International entrepreneur, you are the missing link … Welcome!

Encouraging Danish businesses to better exploit the foreign talent on their doorstep

A campaign by Entrepreneurship in Denmark, in co-operation with the Danish Trade Council, aims to encourage the development of mutual partnerships between Danish businesses and international entrepreneurs. It is hoped that this should result in a more innovative, flexible and productive economy.  

The campaign is based on research recently undertaken by Entrepreneurship in Denmark and special reports from statistics Denmark, which  shows that native companies can stimulate export-related growth by embracing international entrepreneurs’ unique skills and knowledge of new export markets.

In Denmark, despite a stated aim to open the country’s borders to highly-skilled workers through educational and immigration schemes, there is often a disjuncture between policy and practice.

The campaign, ‘More International Export Talents’, was created in order to tackle this problem. It is the organisers’ intention to exploit the untapped potential that is already present in Denmark – namely highly-skilled but under-informed non-ethnic Danes.

“We need to export more to the fast growing countries, and fortunately we already have people in Denmark who know the countries and understand the cultures,” contended  Kaare Danielsen, the founder of exportjob.dk and jobindex.dk.

“We just need to bring the companies and the international talents together.”

Peter Tuborgh, a goodwill ambassador for the campaign and the CEO of Arla Foods, one of Denmark’s most successful exporters, agrees.

“Organisations with a workplace culture and business models that do this can increase performance by up to 35 percent and increase revenue from innovation projects by more than 300 percent,” he predicted.

However, according to Mette Boel, the head of the National Centre for Entrepreneurship, this is not as easy as it sounds.

“International talents must venture out and sell their particular skills and their unique knowledge about markets, languages, cultures and exports,” she explained.

“They must draw the companies’ attention to the fact that they have something special to offer in terms of their cultural backgrounds, and that they can open doors to new markets.”

She conceded that this is a shared responsibility – it is also up to Danish companies to take a bolder approach and welcome non-Danes.

The culmination of the campaign is a conference open to all budding entrepreneurs on November 19.

As well as offering an insight into the opportunities available for non-native Danes, it is hoped that the conference will be a match-making and networking function for Danish businesses and potential non-Danish entrepreneurs.

It is a great opportunity to meet international export consultants who have shared their experience and started up their own businesses. It is also unique because it offers potential international entrepreneurs free advice on how to succeed in the Danish market.

The conference, hosted by actress and writer Vivienne McKee, will begin with an address by Lars Thuesen, the state secretary of trade and strategy. Following this, there will be a series of short speeches and a debate between the audience and a panel of experts. In the afternoon, there will be a number of workshops to choose from aimed at developing export-based competencies.  

In addition, participants in the conference will witness the crowning of ‘Denmark’s Best Export Match’, a presentation of two examples of successful cooperation between a non-Dane and a company.

Admission to the conference is free of charge. To sign up, go to www.entrepreneurshipindenmark.dk.




  • Three new countries recognise Palestine as an independent state – Denmark holds back

    Three new countries recognise Palestine as an independent state – Denmark holds back

    Norway, Spain and Ireland have announced that they will formally recognise Palestine as a state. A furious Israel has recalled its envoys from Dublin, Oslo and Madrid for emergency consultations. Denmark says it will only recognise Palestine under a two-state solution.

  • Digitization is the secret ingredient in Chinese restaurateur’s growth adventure

    Digitization is the secret ingredient in Chinese restaurateur’s growth adventure

    Publisher Jesper Skeel and Korean BBQ restaurant chain owner Zen discuss the ups and downs of independent entrepreneurship and how to crack the Copenhagen market, from both an international and Danish perspective.

  • Pro-Palestinian demonstrations divide Copenhagen society

    Pro-Palestinian demonstrations divide Copenhagen society

    As popular protests of the Israeli offensive in Gaza erupt around the world and in the media, from university campuses to the streets of major cities, discord is escalating between demonstrators, the general public, authorities and politicians.

  • Huge fire at Novo Nordisk – building “cannot be saved”

    Huge fire at Novo Nordisk – building “cannot be saved”

    A fire broke out at a Novo Nordisk site in Bagsværd on Wednesday morning. There have been no casualties, but the fire is “extensive and spreading”, and Novo’s administrative building “cannot be saved” say emergency services.

  • Denmark leads 15 member states in call to outsource EU migration policy

    Denmark leads 15 member states in call to outsource EU migration policy

    Just one day after the EU finally landed its New Pact on Migration and Asylum following four years of tough negotiations, a group of 15 member states, led by Denmark, issued a joint call for greater efforts to outsource migration policy and  prevent migrants from arriving at EU borders in the first place.

  • How to lead Danes IV – Cultural Bypassing

    How to lead Danes IV – Cultural Bypassing

    Many of us Danes, despite being well-educated and well-travelled, often lack experience in navigating cultural differences at work. This can lead to ‘cultural bypassing’, where we believe we are at a level of enlightenment where we no longer are burdened by the risk of making cross-cultural mistakes. As their manager, you can help your Danish colleagues by acknowledging cultural differences in the workplace.