On the 23rd of June, the Director of the Business and Economic Development department of the Regional Government of Navarra, Manu Ayerdi, and the General Director of Sodena, Pilar Irigoien, unveiled the update and results of the report Socioeconomic Impact of Sodena’s venture capital activity (1984-2018). This document gathers and analyses in detail the evolution of Sodena in the field of venture capital and the milestones the companies supported by it have achieved during this period.
One of the most remarkable conclusions of the Socioeconomic Impact of Sodena’s venture capital activity (1984-2018) report is that the average employment growth rate experienced by those businesses supported by the Agency is as high as 94%, whereas the average rate for the entirety of business in Navarra is a mere 44%, according to the period 1995-2018. These companies showcase important improvements when compared to the rest of the industrial fabric of the region in certain strategic areas as internationalisation, private investment, innovation, survival rate, and financial profitability.
Regarding the Covid-19 crisis, Ayardi addressed the importance and usefulness of Sodena as a flexible instrument to facilitate the collaboration between the public and private sectors, and the ability to answer promptly to those necessities that may arise within the companies. Pilar Irigoien, on the other hand, remarked how committed Sodena is, being highly transparency towards society.
Let us take a more detailed look at the report’s results on the different sections:
The sales rate was multiplied by 7 during the period the businesses received support from Sodena. These companies raised their sales amount from €282 million up to €2 018 million generating an EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest Taxes Depreciation and Amortisation) while the regional average was multiplied by 5.47.
Regarding employment rates, the report shows how the companies that accessed the venture capital support scheme increased their hiring rates by a 94%, compared to the 44% of the total for the Region of Navarra. Note these numbers are for direct-creation employment and are a higher quality and more qualified jobs.
When Sodena initially started providing support, only 12% of these companies were exporting goods regularly. That number had increased to 35% by the time the investment ended. This means they went from 12 to 63 companies in absolute terms. It is especially high if we consider that only a 4.8% of companies in Navarra are internationalised.
These companies, supported by venture capital, invest their resources more often than those which are not supported and their investment capacity stops being conditioned by the capacity to generate resources already considered by the company.
Businesses participating in such scheme received €404 million from Sodena, while they attracted investments from third parties equalling up to €716 million, which means the effect the capital Sodena contributed with multiplied the companies’ own resources by 1.77.
41% of the participating companies between 2001 and 2018 launched RDI activities that signified a joint amount of €76 million. This is 3.5% over the total sales rate while the average of the region is 1.7%.
The survival rate of these companies is also higher, as 87% of them survived during the first 5 years of the support scheme provided by Sodena while only 40% of those companies not supported by Sodena managed to maintain their activities during the same period.
In conclusion, venture capital mechanisms are a good tool to improve and facilitate business growth while stimulating the regional economy.
As the financial instrument of the Government of Navarra for business development in the region, Sodena operates as a limited liability company and was founded in 1984. A particularity about Sodena is its status, as it was constituted as a public company (it works as a private enterprise, but the ownership corresponds to the Public Administration).
Sodena is a very important agent with regards to the economic development of the region. Its main task is taking an active role in the different phases of business projects that contribute to the balanced and sustainable development of Navarra.
Sodena’s mission is to attract and develop value-added business projects helping the regional development and the creation of quality employment. This is achieved inby a few ways; firstly coordinating the design and implementation of the Smart Specialization Strategy (S3) to promote regional economic transformation and development. Next, it does this by capturing, identifying, and promoting the generation and development of business projects for Navarra, both regionally and externally through the use of financial tools (mainly venture capital) and facilitating foreign direct investment in the region, offering both advice and support. Lastly, it develops businesses by boosting business competitiveness, providing value, and fostering collaboration and business growth.
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By Alberto Soria, Intern at EURADA.