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The startup ecosystem is invited when the Confederation of Danish Industry is shaping the future of entrepreneurship i Denmark. A strategy that will translate challenges in the ecosystem into concrete policies that can make life easier for startups.

Sponsored: This article is published in collaboration with The Confederation of Danish Industry.

Around 200 entrepreneurs, investors, universities, ecosystem people and politicians were present when the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) organised the kick-off for Denmark’s new entrepreneurship strategy at the beginning of the year. A strategy that will be presented to the government during its work with a new policy in this field. This is why DI gathered the startup ecosystem to make sure that their voices are heard.

“A new entrepreneurship strategy is a top priority for us. There is a need to create better conditions for entrepreneurs in Denmark. Denmark is not creating enough scalable businesses, which is a problem: new technologies come from this segment. Other countries have a better understanding that the startup ecosystem creates the companies of the future, and there is global competition to attract the best minds. That’s why we need to raise the bar and increase our ambitions so that Denmark’s new strategy is as ambitious as possible,” says Sine Linderstrøm, Head of SME’s and Entrepreneurship at DI.

In 2021, DI developed an entrepreneurship policy with 25 concrete proposals, but at that time the government did not fulfil its promised entrepreneurship package. This time, entrepreneurship is written into the government’s constitution, and by inviting the ecosystem to the drawing board, DI will bring the ecosystem’s concrete wishes to the table.

“There are still challenges that have not been solved, including the areas of tax, investment and talent attraction. We are very aware and we listen to the ecosystem – both to confirm the problems we already know about, but also to bring in new input,” says Linderstrøm.

Sine Linderstrøm Head of SME's and Entrepreneurship at DI.
Sine Linderstrøm, Head of SME’s and Entrepreneurship at DI.

The main focus points of the Entrepreneurship Strategy for DI:

  • More entrepreneur-friendly tax rules: It should be easier to grant employee shares, which is currently far too complex, especially due to valuation requirements. The Danish special rules on stock taxation make investments in growth companies less attractive, e.g. in the case of IPOs of growth companies. Clarification of the tax credit scheme is needed.
  • Stronger investment and shareholding culture: Investing in entrepreneurs and growth companies should be more attractive. First and foremost, capital and share taxation should be simpler and the rate should be on a par with the Swedish rate (30 per cent).
  • More spin-outs from universities: More of the great research needs to be commercialised. This is where the new green technologies are developed. This requires making it easier to transfer rights from tech transfer offices. Successful initiatives such as Open Entrepreneurship should be continued, as it increases the likelihood of ideas being turned into a business.
  • More diverse entrepreneurship: We need more flexible maternity leave and a more equal distribution of investment capital, where women entrepreneurs currently receive a negligible share of the capital.

Entrepreneurs’ meeting place

DI currently organises almost 20,000 companies representing more than 10 sectors and 100 member associations. From small, new startups to the largest international enterprises. The business community is thus broadly represented in DI, but in recent years, efforts have been stepped up in favour of startups.

“As Denmark’s largest business organization, it is a top priority to create better conditions when starting and scaling a business in Denmark. That’s why we offer several services to help them on their way, and we have them right at the heart of our entrepreneurship policy. We do a lot to create a community around entrepreneurship because as a startup founder, you can feel very lonely,” says Linderstrøm.

As a startup member of DI, you get access to networks, annual meetings and services such as advice on personnel law, GDPR, internationalisation and sustainability. For more established entrepreneurs, there is a formal Scaleup Network that meets four times a year to exchange experiences. And with its broad membership base, DI also has the opportunity to forge new connections across the business community.

“We organise both Denmark’s largest companies and the startups, which gives us the framework for cross-matching – and that access is valuable for startups,” says Linderstrøm.

How DI helps startups:

Get a year’s free membership as an entrepreneur, giving you access to all DI’s services

  • Join DI’s Scaleup network with other founders on a growth journey
  • Make use of DI’s 11 international offices in the USA, China, Germany, India and elsewhere
  • Call our lawyers when you need help with your employment contract, GDPR, etc.
  • Join us for our numerous courses and events on entrepreneurship, sales, sustainability, digitalisation, internationalisation and much more
  • Reduce your costs for employees during maternity leave and pregnancy through Industriens Barselsfond
  • Meet other companies in your sector through DI’s 11 sectoral communities

Entrepreneurship on the agenda

With DI behind them, entrepreneurs not only get support on their growth journey, but also a greater opportunity to influence the politicians at Christiansborg who set the framework for startups.

“We speak with the backing of almost 20,000 companies, so what we say is being heard,” says Linderstrøm.

Size is crucial if the wishes of entrepreneurs are to be translated into political proposals. DI has the experience and competencies to take the entrepreneurial strategy into the Danish Parliament.

“As a society, we depend on the creation of new businesses; our largest members used to be startups. Political influence requires capacity and specialised knowledge, and we have the right platform to translate the ecosystem’s wishes into policy that can be taken to politicians and civil servants to create more ambitious framework conditions,” says Linderstrøm.

What entrepreneurs say about DI:

“DI is without a doubt an important voice for Danish entrepreneurs at Christiansborg. As part of the work in their Startup & Growth Advisory board, we have, among other things, looked at how we seize the opportunity to make Denmark a pioneer in innovation in the green transition, and how we make internationalisation a natural part of Danish startups’ growth plans” – Mia Grosen, Founder & CEO, Canute.

“With DI’s focus on growth companies, the startup ecosystem has gained the necessary muscles required to create the foundation for Denmark’s future growth” – Jarl Engelbrecht Vindnæs, Founder & CEO, Stykka.

At DI, we want to help entrepreneurs in the start-up phase with free help and counselling. Do you want to become part of Denmark’s largest business organisation?

Læs mere her:

The article is part of the magazine “The Guide – A comprehensive overview of the Danish startup ecosystem”, published by Heyfunding and

Read the full magazine here: