The Nordic Council of Ministers have published a report about "Access to risk capital in the Nordic countries". The report recognizes the role of private competent risk capital being a a precondition for job creation and growth and includes several recommendations for the national Ministers to act on.
NordicBAN has supported the report with information about the Nordic angel activity and we are glad to notice several initiatives support angels investing, for example further incentivise business angel investments, regulatory frameworks and tax treatment for angel investors.
Closer details and next steps are described below.
1. For better-integrated Nordic countries
1. The Nordic prime ministers are encouraged to communicate their common ambitions to create a Nordic, world-leading ecosystem for innovation and to develop an action plan
2. Policy guidelines for stronger Nordic mandates of national institutions should be developed to provide a common approach for national instruments to support an integrated Nordic innovation ecosystem.
3. The regulatory framework and relevant tax rules should be benchmarked between the Nordic countries and with other competing regions on a regular basis.
4. The public sector’s role in financing early-phase and growth companies should be defined more clearly.
2. To strengthen the Nordic market
5. To further incentivise business angel investments, regulatory frameworks and tax treatment for angel investors should be benchmarked with progressive peer regions.
6. A Nordic white paper should be produced on the regulatory changes that will be required to motivate institutional investors, including pension funds, to invest in startups and innovative SMEs. Established national fund of funds structures should be given Nordic mandates, and new fund of funds structures established.
7. A Nordic plan for green and innovative procurement should be produced with the aim of accelerating the green transition and creating a more integrated Nordic market.
3. To create more effective framework conditions
8. The regulatory framework in relevant areas should be improved and harmonised. The issues of harmonising tax treatment of stock options and tax incentives for attracting investment and talent should be addressed.
9. National rules for crowdfunding should be harmonised and formulated collectively in order to stimulate competition.
10. The framework for regulatory sandboxes in the Nordic countries should be aligned on a 12. Nordic level to increase Nordic market access.
11. Strengthened Nordic collaboration is proposed in the development of national stateaid-compliant instruments and schemes to support early-phase and growth-phase companies.
4. To ensure more targeted instruments
12. National instruments for supporting innovation and growth can be made more targeted, effective and co-ordinated by institutionalizing collaboration between the Nordic countries.
13. A forum for the European Investment Fund and the relevant financing institutions in the Nordic countries should be established to increase cross-border collaboration and contribute to the development of new instruments.
14. New Nordic academic research initiatives should be supported to inform policymaking in the field of risk capital and early-stage companies.
15. In order to address identified market failures, the mandates of Nordic Investment Bank and NEFCO should be reviewed to define clear focus, stimulate pragmatic co-operation and optimal utilisation of competences and financial resources.
Next steps - Inspiring the Nordic governmental business agency leaders
NordicBAN will host a meeting during Slush’s Investor Day for the leaders of governmental business agencies together with Nordic Council Of Ministers, Nordic Innovation, Nordic VCs and organisations focusing on Scaleups. The goal is to introduce the recommendations how these public organisations can support and develop angel activity across Nordics.
NordicBAN will also together with KPMG update the handbook describing the angel activity across the Nordics. More information soon.
About the author
Claes Mikko Nilsen is the Managing Director of NordicBAN, linking 12 angel networks across the Nordic & Baltic region.