On The Hub, a recruitment platform for Nordic startups, you can explore what Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Nordic startups aim to have an impact on. To explore the companies in greater detail, I decided to scrape data on all startups on the platform that share information on their SDG impact focus.
In the figure below, I show the distribution of what SDGs the startups focus on. Do keep in mind that most startups with an impact SDG focus on more than one SDG (but with a maximum of three SDGs – i.e., a startup cannot focus on, say, four SDGs). Most importantly, we can see that some SDGs attract more attention from Nordic startups.
The SDGs that get the most attention are Responsible consumption and production (728), Good health and well-being (652), Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (540), Climate action (536) and Sustainable cities and communities (519). Interestingly, these numbers are not substantially different when we compare different business models (e.g., B2B compared to B2C business models), with some obvious exceptions (such as for Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure).
Next, I explored the correlations between different SDGs. That is, are start-ups that focus on one specific SDG also more likely (or less likely) to focus on another SDG? In the figure below, I show the correlation matrix for all 17 SDGs. A positive correlation indicates that two SDGs are more likely to be shown together in a start-ups impact focus. A negative correlation indicates that when a start-up is focusing on one specific SDG, it is less likely to focus on the other SDG.
We see the greatest positive correlation between SDG 12 (Responsible consumption and production) and SDG 13 (Climate action) (r = .23). In other words, when a start-up is focusing on SDG 12, it is also substantially more likely to focus on SDG 13. We see the greatest negative correlation between SDG 3 (Good health and well-being) and SDG 12 (Responsible consumption and production) (-.24). In other words, when a start-up is focusing on SDG 3, it is less likely to focus on SDG 12.
There is a lot of useful information in the data, and if you are interested in the sustainability impact focus of Nordic startups, The Hub is a very useful resource.