EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Denmark: ERM comparative analytical report on Public support instruments to support self-employment and job creation in one-person and micro enterprises

  • Observatory: EMCC
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  • Published on: 12 January 2012



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Disclaimer: This information is made available as a service to the public but has not been edited by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The content is the responsibility of the authors.

It is the goal of the Danish government that Denmark in a few years will be a leading country with regard to entrepreneurship and innovation. To this end many projects supporting one-person and micro companies, mostly as part of SME-directed programmes, have been initiated. Most of these programmes were launched before the international financial and economic crisis, but the following recession brought increased focus on how they could be strengthened in relation to entrepreneurship and innovation.

QUESTIONNAIRE

Part 1: Overall policy context

This section aims at giving a brief overview of the general development and status quo of the policy discussion and thereof resulting instruments, measures or initiatives in the field of fostering self-employment and job creation in one-person and micro enterprises (less than 10 employees). Focus is mainly on the developments during the last decade that is before the global recession. In addition we are asking for your indication of change of policy focus since the recession.

1. General policy approach in the area of self-employment, one-person and micro enterprises at the national level


1.1. Has there been a policy focus/debate on the specific challenges facing entrepreneurship as tool for job creation before the global recession? If so, since when and for how long?

Table 1: Presence of policy focus/debate on entrepreneurship as facilitation for job creation before the crisis
 

Yes, continuously since xx? (Please indicate year)

Yes, on and off in the last 10 years

(Please indicate ‘X’ where it applies)

Yes, has been in focus, but since xx it is no longer part of the policy focus (Please indicate year)

No, it has never had policy focus before the recession

(Please indicate ‘X’ where it applies)

Self-employment

2002

     
Hiring the first employee

2002

     
Hiring additional employees/creating additional jobs in micro enterprises

2002

     


1.2. What is the main focus in policy documents or strategies in relation to public or social partner based support instruments for fostering self-employment or job creation in one-person and micro enterprises? (Please indicate ‘X’, multiple answers possible)

Table 2: Main focus in the policy documents or strategies
 

Entrepreneurship (Business development in general)

Job creation (Employment)

Growth (Competitiveness)

Others (please specify)

Self-employment

x

(x)

x

 
Hiring the first employee

x

x

x

 
Hiring additional employees/creating additional jobs in micro enterprises

x

x

x

 

1.3. Please elaborate on the answer given above (with a focus on those developments aimed at employment creation and growth) and indicate if the financial recession has caused a change of focus:

NOTE: It should be noted here that in Denmark the upper limit for a SME is 100 employees and not the EU standard of 250 employees. All companies with more than 100 employees are considered large companies – and these only comprise 1% of all Danish companies (in total close to 300,000). This does not change the limit for a micro company, but in the connection of this study it means that the verbal distinction in the programmes and the debate in Denmark rather go between self-employment (i.e. entrepreneurship) and the development of small companies rather than micro companies.

Table 3: The policy content and significance of the financial recession
Self-employment
Elaboration of content (please describe and also indicate whether it is treated explicitly/implicitly)

The policy content behind encouraging and supporting entrepreneurship is more a matter of ‘growth’ rather than ‘employment’ and in the hands of the Ministry of Economics and Business and implemented by the Danish Enterprise and Construction Agency. The borderline is of course very fine. However, the Minister of Employment abolished a financial support programme encouraging unemployed to start up businesses in 1998 and not taken up again. The crisis did not cause any changes in this respect. The focus regarding self-employment is to pave the way for new businesses to open and to support entrepreneurship in all its aspects.

Change due to the financial recession

Please tick:

Yes: □

No: x

If ‘Yes’, please elaborate:

NOTE: These mainly public instruments are part of a continuous policy, which aim to make Denmark ‘the first among equals regarding the weight of entrepreneurship in the national economy’ (freely quoted from different government programmes). However, it is difficult completly to reject that the evaluation of these instruments and their future content and form has at least implicitly been influenced by the recession.

