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As with many countries, In Denmark new businesses are especially vulnerable in their first years of existence, where on average 28% of new businesses don’t make it past their first year, the five-year survival rate is even more bleak, where less than half of the new businesses established in 2008 had survived to 2013 (44 per cent).
The reasons for failure are diverse, many founders who have failed point to a chronic lack of investment to get going or lack of support for entrepreneurs from the government, however business is much like life, if you sit around waiting for things to happen, they simply wont. You have to get out there and make the most of what little you have and build.
If investors see that you can make something from nothing, they will be much more inclined to invest.
Arguably the most important companies to come out of Denmark in the last 15 years is JUST EAT, which may come as a surprise to many, who were unaware of the companies Danish roots.
JUST EAT is a classic example of how an idea, can turn into a very special business.
The founder of JUST EAT Jesper Buch never had it easy, he worked tirelessly, took risks and made huge personal sacrifice for over a decade to build, scale and internationalise the company. It paid off and JUST EAT went on to IPO on the London Stock Exchange at $2.44bn and continues to grow with a market cap as of today at £3.9Bn.
I spent 4 amazing years at JUST EAT and Jesper was and continues to be a big influence and inspiration on my own career. What I learned from Jesper during those years, helps me to this very day. He is one of the most driven and talented people I have worked with.
Jesper has continued to build on the success of JUST EAT and is now one of Europe’s top investors, with an eye for potential and has made shrewd investments in tech startups with the likes of Miinto, Autobutler and Hungry Group (who also own www.marvin.ie in Ireland), also in keeping with his expert knowledge of the takeaway industry, he is a now co-owner of Dominos Pizza.
Jesper took his razor sharp business skills to Danish television screens, appearing in the Danish version of Dragons Den aka Løvens Hule (The Lion pit) on national TV channel DR1, not content with that, Jesper has now got his own television show in which he will go into Danish companies who are struggling with red numbers on the bottom line. He will help them to transform their business with his unique knowledge of how to build and scale a business to success.
Danish Television Channel DR2 are looking for established companies that believe in their business, but have trouble turning a deficit into a surplus.
If that sounds like your company and you would like to apply to appear on the show,
Send an email to [email protected] describing your business and the challenges you face right now.
Application deadline is Monday, March 27, 2017.
If you would like to read more about Jesper and the JUST EAT story (and can speak Danish) then his book “Kick Ass” is a great read, you can buy it here
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