innovation. We also have the urgency and dedication, as the nation increasingly comes to terms with the fact that oil won’t carry us into the future.
We have done it before, when we first found oil, and now we are doing it again. Turning our nation around to fit the marked need. An investor that fails to include the Norwegian startup scene in the portfolio composition stands to loose out of a lot of money. And miss out on the next part of the Nordic tidal wave.
In 2014, Nordic startups raised $846M. Already in May 2015 we have matched that number already, having raised $844.5M so far this calendar year. This means that at the current rate, Nordic startups would be on course to raise $2Bn in Venture Capital in 2015, which would be an incredible growth rate of 136% compared to 2014.
Here are some of the recent Oslo based startups with a fast-growing global footprint to watch out for: Xeneta. Kahoot. Unacast. Dirtybit. Zwipe. SuperPlusGames. Feat.fm. Recho. Forgerock. Elliptic Labs.
Political stability and good governance are key descriptors of the Norwegian business environment. Norway is a prosperous and stable society with a strong democratic tradition and a political, economic and social climate conducive to industry and business development. The economy is strong, open and globally integrated with a high level of trade and foreign investments, and a favourable international competitiveness.
Norway is part of the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement between the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the European Union (EU), giving Norwegian and foreign-owned companies located in Norway full access to the internal market of the EU and the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital across European state borders.
The corporate tax rate is 27 per cent, VAT 25 per cent and income tax and social security contribution for the average worker 29.7 per cent (OECD 2010).
Norway had the second highest GDP per capita in Europe in 2009, i.e. € 57 100 compared to the EU27 average of € 23 600 (Eurostat).
In Doing Business 2015, an annual report from the World Bank, Norway is ranked 6 out of 189 economies with regard to ease of doing business.
IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook ranks Norway 7 on the 2015 World Competitiveness Scoreboard, up three places from 10 in 2014.
Oslo was in 2013 ranked the third best performing city in the world on economic and cultural development in a research project called Ranking Global Cities, conducted by the internationally acclaimed Martin Prosperity Institute, a part of the University of Toronto´s Rothman School of Management.
The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report ranks Norway 11 in the 201-2015 edition of the Growth Competitiveness Index. The rankings are drawn from a combination of publicly available structural data and the results of an Executive Opinion Survey polling 11 000 business leaders.