In Denmark, Global Entrepreneurship Week is celebrating new role models - entrepreneurs that focus on how we can help fight climate change and foster a more sustainable world. This agenda supports the new Danish government's ambition of reducing Co2 by 70 % by 2030.
At the ambitious opening event on Monday 18th at the beautiful Town Hall in Denmark's second biggest city Aarhus, green start-ups was showcasing their business and encouraged more to become entrepreneurs and to keep on innovating green solutions.
One of the latest new role models in Denmark within the Green Start-up Scene, Thomas Brorsen Pedersen, founder and CEO of Pond Biomaterials was officially opening the week and said: “So many times I have thought about giving up, because you work all the time, and it is really hard to start up your own business. But it is all worth it, because we need to find new solutions to change the world.” Pond will within few years create more than 1.000 new jobs in Denmark. Pond produces bio resin systems which are 100 % bio-based and fully bio-degradable in nature. The bio resin system is suitable to be used to substitute traditional crude-oil resins in many industries, including the automotive, wind power, airplane, textile, construction, bottling and plastic packaging industry.
Another start-up star in Denmark with huge international potential is Troels Schönfeldt. He is a radical-pragmatist, who unintentionally became an impact entrepreneur and CEO, when he co-founded Seaborg Technologies. Seaborg develops a nuclear reactor technology fundamentally different from what exists today. The new reactor type from Seaborg cannot be weaponized, they can convert long-lived nuclear waste into energy, and they cannot result in nuclear disasters. Seaborg’s mission is to deliver a scalable, cheaper-than-coal, dispatchable power source by 2025 and replace the currently projected new-build coal plans in Southeast Asia with emission-free nuclear reactors. Troels was asking politicians to stop trying defining solutions, but instead define the most urgent global problems and challenges, and then have entrepreneurs to create the solutions. When politicians trying find solutions they only make it harder for entrepreneurs to operate in that pre-defined and fixed market.
“Denmark is a really good place to start up a green business, but we need to make it a lot easier for those who have already started, so they are able to scale and become unicorns” said chairman of Danish Entrepreneurship Association Peter Kofler, who is hosting GEW Denmark. He is this week’s business profile of the Danish leading business newspaper for putting entrepreneurship on the national agenda.
The week in Denmark
In the GEW Campaign Danish Entrepreneurship Association have been able to engage more than 50 local public and private partners to create 200+ events all over the country. A special focus this year has been to create more events outside Copenhagen - the Capital in Denmark – and for the first time the opening event was held with great success outside Copenhagen with participation of Jacob Bundsgaard, the local Mayor and chairman of KL the Local Government Denmark (the association of the 98 Danish municipalities).
Among other events during the week it is worth mentioning that cities in the province create small local start-up festivals with events every day during the week. Also Woman’s Entrepreneurship Day was celebrated on the 19th of November with different events. At the opening event GEW Denmark also celebrated female role models when Danish Entrepreneurship Association in partnership with one of the oldest foundations in Denmark awarded the “Female Founder of the Year”. The award was giving to Anne Kristine Schwarztbach for founding Konfront. Konfront has created a digital platform in which already existing theory with strong academic evidence – naming the cognitive behavioural therapy – is combined with Virtual Reality. The founder and CEO has a bachelor’s degree in teaching and has been working professionally with children and adolescents suffering from autism and anxiety for several years. It was in connection with her teaching that she encountered Virtual Reality. She recognized a need in the young people she was working with and discovered a new way of dealing with and handling their problems.
The award and the focus on new role models during GEW in Denmark has drawn much attention and 10+ articles have been published in leading national media during the week.