Banners were flying along Oslo’s main boulevard, Karl Johans Gate, and promises were flying that the capital’s annual Innovation Week wasn’t just a bunch of hype. Two government ministers and the crown prince showed up at opening events, with the ministers ready to invest NOK 400 million to encourage new business start-ups.
The goal, according to Trade Minister Monica Mæland and Finance Minister Siv Jensen is for Norway to become “the world’s best country for entrepreneurs.” The state agency Innovation Norway will get more funding to help them. Both Mæland and Jensen presented new policies to help businesses get started and, hopefully, create new jobs.
“Norway shall be a good place to start and develop new ventures in,” Mæland said. “We need to help create new jobs both in the short- and long term. Therefore we need more good entrepreneurs who can start profitable businesses.” Jensen claimed the conservative government coalition had made entrepreneurs a priority “since Day One,” not least in the form of tax breaks to spur growth, programs aimed at demystifying the process of launching a business, introduction of seed funds to help provide capital and streamlined regulations.