Among the Nordic countries, Norway is the richest. In fact, it is one of the richest countries in the world. Oslo has been recognized as one of the top startup hubs and is also known as Europe’s fastest growing city. Apart from these amazing facts, Oslo maintains a friendly environment, strong economy, stable government, and is increasingly digitally advanced.
Generally, big business opportunities in Norway have been generated from its three world-leading sectors. This is followed by the other three emerging industries, such as renewable energy, cleantech industry and the medical/biotechnology. Traditionally, metals, materials, and clean energy have been showing strong advantages in Norway. Following suit with the world’s technology transformation, Norway recently has been developing strong and standing-out in industry clusters and environments within finance, IT, and knowledge-based services.
The strategic business environment of Norway is quite remarkable and below, we have compiled a more in-depth look at business opportunities for the country.
The External Strategic Environment for Your Business In Norway
Geographically - Norway, as a Scandinavian nation, is bordered with Sweden, Finland, Russia, and Denmark. Norway is also a part of the European Union. Oslo is the capital city of Norway, and its. The official language is Norwegian and Sami.
Socially - 2020 global statistics showed that Norway is the 2nd as a happiness country in the world in the Better Life Index. It is also the 4th wealthiest country in the world. Norway is ranked as the country with the highest Human Development index and the highest standard of living in the world.
Politically - Norway is a constitutional monarchy country and is a member of NATO, the UN, and the European Free Trade Association. According to Oslo Business Region’s 2017 annual report, Norway has announced some new guidelines and changed regulations in regard to public procurement to facilitate innovation with a distinct emphasis on the option to digitize entities available for digitization
Economically - Norway’s economy is mainly excelled by petroleum, natural gas, minerals, seafood, and hydropower industry. For example, the petroleum industry contributes over 25% of Norway’s gross domestic product. The higher level of economic growth of a country can be determined by the higher GDP per capita which also results in the higher economic wealth of its citizens. Global statistics of 2019 stated that Norway is ranked as the 3rd highest per capita for income in the world as of 2019.
Financially - The high living standard and modern integrated welfare system of Norway has been relying on a strong financial reserve backed by exploitation of natural resources. Norway’s strong financial state also can be seen by those key figures in the below table.
Key Figures Of Norway’s Financial System(data source-Norway Central Bank)
By the above standards, Norway can be considered as the highly attractive place for the establishment of businesses not only among the Nordic countries, but also in the whole of Europe.
The Advantages of Running Business In Oslo
Safeness - Norway is ranked as the second safest country in the world by Gallup’s Law and Order Index. Norway’s stable political situation, supportive regulations, and friendly social environment are the most important strategic environmental factors for safely and easily running a business or venturing an investment.
Purchasing power and consuming habit - Firstly, despite its small population of 5.3 million, Norway’s purchasing power is comparable to larger economies due to the high standard of living and evenly distributed wealth. Secondly, Norwegian’s preference in quality shopping and consuming can be seen as an important, positive factor in conducting business in the country.
Social and technological environment - As we have already mentioned, Norway has been ranked on top by its most friendly, happiest, and wealthy social environment with digitally advanced citizens. World Bank rated Norway as 9th among 189 countries in ease of doing business.
Disadvantages of Doing Business in Norway
High Cost of Living - In terms of rent, food, and transportation, Oslo is one of the most expensive cities in the world.
The Highest Start-Up Capital of 30,000 NOK - Compared to the other European states, such as the UK where the cost of setting up the same legal structure costs only £15, Norway requires the highest start-up capital for companies to have in the bank to incorporate a limited company.
High Labor Costs – Generated by the high cost of living, Norway has a higher cost of labor, rentals, and income taxes.
Top 10 Small Business Investment Opportunities in Norway
1. Oil and Gas Servicing Company
Oil & gas is the first of Norway’s world leading industries. It has been the most stable and profitable sector in Norway. Establishing your own oil or gas servicing company is the best and shortest way of investing in this sector.
2. Shopping Mall Business
With the fast development of the country’s economy and the notable growth of consumers, investing in building a Shopping mall in any of the busiest cities in Norway can be considered as the next best business opportunities.
3. Nail and Beauty Salon
As the Norwegian citizens have higher purchase ability and leisure lifestyle, opening a Nail and Beauty Salon is a very thriving business opportunity in Norway.
4. Sandwich and Café Bar with Accommodations
Compared to other west and east European countries, there are so few Sandwich & Cafe Bar shops and boutiques in Norway; also, in other Nordic countries. Those existing, are not so and attractive in my private opinion. So, those situations are generating a great business opportunity in Norway, especially in the biggest city of Oslo.
5. Real Estate Business
As with most other countries, the real estate industry is been heating up in Its major European markets. According to a joint survey by PWC and the Urban Land Institute, Nordic countries came out on top after Germany with emerging trends in real estate. From the point of capital risk, Norway can be considered as the safest destination with Its continuously growing economy, supportive regulations, stable policy, and wealthy finance.
6. Convenience Store
Sharing the same situation with sandwich and cafe bar shops, running a convenient store in any city of Norway can be considered a stable and profitable business.
7. Technology Products Shop
Following the speeding of digitization, new guidelines and supportive regulations for innovation, developing & selling technology products, and running technology related businesses has been another promising opportunity in Norway.
8. Cigar Lounge
The ban of smoking in public places in Norway is given way to cigar lounges opening in various locations in major cities throughout the country. Opening one of these lounges has proven to be a necessary sub-service for Norwegian citizens.
9. Seafood Mall
Seafood has been the most important, favorable, and elegant dish in Norwegian’s meal. Running a seafood mall in the heart of a town, with local production and customer dining preference, is a golden business opportunity in Norway.
10. Auto Servicing and Repair Garage
It has been a quite stable and profitable business in almost every country with a growing number of automobile owners. In Norway, considering its geographical location, cold weather, and social culture, it can be more attractive business. High quality service with an easy to reach facility and trained technicians is a highly profitable entity in Norway.
Although Norway has been recognized as a safe, friendly, and wealthy country with a stable political and technology-based structure, there are still some suggestions for newcomers to start a business in Norway, especially in cultural sectors.
Norwegian people respect and cherish the culture. It is very important to learn, appreciate, and adapt to the local culture in business. The culture appears in every corner of business, mainly:
-Always be friendly, honest, and direct when conducting business or social opportunities.
-Cultural facts are very important in purchasing and consuming.
-Working culture: A healthy working attitude, passion, and a suitable methodology are more appreciated.
-Little bargaining happens during business transactions in Norway. Frankness and straightforwardness are what is valued most.
-The balance between work and life is important to Norwegians. A workaholic is not appreciated. On the contrary, it is considered as an unhealthy working or living attitude. Biking, running, sailing, and skiing are wildly popular within the business world.
If you are among the many looking to capitalize on the thriving business economy in Norway, we can help. At Aizen Digital, you are not just another client, but a person we can help with a range of services. Specifically, our consultancy services will greatly help you navigate the sometimes confusing world of business in Norway. We know what how to help you succeed, so contact Aizen today.
Business Development Consultant at Aizen France