Hiring the first employee
Elaboration of content (please describe and also indicate whether it is treated explicitly/implicitly)

Hiring the first employee is implicitly part of the focus on entrepreneurship. However, a few instruments are explicitly directed towards job creation in one-man companies and micro companies.

Change due to the financial recession

Please tick:

Yes: □

No: x

If ‘Yes’, please elaborate:

See NOTE above

Hiring additional employees/creating additional jobs in micro enterprises
Elaboration of content (please describe and also indicate whether it is treated explicitly/implicitly)

There are programmes that among other topics explicitly deal with job creation (through innovation) in micro companies and small companies

Change due to the financial recession

Please tick:

Yes: □

No: x

If ‘Yes’, please elaborate:

See NOTE above

2. Disincentives for self-employment and job creation

The following two questions will investigate whether there has been a change in the political agenda which has forced new political initiatives that may result in disincentives for job creation and business development (e.g. considerations regarding public budget).


2.1 Have public measures (e.g. with the aim to increase public revenue or cut public spending) led to disincentives for self-employment or job creation in one-person or micro enterprises before the financial recession? (Please briefly describe the major developments/initiatives (max. 300 words)

After the significant municipal mergers as part of the Structural Reform 2007 the municipalities have gathered smaller maintenance jobs in bigger lumps and put them out to tender en block. This means that often the micro companies cannot bid for the contract because they do not have the necessary skills and/or manpower to do the job. The municipalities on their side claimed that more administration tasks as well as maintenance and renovation in the new larger municipalities have influenced the structure of the municipal procurement.

A waste arrangement in the municipalities (2004) for the companies has fallen out to the disadvantage of the micro and small companies. It is costly and creates red tape. It seems that during the summer 2011 the organisation of the SME’s HVR (see below) with a certain success has negotiated a more differentiated solution favouring the micro companies. HVR still thinks that the arrangement could be more flexible.

In general, the Structural Reform 2007 implied municipality mergers and new municipal tasks. Administration moved to other buildings or another town and the first year was quite chaotic. For the small companies working mainly for the municipality this meant that the casework time was considerably prolonged and that new procedures increased red tape.

In contrast to employees, self-employed including spouses are not entitled to maternity leave arrangements, which obviously is an explicit disincentive for self-employment. The other disincentives mentioned here are more implicit, but they impede the development of the micro companies and implicitly constitute a barrier for self-employment.


2.2 Have public measures (e.g. with the aim to increase public revenue or cut public spending) led to disincentives for self-employment or job creation in one-person or micro enterprises as a result of the financial recession? (Please describe – max. 300 words)

The government launched two ‘bank packages’ during the crisis with the aim to save the banks from going bankrupt. However, especially bank package II was also intended to encourage the loan/lending policy towards especially small companies in the need of financial support. This did not happen in a degree as intended. The banks were very meticulous in investigating the loaner’s economy. This especially hit the micro, but also small, companies because they were cut off from necessary funding. The result was in some cases closures but overall a stagnation in the economies of the micro companies. This lending policy first changed when new optimism spread to the Danish trade and businesses in the second half of 2010.

Another result of public rationalisations due to the crisis in especially the municipalities, besides fewer tenders, was the introduction of ‘closing days’ in the child care centres. The parents have to find another solution for these closing days and often stay home on shift. This had an unfortunate influence on the man power in the micro companies that was in particular operating (and living) in a single municipality (Source: HVR).

3. Representation of/lobbying for self-employed and micro enterprises


Are self-employed and micro enterprises in your national context explicitly or implicitly (e.g. entrepreneurs or SMEs in general) represented by the following types of organisations (e.g. for lobbying, defending their interest etc.)?

Table 4: Representation of self-employed and micro enterprises
 

Self-employed 1)

Micro enterprises

Employers’ organisations

Yes implicitly

HVR (a trade interest organisation supporting SMEs) implicitly represents self-employed in so far as they represent all SMEs including one-person businesses

Yes implicitly

The Danish Federation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (Håndværkdrådet, HVR). The main objective is explicitly to improve the business conditions of Danish small and medium-sized enterprises. HVR does not bargain collective agreement on behalf of the members and is as such a trade interest organisation rather than an employers' association. One-person companies can be member of HVR.

