Contribution to business development
The bank is a significant contributor to regional business development and value creation. Both through social engagement (entrepreneur programme, support for meeting places and the NÆRINGSTEFT concept) and through ordinary lending activities, participation in the Growth Guarantee Scheme and various skills development measures, we contribute to SDG 8 regarding economic growth, SDG 9 regarding innovation and infrastructure, and SDG 11 regarding sustainable cities and local communities.
Nordvestlandet has a competitive business sector and many of the companies are leaders within their industries. The bank’s corporate advisers are locals and have specialised in individual industries. We have done this to understand their needs and to be able to be active sparring partners in a company’s development. At the same time, the bank wants to create meeting places where companies in different industries and specialist environments can meet. This provides motivation and a basis for developing innovation and cooperation.
Another important job the bank has is to contribute to the creation of new companies. Through the NÆRINGSTEFT programme, the bank is mobilising broadly to motivate spin-offs and create viable new companies. Implementation of the fourth round of NÆRINGSTEFT started in 2020 and a total of 484 companies have taken part in the programme since its inception in 2017. This has created new jobs through several companies in Nordvestlandet.
Measures implemented in 2020
Sparebanken Møre has around 6,300 active corporate customers spread across three geographical units and six different branches. In 2020, our 49 corporate advisers invited to and conducted conversations with around 3,000 customers. We also have a separate customer service unit for the corporate market, which talks to the customers every day.
A close dialogue with the customers was particularly important in 2020 in order for us to be there and provide support to our customers in relation to the impact of Covid-19. As an immediate measure for customers, we introduced a simplified application process for interest-only periods to provide relief at a phase of the crisis that was fraught with uncertainty for companies. We maintained a close dialogue with the customers and followed up their use of the measures that were established. It was important for us to be a good sparring partner for the companies while they were facing an unclear situation and we therefore worked closely with companies in the region throughout 2020, both through one-to-one conversations and also through regular newsletters, articles and webinars.
Programme for entrepreneurs, investors and growth companies
NÆRINGSTEFT is a skills journey and competition organised by Sparebanken Møre for entrepreneurs in an early phase in Nordvestlandet. Some 99 companies were part of the programme in 2019/2020. For 2020/2021, 64 companies are taking part. While this is fewer than the previous year, we are very pleased with the number of companies taking part in this year’s programme, which will be a purely digital programme due to Covid-19. Giving these entrepreneurs access to mentors from academia, public support systems, established business and investor environments gives them opportunities to develop with greater power and speed than they might have managed alone. The programme touches on SDG 8 regarding economic growth and SDG 9 regarding innovation and infrastructure. It also facilitates networking and collaborations across the companies in line with SDG 17 regarding partnerships. Generally, sustainability must be an integral part of the business ideas behind the companies taking part in NÆRINGSTEFT.
Together with Innovation Norway, PIR Invest, DNB and Startup Norway, we arranged the Angel Challenge course for investors who want to invest in startups. This is a place where early phase growth companies and local investors can meet. Increasing access to capital that is not risk averse in an early phase and engaging a broader range of investors, also increases the opportunities for more companies to grow. At the same time, we are laying the groundwork that ensures a larger proportion of local capital can be invested in local new businesses. In 2020, 12 entrepreneurial teams took part in the skills programme, which has resulted in several new partnerships. In this programme, good forces come together to contribute to the development of the region in line with SDGs 8, 9 and 17.
A Scale Up programme has also been conducted for 20 growth companies in cooperation with ProtoMore Kunnskapspark AS. This programme was largely reserved for entrepreneurs in Romsdal/ Nordmøre. The programme helps companies grow by contributing expertise and mentoring.
Business-related meeting places are important for inspiring innovation, cooperation and sustainable restructuring. Meeting places become highly relevant when they are targeted at individual industries. In 2020, Sparebanken Møre contributed to the Midsund Conference – fisheries, The Next Wave – marine industries, FARM – agricultural conference, IDC – industrial design conference and Byggebørsen – real estate, building and construction, to name just a few. In 2020, many of these paid extra attention to how the industries will be impacted by sustainability and how restructuring can take place. Many of them were organised differently due to Covid-19.
Innovation Norway's Growth Guarantee Scheme
Innovation Norway has been testing the Growth Guarantee Scheme in collaboration with selected banks since 2017. Sparebanken Møre was admitted to the programme in 2018, and at that time received a budget of NOK 50 million that was earmarked for growth companies in an early phase in Nordvestlandet. In 2020, Sparebanken Møre’s grant was increased by NOK 125 million. Some 26 companies have received loans in Sparebanken Møre through the Growth Guarantee Scheme since 2018.
We also work with, among others, the cluster programme, NCE Blue Legasea. The project has three sub-projects that are contributing to the development of the marine/biomarine industry, sustainable development, increased value creation and meeting places for business. More and expanded collaboration with the business associations in the county has also resulted in industry-related activities. Sparebanken Møre is also involved in the associations’ boards.
The NÆRINGSTEFT programme will continue and the fourth round will end in March 2021. At that time, the three finalists and ultimate winner of NOK 1 million will be announced. Until then, 64 companies will continue on their skills journey, which is a digital one this time due to Covid-19. A new round of NÆRINGSTEFT is scheduled to start in autumn 2021.
The local Angel Challenge programme will be evaluated in relation to being continued in autumn 2021. The Scale Up programme in cooperation with ProtoMore will be evaluated in relation to being continued from 2022.
In line with SDG 17, contributions to meeting places and conferences are important for the development of the region and for sharing expertise and networking both within and across industries. Support and cooperation on these conferences are important and the plan is to hold them in autumn 2021.
The collaboration with the cluster programme NCE Blue Legasea will continue in 2021. This is a cluster programme that is designed to promote the sustainable development of marine products in Norway. The programme is working towards SDGs 2, 3, 9, 12, 14 and 17.
Thematic seminars will be conducted for corporate customers within relevant topics. This will be a combination of a digital and in-person events. The good strong collaboration with the business associations will be continued and expanded to include more joint activities.
The Growth Guarantee Scheme has proved to be a good offer and a good fit for growth companies. We are aiming to continue this scheme in collaboration with Innovation Norway for a new period.
Measurement and evaluation
Our events attract a lot of interest and participants. We also always evaluate them and take the feedback from participants and partners into consideration in our subsequent work. Our activities are aimed at contributing to business development in the region. More knowledge about sustainability, innovation and restructuring capacity have therefore been important elements.
The Corporate Banking Division, Communications and Group Support Division, Communications and CSR Dept.
Møre 2024 (Group strategy)
- Guidelines for the use of dividend funds for local communities
- Credit Risk Strategy
103-1, 103-2, 103-3, SBM-N1, SBM-N2