EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Business Development Centres

Phase: Anticipation
  • Access to finance
  • response to COVID-19
  • Advice
  • Fostering innovation
  • Matching/Networking
  • Start-up support
  • Support of companies' growth
  • Support of internationalisation
  • Support of SMEs
  • Territorial coordination
Last modified: 03 August, 2021
Native name:


English name:

Business Development Centres


The Business Development Centres must provide specialised guidance to all businesses across the country at all stages of the business life cycle, in contrast to the former Growth Houses that mainly focused on SMEs with growth ambitions.

Now entrepreneurs, micro enterprises, SMEs and large companies can apply. The activities are collected in six Danish business hubs that are in close cooperation with the local government in the municipalities.

Main characteristics

The Business Development Centres have four main types of tasks:

  • They must offer specialised and targeted one-to-one guidance to all types of businesses and entrepreneurs;
  • They must act as nodal points in the business promotion system, including securing the decentralised entrance to highly specialised services in the state, and contributing to the coherent strategy of the ad hoc Danish Executive Board for Business Development and Growth (Erhvervsfremmebestyrelsen). The establishment of the Danish Executive Board for Business Development and Growth as of January 2019 is an initiative of the Danish government to unite the various efforts within the business promotion. The board prepares a strategy for decentralised business promotion efforts;
  • They can be operators on projects within the framework of the business promotion strategy;
  • They must contribute to the formulation of the regional chapters of the decentralised business promotion strategy.

The Business Development Centres must serve all companies in need of specialised guidance on the operation and development of their business, as well as clarification and guidance on compliance with laws and regulations. Specialised guidance relates to professional issues in the company's business, like digitalisation and implementation of advanced technology, innovative products and services, capital, internationalisation, new business models, corporate social responsibility (CSR), management and organisational development including preparation of ownership or sales.

Covid-19 response

On 11 June 2020, an economic boost of DKK 5.6 million (€0.75 million) from the Danish Business Promotion Board was set aside to equip 65 companies in the metropolitan area for growth via exports. The funds come from the EU's Regional Fund.

On 15 June 2020, the Danish Executive Board for Business Development and Growth opened applications for a fund amounting to DKK 48 million (€6.5 million). The funds can be sought by operators that will carry out containment and retention programmes for vulnerable citizens at the edge of the labour market. The funds, which, among other things, come from the EU Social Fund (DKK 31.9 million, €4.3 million), can be applied to both national and local projects, and all types of actors can apply. It is expected that primarily interest organisations, associations and social economy companies will apply as operators. The application process is open for applications until 20 October 2020.

On 23 June 2020, the Board decided to strengthen the project 'Entrepreneur Denmark'  which started in autumn 2019 with DKK 13.9 million (€ 1.9 million), by an additional DKK 6.9 million (€0.93 million) from the EU Social Fund and decentralised business promotions. This means that the project can now help up to 3,700 entrepreneurs instead of the 2,100 envisaged by the original budget.

Besides, the Danish Executive Board for Business Development and Growth has allocated a total of DKK 97 million (€13 million) for three company-focused efforts:

  • SME: Professionalisation, which consist of a new effort that meets the need for strengthened crisis management in smaller companies. The efforts are tailored to the specific needs of each company.
  • The Early Warning instrument consists of guidance and advice SMEs. It is free for companies to use the offer. The instrument is currently in very high demand, increasing  as the effects of the COVID-19 crisis spread further. An additional grant of DKK 5 million (€671,000) is intended to secure Early Warning's capacity and competencies so that all affected companies, applying for free help in the framework of this scheme, are going to receive support.
  • 'Deal no deal', is an instrument which aims to prepare Danish companies for a no-deal Brexit. It has been expanded to include the target group of SMEs affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Enlargement specifically means for these companies that they will be able to receive grants for the purchase of targeted counselling to advise the companies on how to get through the crisis.


  • Local funds
  • Regional funds
  • National funds
  • European funds
  • European Funds (ESF)

Involved actors

National government
The Business Development Centres is a close cooperation between the state and the municipalities.
Regional/local government
The Business Development Centres is a close cooperation between the state and the municipalities.
Employer or employee organisations
The social partners are represented in the new Business Development Board (Erhvervsfremmebestyrelsen).
The Danish Business Authority is the responsible body. Cooperation with banks, accountants and lawyers.


The agreement came into force on 1 January 2019 and will run for a two-years period. It will be evaluated in the autumn of 2020 in a dialogue between Local Government Denmark (KL) and the Ministry of Business. However, the agreement can be renegotiated if essential conditions so require.

The municipalities finance the basic appropriations of the Business Development Centres with DKK 161.8 million (€21.7 million) annually (2019). The basic allocation is designed to solve the core tasks of the centres as strong competence centres for the guidance of companies and as a contributor to the strategy of the Danish Business Promotion Board. The basic allocation is price- and wage-regulated. The allocation and distribution between the six business hubs is calculated on the basis of the population in the municipalities to which they belong.

Relevant government offers, for example internationalisation (Export Council), capital transfer (Growth Fund) and innovation (Innovation Fund) must be accessible to businesses via the Business Development Centres.


Different municipal and state oriented support instruments have been collected into one support instrument with a broader spectrum of eligible companies.  


No information available.


No information available.
Useful? Interesting? Tell us what you think. Hide comments

Eurofound welcomes feedback and updates on this regulation

Add new comment