The association of Small Employer Associations (Sammenslutningen af mindre Arbejdsgiverforeninger, SAMA). The organisation was founded in December 1997 with the primary purpose to defend the interest of small member associations in the Confederation of Danish Employers’ (DA) governing bodies.

HVR and SAMA do not only organise micro companies but SMEs in general. In practice a solid majority of the companies are either micro or small enterprises.

Besides, all larger employers’ organisations have a mixed membership between SMEs and large companies and are representing SMEs in collective bargaining.

Employees’ organisation

No employees’ organisations organise one-person companies.

No

Not-for-profit organisations

No

No

Others

No

No

1) Self-employed understood as ‘self-employed without employees’ are not eligible to an employer organisation. Without employees there is no opponent – i.e. a union – to negotiate a collective agreement, which is the main task of an employer association.

Part 2: Identification and description of relevant recent support instruments

The following section asks for the identification of public or social partner based support instruments initiated during or after the recent economic crisis (that is, 2008 onwards). These measures might have, but must not necessarily have been triggered by the recession. Measures may also have been initiated earlier, but changed in order to adapt to the recession or other recent developments. Rather than a comprehensive list of all instruments available at national, regional or local level, the most important, most innovative, most interesting and most effective tools are to be described. Thereof, a selection of up to three ‘Good Practices’ to be described in more detail is to be made.

1. Selection of region(s) when total coverage of the entire regional and local level is too comprehensive

When providing the brief overview and the three ‘Good Practices’ in this section of the questionnaire, measures and instruments at national level have to be included. We would in addition ask you to include regional and local level initiatives where relevant. Nonetheless, a complete coverage of regional and local levels may not be possible for all countries (e.g. because of a high degree of decentralisation resulting in a wide range of respective measures characterised by considerably heterogeneity). At the same time, it can be assumed that for instruments targeting at supporting self-employment and the creation of employment in one-person and micro enterprises the local administrative level is of considerable importance. If so, such measures will be designed to fit to the local characteristics and needs, resulting in a wide variety of different approaches. In this case, one or few local areas or regions may be selected to be covered in this report. Details on the selection are given in table 5.

Table 5: Administrative level/region(s) covered for the following research (max. 50 words per region)

Administrative level relevant for the rest of the questionnaire

National level

If a specific regional/local are is selected, please provide the following information

Name of region

 
Motivation for selecting this region

Facts about the region e.g.

- Geographic location

- No. of inhabitants

- Business structure (sector, size)

- Labour market

- Specific characteristics if applicable

 

2. Brief overview of recent instruments to foster self-employment or job creation in one-person and micro enterprises


2.1. Please provide a brief description (max. 800 words) of public or social partner based instruments recently initiated (2008 onwards) to support self-employment and job creation in one-person or micro enterprises.

Measures covered by the European Employment Observatory Review on self-employment 2010, European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities are to be omitted to avoid duplication (see Part 3 of this questionnaire).

There are only few instruments initiated since 2008 but many initiated before that and still in function. However, some of these programmes or arrangements with the aim to support entrepreneurship and micro companies have undergone changes due to the recent recession.

All important initiatives to support self-employment and job creation in one-person or micro enterprises come from the government, although in many cases with the involvement of the social partners. Regarding entrepreneurship and job creation policy the state plays the first violin accompanied by the social partners that are more involved in the employment policy and to a lesser degree in trade/enterprise/innovation policy. This is in the hands of the Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs and managed by the Danish Enterprise and Construction Authority and also the Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation managed by the Danish Agency for Science Technology and Innovation.

The Government has set itself the goal that Denmark in 2015 is among the countries in the World that have the largest share of ‘growth entrepreneurs’.

