The prospects for business development in the Arctic are evolving and the many Artic business and economic development opportunities have been well-documented in recent years. One of the key projects documenting the business development prospects in the Arctic was the comprehensive knowledge base launched by the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM) and the Arctic Economic Council (AEC) in January 2018 in four sectoral reports under the common headline ‘Arctic Business Analysis’.

The reports provided a much[1]needed overview of the business opportunities in the Arctic but also shed light on the major challenges and prerequisites for business development in the Arctic region. One of important identified barriers hindering start-up, micro-, small- and medium-sized companies to succeed in getting new business projects started was the limited access of to finance. This barrier has so far received limited attention in the debate on the Arctic business development prospect.

The study provides:

  • A mapping of the current Arctic landscape of institutions, initiatives and programmes offering finance possibilities for SMEs and start-ups (Chapter 2).
  • An analysis of the investment climate and SMEs’ and start-ups’ access to finance in the Arctic (Chapter 3). The Arctic region includes Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Northern Finland, Northern Norway, Northern Sweden, Northern Russia, Northern Canada and Alaska.
  • A mapping and assessment of current cross-border cooperation on business finance as well as the possibilities for strengthening this (Chapter 4).
  • A mapping and assessment of the current as well as potential future role of international funding agencies such as NIB and EIB in providing business finance for SMEs and start-ups in the Arctic (Chapter 5).
  • Recommendations on how to improve the investment climate and SMEs’ and start-ups’ access to finance in the Artic. As part of this, an assessment of the need and feasibility of setting up a cross-Arctic investment fund is presented.
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