Tesi’s Growth Company Pulse Survey – Companies start new year in strong position but labour shortage hindering growth

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Tesi’s (Finnish Industry Investment Ltd’s) Growth Company Pulse Survey shows that SMEs are entering the new year with positive growth expectations, but labour shortages are hindering growth and already obstructing some companies’ normal scale operations. The appetite for growth is strongest in the ICT sector and industry, and in venture capital and private equity (VC/PE) recipient companies. Although the overall picture is strongly positive, the COVID pandemic is hampering companies’ operations.

“Global growth is also reflected in the growth expectations of Finland’s small and medium-sized companies. Most companies have transformed and permanently changed their operations in response to the coronavirus pandemic,” comments Tesi’s CEO Jan Sasse.

“There’s a particularly strong drive for growth in venture capital and private equity recipient companies, and these companies also have the highest expectations for growth in investment,” adds Jan Sasse.

The biggest challenges facing companies are shortages of labour, and limited supplies of materials and raw materials. The coronavirus is still causing widespread disruptions in supply chains, with disruptions increasing in 2021.

“Most companies are experiencing labour shortages that restrict growth. These shortages are an obstacle to maintaining the normal scale of operations for almost 30% of companies experiencing them,” says Tesi’s CDO Henri Hakamo.

Robust growth also in investment and research & development

  • 65% of all companies and 95% of VC/PE recipient companies are seeking growth
  • The most growth-oriented are in the ICT sector (79%) and industry (77%)
  • Growth forecasts for 2022 remain strong, with the ICT sector a driving force
  • 35% of companies forecast R&D growth in 2022, while 8% plan to start R&D activities
  • 37% of all companies and 50% of VC/PE recipients forecast growth in investments in 2022
  • 74% of companies have transformed their operations due to COVID, 67% permanently

Labour shortages already an obstacle for some companies

  • 58% of all companies and 69% of VC/PE recipients are suffering from labour shortages
  • Labour shortages are an obstacle to maintaining the normal scale of operations for 27% and an obstacle to growth for 76% of companies
  • One-third of companies are experiencing a shortage of both Finnish and foreign employees
  • 65% of the labour shortage relates to specific tasks, and the situation varies by sector
  • Supply chain disruptions have increased, with 65% of companies experiencing them


The Growth Company Pulse Survey is a survey of SMEs jointly conducted by Tesi and Taloustutkimus. The survey addresses issues concerning growth, profitability, financing, investment, labour shortages and expertise. Altogether 1,575 companies participated in the survey during the response period 20 November 2021 – 28 December 2021. The survey covers the most important sectors of Finland’s economy (8/16). Companies of less than five people were excluded from the survey.

  • Survey summary (in Finnish)
  • Taloustutkimus’ data (in Finnish)
    Note! Select “Kierros” in the upper left corner and tick 2/2021 to see the results of this study. The study now conducted is the fifth one in the series.

Additional information:

Jan Sasse, CEO, Tesi, jan.sasse@tesi.fi, +358 40 861 9151
Henri Hakamo, CDO, Tesi, henri.hakamo@tesi.fi, +358 40 503 4221
Susanna Aaltonen, Director, Communications,susanna.aaltonen@tesi.fi, +358 40 593 4221

Photos for media:

Jan Sasse’s photo
Henri Hakamo’s photo


Tesi (Finnish Industry Investment Ltd) is a state-owned investment company that wants to raise Finland to the front ranks of transformative economic growth by investing in funds and directly in companies. We invest profitably and responsibly, hand-in-hand with co-investors, to create the world’s new success stories. Our investments under management total 2.1 billion euros. www.tesi.fi | @TesiFII