Based on a political agreement of 2006 about the implementation of the funds from the so-called ‘Globalisation Pool’ the Government will focus on several areas to enhance entrepreneurial framework conditions and increase the focus on growth promoters. The new areas of concern are:

• Problem clarification and easy access to guidance and capital through five ‘entrepreneur and growth houses’

• Early testing of business ideas

• Improved savings and loan opportunities

• Systematic instruction in skills like idea development, innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education action plans

The development of the ‘entrepreneur and growth houses’ takes place in close cooperation with regional, local and private actors. The ‘entrepreneur and growth houses’ contribute to make one single entrance in each region where new and micro enterprises have access to all forms of relevant advice.

In November 2009 this was followed up by the Agreement on the allocation of the globalisation reserve to innovation and entrepreneurship 2010. One of the measures is the creation of new enterprises in green tech and other parts of the green economy. Another relevant measure for the development of entrepreneurs and micro companies is supporting transformability and new businesses in areas which have been hit hard by the crisis. A special measure is supporting ‘market maturing’. Market maturing is securing that a new product or item is actually sent on the market and does not end in the bin due to red tape, lack of finance, lack of promotion skills etc. Areas to support are: green energy, waste management, wastewater and agriculture.

A paragraph is reserved Improved growth conditions for new and small companies (by small is probably meant ‘micro’ in this context).

The initiatives are (short description):

1. A lift in quality and skills of counselling efforts

1.1. A continuation of the efforts of the five Growth Houses hereunder the Early Warning-scheme that is targeted at companies in crisis, the internet portal ‘Start-growth’, www.startvaekst.dk , etc.

1.2. Establishing a user-friendly innovation portal which will provide easier access for companies for guidance on the services, programmes and networks that are offered through the entire innovation system

1.3. The initiative ‘early financing of ideas’ (proof-of-business) continues to give companies access to venture capital and coaching by experienced professionals

1.4. Small and micro businesses and entrepreneurs to have better opportunities for sparring with companies that have gone through a successful first growth period

1.5. Improvement of the ‘start-up-expenses account act’ by allocating more resources

1.6. Improved idea development in the education. The state efforts will be brought under one actor, the Fund for Entrepreneurship.

Furthermore, the Government in January 2011 presented a strategy for more public-private cooperation. One of the measures is to ensure improved opportunities for SMEs, who will bid on public projects. HVR (the Federation of SMEs) therefore launched a ‘Supply Index’, which measures how well the municipalities are to divide the bids into smaller lumps, so that small businesses have the possibility to bid on them.

Table 6: List of recent instruments 1

Title

Iværksætter/-Væksthuse – Entrepreneur and Growth Houses

Aim/objective

Support to self-employment, micro and small companies

Description of support

Mainly giving advice to entrepreneurs and micro companies in the first insecure phase and support development (e.g. hiring additional employees). One way is to connect a corps of experienced entrepreneurs in the region to the new company as volunteers.

Target group

Self-employed and micro and small companies

Initiator and other actors involved

Initiator: the government. Other actors: public regional and local actors, local businesses and the social partners

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

Started before the recession and has no time limit, but as in other cases, the growth efforts have more attention due to the crisis.

Table 6: List of recent instruments 2

Title

Early warning – Early warning

Aim/objective

The scheme ensures that distressed companies have access to competent advice and support. Counselling should aim to ensure that enterprises either stay profitable or close before the debt becomes unnecessarily large. The scheme is free for the companies in crisis and is partly based on Growth House-consultants and partly on a network of volunteering counsellors who can provide impartial advice and sparring.

Description of support

Advising; anticipating restructuring and closure

Target group

Micro companies

Initiator and other actors involved

The government; the Growth Houses

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

The idea of ‘early warning’ stems from 2007 and continues so far to 2012.

1,100 companies have contacted ‘early warning’ since then – 646 alone in 2009. The Growth Houses estimate that 55% of the companies survived while 25% must go through a closure. 20% are not yet decided.

Not initiated due to the recession – but has received increased attention

Table 6: List of recent instruments 3

Title

Uddannelse i entrepreneurskab – Education in entrepreneurship

Aim/objective

To strengthen the interest for entrepreneurship. The goal is that entrepreneurship shall be part of the timetable in primary and secondary school and in the curriculum in higher education in order to create entrepreneurial managers and employees.

