Innovation and SME Growth in East Sweden

2013-11-06 13.22.16 (Large)Yesterday Lars-Göran Larsson, Thomas Flinck, Mats Jakobsson and I attended a conference in Linköping in the East region of Sweden, on the theme of innovation and growth. During the morning session there was presentations from some of the regions large companies, such as SAAB and Sectra, on how they work with innovation. There was also some interesting presentations on best practise in innovation environments, from Mjärdevi Science Park among others.

The afternoon was dedicated to presenting results from the “Future companies” project, which is the region’s investment in fast-growing businesses, run by ALMI in collaboration with Linköping University. The project has been running for three years and will continue for at least one additional year. Today it was time to make some conclusions.

The initiative is aimed at companies in size from 20 to 100 employees who have clear growth ambitions. 100 companies have participated, 48 of them in targeted growth supporting activities.

The idea has been to work with the management of participating companies to facilitate and speed up their development and make them more competitive and profitable, and to do this in collaboration between the University experts, business coaches at ALMI and expert consultants such as Bearing. Participating companies have been offered individual business development services, opportunities for networking with other fast growing companies and an opportunity to train their staff by participating in growth-oriented seminars.

Growth bookThe ambitious goal was for the companies in the project to double their turnover during the period 2009-2013. This has not been achieved, but on average the 48 companies have grown by 40%, which is very impressive in todays Swedish business climate. A book has been published about the companies and results which is available to download from this link.

We in Bearing have participated in the project as seminar leaders and as expert consultants, coaching individual companies. It is not often we get to work with smaller regionally based companies like this, and it has been a pleasurable experience where we have felt we have really added value, and we have got to know some very impressive entrepreneurs!

Below is a promotional video about the project, which was shown for the first time at the conference.

Framtidsföretag–Vilja att växa

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