Scan Magazine, Issue 88, May 2016

Page 52

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Enterprise Denmark

Skanderborg’s mayor Jørgen Gaarde.

Where innovation and businesses thrive Dansk Industri (DI), the Confederation of Danish Industry, ranked Skanderborg third best amongst Denmark’s 98 municipalities for businesses last year. Situated in Business Region Aarhus, Skanderborg benefits from its proximity to Denmark’s second-largest city and has excellent transport links to Copenhagen, the rest of Denmark and Germany. Most importantly, the local council values and listens to its local businesses. By Louise Older Steffensen | Press photos

One million people live in eastern Jutland in the area between Aarhus, Silkeborg and Horsens, and the area known as Business Region Aarhus has the highest growth rate outside the capital. “I think our council’s biggest strength, however, is that we’re personable,” says Jørgen Gaarde, the mayor of Skanderborg. “We really appreciate the economic and social value that the businesses and innovators add to the area, and the municipality’s size allows us to be on first-name terms with many of the people who run them.” In its report, DI commended the municipality for the equal and proactive service it provides to businesses, noting in particular the council’s ability to understand the point of view of the area’s businesses and carry out effective and equal dialogue. At just 2.4 per cent, Skanderborg has one of the lowest unemployment rates 52  |  Issue 88  |  May 2016

in Denmark. “We have easy access to highly qualified people,” Gaarde notes. “When young people graduate in Aarhus, they look for jobs here. We’re only 20 kilometres from Aarhus, have great public transport links, and lots of our local businesses are hiring.” The quality of life is very high: some of Denmark’s bestknown nature spots are on the doorstep, including Himmelbjerget, Jutland’s biggest lake, and the source of Denmark’s longest river, Gudenåen. In the summer, the municipality hosts Smukfest, the second-largest and arguably most beautiful festival in Denmark, in Skanderborg’s beech forests. What is more, Billund Airport is just an hour away – an added benefit for employees and businesses alike. Companies in Skanderborg work with everything from furniture assembly to construction and food production. Skanderborg’s population has an unu-

sually high rate of engineers and, with the town on the main railway lines and just by the motorway connecting Copenhagen and Germany, there are plenty of opportunities for all kinds of traditional production. In recent years, IT, communication and technology businesses like Kamstrup have also prospered. “We’re a reasonably small municipality, which gives us room at the council to get to know Skanderborg’s businesses, whatever size or shape they come in,” Gaarde adds. “That creates a great working environment and a sense of unity for the individual companies and the council alike.”

For more information, please visit:

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.