Description of support

A state appointed actor (a fund) administers funds to develop programmes and courses to students in collaboration with educational institutions. The fund promotes the training of educators, development of teaching methods and curricula, etc. with the aim to prepare students at all levels.

Target group

Young people in the educational system

Initiator and other actors involved

The government and Fonden for Entrepreneurskab – the Fund for Entrepreneurship. Four ministries behind: Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs; Ministry of Culture; Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation; Ministry of Education

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

2010 - 2015

Initiative strengthened due to recession. The recession has (in general) strengthened the impetus to support entrepreneurship

Table 6: List of recent instruments 4

Title

Iværksætterugen uge 46 – Entrepreneurship Week 46

Aim/objective

To gather entrepreneurs, public and private actors at different locations all over the country where entrepreneurs present their projects and get support and counselling from a wide range of experts.

Description of support

Inspiration. Workshops, presentations, dialogue fora, events. Part of Global Entrepreneurship Week

Target group

Entrepreneurs

Initiator and other actors involved

Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

Takes place every year since 2007. Not due to the recession but the interest has increased due to the crisis.

Table 6: List of recent instruments 5

Title

Kom-igang-lån; Get-started-loans

Aim/objective

To encourage and support new entrepreneurs to get started

Description of support

Loans and advice. Personal micro bank loans where 75% is guaranteed by the state. Managed by the Growth Fund. Counselling in starting a business is part of the support.

Target group

New entrepreneurs

Initiator and other actors involved

The government and the Growth Fund

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

These loans were initiated in 2005, but funds were increased as part of a larger ‘business package’ in 2011 due to the recession.


2.2. In-depth description of ‘Good Practices’

Please choose up to three examples from the above list that can be considered as ‘Good Practice’ (e.g. because of their effectiveness, innovative character or beneficial cooperation among different stakeholders) and describe them in detail.

Table 7: Description of ‘Good Practice’ examples of recent support instruments

Name of the programme/instrument

In national language and English

Bolig-jobordning; Housing-job scheme

Is the instrument explicitly addressing any of the following:

Self-employment

Hiring the first employee*

Hiring additional employees/creating additional jobs in micro enterprises

Please ‘X’ and/or describe if relevant

X

(x)

(x)

Operational level

Local

Regional

National

Please ‘X’ and/or describe if relevant

X

In the municipalities

   

Rationale/motivation for the instrument

(please describe)

To support micro (and) small companies particular in construction and cleaning and to combat undeclared work, which is flourishing in the business of ‘home service’

Purpose and aims for the instrument (please describe)

The aim is to bring more work and hereby growth potential (i.e. hiring additional employees) to self-employed and micro companies

Initiator
Please ‘X’      
Other stakeholders actively involved in implementation (please name them and describe their roles)

No

Target groups        
Please describe the target groups (sector, age, level of education, gender)

Micro and small companies in construction, cleaning and gardening

Funding        
Please describe the funding of the instrument/programme (national and European sources, budget available)
Activities    
Please describe the activities of the programme or institutional initiative as detailed as possible

House/apartment owners can get a tax allowance of a third of the labour costs when hiring a company to make internal and external renovations, to clean, to do baby-sitting, or to do gardening. The scheme runs from 2011 to 2013.

Results (Effectiveness)      
Please describe the results e.g. number of beneficiaries, advised enterprises

The scheme has only started recently (June 2011). However, a poll in a newspaper predicted that ‘every third person’ in Denmark would make use of the scheme.

Challenges in order to reach the objectives e.g. for the organisation offering the instrument, the entrepreneurs (Please describe); and if available how these have been overcome

The biggest challenge is that this area is territory for widespread moonlighting. The combination with red tape with regard to get the tax deduction could mean that the scheme will not have the necessary impact because the target group ‘does not really bother’.

