In the danish business daily Børsen today Kasper Kronenberg writes about new research from Aarhus Business School where Kent Nielsen has published a report on danish entrepreneurs and how well they did from 1998 – 2004. Only 47% of the danish startups succeed the first six years. Kent Nielsen has analyzed the companies that did survive their childhood and segmentet them into groups according to their ability to grow. The most succesful group he calls “The Growth Creators” and it is represented by only 7% of the startups even though the criteria for being in this group are – in my opinion – quite humble: the group of Growth Creators are characterized by succeeding a turnover of 1 mio dkkr (about 160.000 us dollars) and having doubled their initial turnover during the first 6 years. The remains of the 47% that survived their first 6 years are not growing or haven’t crossed the yearly turnover of 1 mio.
Well, first of all I’m happy to say that STAGIS is part of such a select group of companies (I founded the business in 1997, one year before this research was started). But I’m asking myself, why is it so few that make it? What conditions is Denmark giving its entrepreneurs as they try to start a business? And what sort of help would get them past these first difficult steps and into a growth rate of higher proportions?