Growth companies 2017: Upturn in the growth company sector

The number of growth companies in the Tampere Region began to rise after the significant fall that took place in the previous growth period (+10.8%). The level of growth was not the greatest in the country, but in the Helsinki-Uusimaa Region, for example, the increase in the number of growth companies was slightly behind the Tampere Region. The number of growth companies increased by 10.3% in Finland. The Tampere Region’s share of all the country’s growth companies was slightly under 9% (2011–2014: 8.7%; 2012–2015: 8.8%).

Change in the number of growth companies compared to previous growth period. Source: Statistics Finland

According to the definition of growth company used in the Situational Picture, a growth company is any company with an annual growth rate of at least 10% and at least three people in its employ in the beginning of the growth period. The number of companies meeting the criteria of the definition in the Tampere Region was 696 in the growth period of 2012–2015 (2011–2014: 628; 2010–2013: 783). The number of growth companies according to the definition favoured by the OECD and Eurostat was 64 in the Tampere Region (the company employs at least 10 people in the beginning of the growth period and its annual growth rate is on average 20% over a period of three years).

The majority of the growth company operations focused on the fields of business services, industry, construction and information and communications. Read more about the growth period of 2012–2015.

According to the statistics of the Finnish Patent and Registration Office, the number of patent applications filed in the Tampere Region decreased by 10% in comparison to the previous year. In the Helsinki-Uusimaa Region, the number of patent applications declined by 11%. On a national level, the drop was just 2%. Statistically, applying for patents seems to be in decline. In 2012, the number of domestic patent applications nationally totalled slightly more than 1,700 while in 2016 their number was approximately 1,250.

Information on the risk funding of companies is obtainable from data reported by capital investors to an international database. According to the database, venture transactions in 11 target companies totalled EUR 8.4 million in the Tampere Region in 2016. The number of target companies decreased slightly from the previous year while the total amount of investments increased.

Furthermore, Tekes allocated more Young Innovative Companies (YIC) funding to the Tampere Region than in the previous year. The funding totalled EUR 3.4 million. This constitutes approximately 15% of nationwide YIC funding. On a national level, the funding decreased by 9% when compared to 2015. Both YIC funding and risk funding are characterised by major annual variations in the channelled euro amounts of funding.

The number of companies established at higher education institutes stayed at the level of the previous year. However, the number of observed units is small, so even minor changes in the number are proportionally significant.

Nordic Business Report has identified and listed Finnish gazelle companies. The research data is based on material of Suomen Asiakastieto Oy. The term ‘gazelle company’ refers to a company that has at least doubled its turnover over the last four years. In 2016, a total of 1,547 gazelle companies were identified in Finland. According to the data of Vainu, approximately 9% of these are located in the Tampere Region.

Multiplying a small turnover is easier, so gazelle companies are typically small in terms of turnover. Of the gazelle companies identified in the Tampere Region, almost three-quarters have a turnover of under EUR 5 million. In terms of size, half are micro-enterprises, i.e. they employ less than 10 people. The largest fields of operation include construction, trade and professional, scientific and technical operations.


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