Assessments of the effectiveness e.g. investments made in order to reach the objectives of the programme (outcome vs. investment) (Please base this assessment on evaluations when possible)

Too early to assess

Outcomes (Efficiency)  
Increasing self-employment, growth and employment e.g. number of start-up and/or jobs created etc. (please describe, preferably based on evaluations, otherwise on experts’ assessment)

No data available; the measure is innovative, which is central in the Danish efforts regarding entrepreneurship

Please provide link to evaluation documents if possible

NA

Example 2:

Name of the programme/instrument

In national language and English

Det entreprenørielle universiet

The entrepreneurial university

Is the instrument explicitly addressing any of the following:

Self-employment

Hiring the first employee

Hiring additional employees/creating additional jobs in micro enterprises

Please ‘X’ and/or describe if relevant

x

x

x

Operational level

Local

Regional

National

Please ‘X’ and/or describe if relevant

   

x

Rationale/motivation for the instrument

(please describe)

To create a new culture of entrepreneurship in Denmark by introducing the subject in the higher education. A general mantra, enlarged due to recession, is that Denmark has to educate itself out of the crisis. The current focus in this connection is to combine innovation, growth and entrepreneurship.

Purpose and aims for the instrument (please describe)

The aim is to educate a new generation of ‘university entrepreneurs’ which will provide new energy to entrepreneurship. To build a ’light tower’ for entrepreneurship at a university that can contribute to the development of the subject in the educational system.

Initiator
Please ‘X’      
Other stakeholders actively involved in implementation (please name them and describe their roles)

Stakeholders:

The Danish Growth Council

The Danish Enterprise and Construction Authority

The Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation

Target groups        
Please describe the target groups (sector, age, level of education, gender)

Universities, the educational sector

Funding        
Please describe the funding of the instrument/programme (national and European sources, budget available)

The initiative is expected to have a total funding of a two-digit number of millions, of which the Danish Enterprise and Construction Authority supports the financing of up to DKK 5 million (€ 700,000) provided that a regional growth forum cofinances the project approved with contributions from the structural funds and the regional development fund.

Activities    
Please describe the activities of the programme or institutional initiative as detailed as possible

The programme runs from 2011 to 2012.

Applicants may apply for funds for the establishment and development of The Entrepreneurial University at a university in Denmark. The project will include strategy, research, teaching and non-curricula activities and is thought of as a global initiative to promote the development of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills of both researchers, educators and students.

Results (Effectiveness)      
Please describe the results e.g. number of beneficiaries, advised enterprises

No data

Challenges in order to reach the objectives e.g. for the organisation offering the instrument, the entrepreneurs (Please describe); and if available how these have been overcome

There does not seem to be any serious obstacles for the project to be successful in reaching its goal. However, the project aims at universities and does not mention business schools in the project description. The latter could claim that they are more experienced in and better equipped for this kind of project.

Assessments of the effectiveness e.g. investments made in order to reach the objectives of the programme (outcome vs. investment) (Please base this assessment on evaluations when possible)

No data

Outcomes (Efficiency)  
Increasing self-employment, growth and employment e.g. number of start-up and/or jobs created etc. (please describe, preferably based on evaluations, otherwise on experts’ assessment)

No data available; the measure is innovative, which is central in the Danish efforts regarding entrepreneurship

Please provide link to evaluation documents if possible

NA

Example 3:

Name of the programme/instrument

In national language and English

Styrkede vækstkompetencer i danske SMVer

Improved growth competences in Danish SMEs

Is the instrument explicitly addressing any of the following:

Self-employment

Hiring the first employee

Hiring additional employees/creating additional jobs in micro enterprises

Please ‘X’ and/or describe if relevant

x

x

x

Operational level

Local

Regional

National

Please ‘X’ and/or describe if relevant

x

x

 

Rationale/motivation for the instrument

(please describe)

‘Improved management of SMEs can lead to additional jobs and growth’. Under this headline the Danish Enterprise and Construction Authority calls for tenders regarding projects that will strengthen the Danish growth and entrepreneurial culture under the theme: Improved growth competences in Danish SMEs.

