Thursday, October 4, 2012 | 4:03 PM
“Sweden needs constant economic growth, and Swedish businesses and entrepreneurs need inspirational role models”. This is how Dagens Industri, Sweden’s biggest business daily newspaper, explains its annual Gazelle Award programme. The Gazelle, which turns 13 this year, is a high profile and prestigious initiative honouring local companies that are growing the fastest and creating the most new jobs.
The concept of a business ‘Gazelle’ was first coined by the American researcher David Birch in the 1980s. His work showed it is the small, fastest growing businesses - the “gazelles” - that create most new jobs and growth, unlike the “elephants” who often have to streamline their businesses and reduce employment.
Annually less than 0.5 percent of all Swedish companies are appointed as Gazelles. To achieve this companies must meet tough criteria, including annual turnover exceeding 10 million SEK, and a 3 year track record of strong sales growth, with turnover more than doubling in the past year. It’s no exaggeration to say all Swedish businesses strive to have a Gazelle diploma to hang on their wall.
According to BCG, the Internet economy already accounts for more than 6.6% of Sweden’s GDP and the web has proven a strong catalyst for business growth. We’re delighted to sponsor this new award to celebrate Sweden’s online successes.