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EER Award 2020

Business strategy for the Gothenburg region receives European Award

Business Region Göteborg has this year received the “European Entrepreneurial Region Award 2020” (EER Award 2020). “We are so delighted and proud of the award! It is a confirmation of the progress made by the business strategy programme being run by Business Region Göteborg,” says Pia Areblad, head of Industry and Commerce Strategic Development Programme Business Region Gothenburg

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The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) reasoning for awarding the prize this year to Business Region Göteborg is the innovative approach on which the entire strategy behind the city of Gothenburg’s business strategy programme is based. In particular, it highlights the inclusive work process, which is based on dialogue, involvement and strong interaction between the thirteen municipalities in the Gothenburg region, industry, academia and other public players. The CoR comments the structured approach to defining the region’s challenges and goals and how these have been linked to specific actions and activities. There are clear definitions of what is to be done, who will do what, when it should be done and how it should be followed up. The CoR also highlights the strength of the strategy being based on a long-term perspective and trust in each other, and the fact that it transcends electoral terms and is thus independent of political governance in the region. 


Business Region Göteborg has one of the best European strategies for entrepreneurship!


Axel Josefson, chairman of the municipal Executive Board in Gothenburg

“In the strategy, we have developed a sustainable method of working where we together define in detail what 35 organisations in the city of Gothenburg and all the municipalities in the Gothenburg region will do to achieve the overall target of 120,000 new jobs in 2035. For example, we offer in-service training to all new employees in the city of Gothenburg for a better understanding of entrepreneurship,” says Pia Areblad. 

“All in all, we are working to ensure that the Gothenburg region will be one of the metropolitan regions in Europe that is best at gaining skills and attracting talent, offering the best conditions for high and sustainable growth as well as the best climate for business and innovation.”  

Ulrike and Pia

A selection of what has already been started by all the efforts and activities to be carried out within the framework of the business strategy programme is to position the region as an internationally leading testing and demonstration environment for sustainable solutions to the challenges facing society by arranging Living Labs, where companies and public sector players meet to develop new business in the construction boom currently taking place in Gothenburg, for example. To attract skills to the Gothenburg region, an effective and clear validation process is being developed of the skills and supplementary training of people accompanying new arrivals, with a focus on professions where there are shortages. And, in order to promote business start-ups and entrepreneurship, several players are working together to strengthen the Yesbox meeting place, which is aimed at entrepreneurs and innovators seeking support and assistance when starting up their businesses.

Ulrike Firniss, Director of EU Affairs at Business Region Göteborg and the author of the application, also highlights the award as confirmation of the progress of the business strategy programme. 

“The region’s attractiveness for businesses benefits from this challenge-driven, cohesive and inclusive strategy. The influx comes from the experts themselves, i.e. the region’s companies. We have linked their views to a holistic approach, based on the vision of being one of the most innovative regions in the world. The holistic approach contributes to the region’s attractiveness and innovative power. I am looking forward to the response that this award will produce in Europe, where we have a strong voice,” she says. 

Axel Josefson

Axel Josefson, chairman of the municipal Executive Board in Gothenburg, makes the following comment about the award:  

“The European Entrepreneurial Region Award 2020 makes us proud, indeed. Business Region Göteborg has one of the best European strategies for entrepreneurship! The core treasure however is the Region’s ability to open up and listen to the entrepreneurial community, to address challenges together with no less than 35 stakeholders, and to act together in order to achieve and maintain a favourable business climate. This precious ability to co-operate will lead to 120 000 new workplaces by 2035. Inspired and motivated by this significant award, we will persistently hold on to one of Europe’s best strategies for entrepreneurship.”

The award ceremony took place on 26 June at the EU Parliament in Brussels, with Business Region Göteborg’s CEO Patrik Andersson, Axel Josefsson and Pia Areblad in attendance. The prize will be awarded by Markku Markkula, first Vice-President of the European Committee of the Regions.  


The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) in Brussels is an advisory body representing regions and municipalities in the EU. Each year, EU regions are designated as demonstrating an outstanding and innovative entrepreneurial strategy. 


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