The amount of growth companies fell after a period of steady growth. The reduction in the number of growth companies is a nationwide phenomenon. However, the decrease in the number of growth companies was far more moderate at the national level than in the Tampere Region. The number of growth companies dropped 11 per cent at the national level, while the Tampere Region suffered a decrease of 19.8 per cent. In addition to this, the Tampere Region's share of all growth companies in the country fell slightly (share 2010-2013: 9.6%; share 2011-2014: 8.7 %).
According to the definition of growth companies used in the Situational Picture, a growth company is any company with an annual growth rate of at least 10 per cent and at least three people in its employ at the beginning of the growth period. During the 2011-2014 growth period, there were 628 such growth companies in the Tampere Region. This is nearly 20 per cent less than in the previous growth period (2010-2013), when there were 783 growth companies in the Tampere Region. Indeed, the number of growth companies did take a downturn for the first time after the 2007-2010 growth period and is now even lower than it was in the 2008-2011 growth period, which occurred during the financial crisis (664).
There is slight variation in the focus areas of each business sector according to the selected growth criteria. The majority of the growth companies, in accordance with their official definition (OECD definition for a growth company: employment affecting at least 10 people at the beginning of the growth period and average growth 20% per year over three growth periods), operate in both the trade and industrial sectors. Information and communications as well as professional support services also stood out. When also examining smaller growth companies (employment affecting at least 3 people at the beginning of the growth period) construction, in particular, rises to the fore. These same sectors also stand out among the majority of moderately growing companies (with an average annual growth rate of 10%). Professional activities stand out among small companies with moderate growth.
Other indicators in the growth companies sector are somewhat more positive. More new companies were established in higher education institutions year-on-year. Furthermore, considerably more Tekes ' Young Innovative Companies (YIC) funding was granted to the Tampere Region than in 2014. However, less YIC funding in proportion to the number of company locations was allocated to the Tampere Region than in Uusimaa or Northern Ostrobothnia.
According to Vainu, an open data based service that can be utilised to identify growth companies by means of, for example, filters based on increases in turnover, there are 518 growth-intensive companies in the Tampere Region. In the previous fiscal period, 22.4 per cent of these companies saw an increase in turnover growth of at least 25 per cent. **
There has also been growth in the number of patent applications made in the Tampere Region (+4,4%) over the previous year. However, in 2015 only approximately 60 per cent of all applications were submitted by companies, while in 2014 nearly 67 per cent of the patent applications were submitted by companies. The number of patent applications submitted by private persons increased.
Based on information reported by capital investors, EUR 7.5 million in venture investments were made in the Tampere Region in 2015. This amount was divided among 15 companies. Compared to 2014, considerably more risk funding was allocated to the Tampere Region. The information on risk funding is avalailable from 2012 on. There have typically been major fluctuations in the amount of risk funding, while the number of target companies has remained roughly the same. ***
**Source: Vainu, status September 2016
*** Source: PEREP Analytics.