Purpose and aims for the instrument (please describe)

To maintain and develop a culture of growth and entrepreneurship in Denmark and to increase the opportunities of hiring more employees in micro and small companies

Initiator
Please ‘X’      
Other stakeholders actively involved in implementation (please name them and describe their roles)

The Competition Pool (den konkurrenceudsatte pulje) under the Danish Growth Council, which is a body under the Danish Enterprise and Construction Authority

Target groups        
Please describe the target groups (sector, age, level of education, gender)

Innovative companies, companies that work with business counselling. High level of education.

Funding        
Please describe the funding of the instrument/programme (national and European sources, budget available)

The Competion Pool is part of the total Danish EU structural fund efforts. The pool covers up to 50% of the total budget of the winning projects. The Danish Enterprise and Construction Authority covers another 25% of the winning projects.

Activities    
Please describe the activities of the programme or institutional initiative as detailed as possible

The institutional initiative should be seen as part of a total effort to promote entrepreneurship and strengthen the development in SMEs in general, i.e. companies with less than 100 employees. In practice this scheme focuses management and competences in micro and small companies. The activities of the programme are to select the best applications. The goal is that at least 500 micro and small companies with growth ambitions will develop their competences.

They will receive a subsidy for training of management and staff

Results (Effectiveness)      
Please describe the results e.g. number of beneficiaries, advised enterprises

Too early say

Challenges in order to reach the objectives e.g. for the organisation offering the instrument, the entrepreneurs (Please describe); and if available how these have been overcome

There do not seem to be any serious challenges for the implementation of this programme. A goal that at least 500 companies will be affected by the activities of the pool also seems realistic. Only 1% of all Danish companies have more than 100 employees. The target group is large.

Assessments of the effectiveness e.g. investments made in order to reach the objectives of the programme (outcome vs. investment) (Please base this assessment on evaluations when possible)

The effectiveness of the competition pool and the Danish special approach where funds and national as well as regional strategies are merged has so far been successful.

There is no concrete assessment of the above programme.

Outcomes (Efficiency)  
Increasing self-employment, growth and employment e.g. number of start-up and/or jobs created etc. (please describe, preferably based on evaluations, otherwise on experts’ assessment)

There are no figures on this project. In reality, the current Danish efforts towards improving innovation hereunder entrepreneurship, are too recent to be evaluated in detail.

Please provide link to evaluation documents if possible

NA

Part 3: Annex: Update on recent self-employment study

The recent European Employment Observatory Review on self-employment 2010, European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities provides insight into support instruments for self-employment. To avoid duplication of this information, we ask you as National Correspondent to omit these measures already covered in your research (Part 2 of this questionnaire), and only update or add any additional details or measures that exceed the information already provided in this report.

Table 8: Additional information on specific instruments to the EEO national report on self-employment:

Title of the instrument

 
Additional information

Table 9: Please add any other comments to the EEO national report on self-employment:

Table 10: Please indicate ‘X’ if you have no additional information to the EEO national report on self-employment:

Please indicate ‘X’ if you have no additional information to provide

X

Commentary

It is difficult to find projects/instruments that have been initiated after 2008 due to the crisis and already evaluated as good practice. The above mentioned examples, however, have good possibilities of being good practices, maybe except for the job-housing project. They are rather mentioned here as good and different examples on how the problem of improving entrepreneurship can be approached from different angels: short-term incentives; part of educational schemes at university level and funding measures to support entrepreneurship and taking the steps from self-employment to run a micro or small company.

The Danish efforts to initiate and support entrepreneurship seem to prioritise counselling rather than financing although the latter is an integral part of many projects and that the key word is ‘growth’ rather than ‘employment’. To this end it is also interesting that the social partners do not show their finger prints on many of the total Danish innovation/growth/entrepreneurship efforts, although they have seats in the growth fora, which are central in Danish business development efforts. The conclusion could be that development in entrepreneurship is seen in connection to innovation and competition efforts that will secure Danish competitiveness at the world market. Employment, i.e. hiring additional employees, is just a spill-over effect.

Carsten Jørgensen, FAOS, University of Copenhagen



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