The High North Young Entrepreneur contest is an international pitch competition of Arctic-related business ideas of young entrepreneurs and start-ups. The contest's goal is to promote the potential and opportunities in the High North for young people and inspire them to develop their business ideas. The prize is a stipend of 50 000 NOK.
Have you got a business idea?
– We invite young people with business ideas to apply before March 26. Their project should be related to the High North through the owner's location or business model. The age limit for the applicant is up to 40 years.
She says all entrepreneurs, students with business ideas, and people with a start-up that has been established no more than five years ago can apply.
When the application process is over, the High North Young Entrepreneur committee decides on three finalists.
The contest's final is a part of the annual High North Dialogue conference in Bodø. In Bodø, these three finalists will pitch their business ideas to hundreds of Arctic experts. The prize for the winner is funding for their business: 50 000 NOK, granted by Innovation Norway Nordland.
A big value
Innovation Norway is a very important collaborator for both the conference and the High North Young Entrepreneur award. They have financed the competition since 2019. And now the conference and Innovation Norway has signed an agreement that prolongs this funding for the coming three years as well.
Bjørg H. Jenssen is the department director of Innovation Norway Nordland. She says the cooperation with is of big value.
– The High North Dialogue conference itself is important for promoting dialogue about the development of the High North. Thus, the connection between academia, entrepreneurship and innovation is very important. That’s why we have decided to continue to finance the award. It’s also important for us to spread the word about the various possibilities that exist when it comes to grants and loans when establishing yourself in Northern Norway.
Jenssen says cooperating on how to recruit applicants and develop the criteria for winning the award has been a both exciting and educating experience. And adds:
– There have been many interesting winners and it would have been nice to do a follow up to check on their current status.
A shared passion
Director at the High North Center, Frode Mellemvik, is very happy that Innovation Norway Nordland have decided to continue funding the award.
– For us, it is important to cooperate with Innovation Norway Nordland. They have great expertise when it comes to innovation and entrepreneurship in the Arctic, especially in Northern Norway. They also share our passion for sustainable development in the North and for opportunities for young people to live and innovate here. It means a lot to us, and we could not have conducted the contest without their support.
You can see a recording of the High North Dialogue 2023 finalists here: