Simon and Peter have learned entrepreneurship the hard way

Two young architects became entrepreneurs just before COVID-19 - full of confidence and without practical experience of running a business. "Had we started with a simple business plan, we would probably have grown faster," says the duo. EntrepreneurDenmark helped with business understanding, strategy, pricing and networking.

  • Opdateret 9. marts 2022

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"If you want to be an entrepreneur, hurry up and get started so you can make some mistakes and learn from them.”

This is the call from two young architects who have run the architectural firm Hald & Ravnborg in Frederiksberg for over two years.

Along the way, they have made mistakes, they have learned from them, and they have gained a lot of experience of being entrepreneurs. One of the mistakes was to open an architectural business in Frederiksberg in 2019, right up to COVID-19, without a business plan, without testing the market and with few customer agreements in the book.

But Simon and Peter were driven by architectural visions and the desire to create their own.

"We just had to get started because we had the passion to create our own projects. We wanted to think holistically, and it was important for us to get started while we had momentum,” explains Simon Hald and Peter Ravnborg.

Simon Hald og Peter Ravnborg

Good ideas and a strong passion for making holistically inspired construction projects led Simon Hald (right) and Peter Ravnborg to become entrepreneurs in 2019. A course in IværksætterDanmark set the direction for their company, and today they see the future with optimism. Photo: The Danish Business Authority

The company survived COVID-19, and customers began to arrive in the store on Schlegels Allé. Gradually, the need arose to consolidate and develop the business. That is why Hald & Ravnborg joined the course "The creative entrepreneur" at IværksætterDanmark, the business houses' large entrepreneurial project, which has most recently been supported with REACT-EU funds.

"The process was very important to us, because we did not have the money to pay for it ourselves. We gained a better business understanding, we learned about strategy and pricing, and we found a network,” explains Simon Hald.

Peter Ravnborg adds:

"We found out how we can think about our business so that we can be both visionary and competitive ”.

Today, Hald & Ravnborg has enough turnover to employ one employee in addition to the two partners. In other words, it has gone well for the company, but still Simon and Peter would start differently if they were to start a business today, they say:

"If we knew what we know today, we would have thought of a little more business before the start and started with a simple business plan. We had found a network from the start that you could spar with - and we had definitely been looking for a business development project like IværksætterDanmark. ”

Simon Hald and Peter Ravnborg

Simon Hald (right) and Peter Ravnborg have started the order book after a challenging start right up to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: The Danish Business Authority

FACTS About EntrepreneurDenmark (IvDK)

EntrepreneurDenmark is the business houses' initiative for a unifying national effort for all entrepreneurs. The overall goal of the project is to support a broad competence boost among entrepreneurs in order to increase the number of new entrepreneurs and increase their survival rate.

The EU Social Fund and the decentralized business promotions fra the Finance Act have supported IvDK with DKK 20.8 mill. and REACT-EU has supported with DKK 60 mill.

FACTS About the EU Social Fund in 2014-2020

In the period 2014-2020, the EU Social Fund, Regional Fund and Danish partners invest DKK 1 billion each year in activities that create growth and employment throughout the country.

The Social Fund program for 2014-2020 is targeted at entrepreneurship, education and social inclusion. We need more new companies and a more skilled workforce. These are crucial prerequisites for increased productivity, competitiveness and growth.

Therefore, the EU Social Fund co-finances projects to:

  • Increase entrepreneurial activity and ensure growth-oriented competence development in small and medium-sized companies
  • Promoting social inclusion - through specially designed youth educations, integration into the labor market and socio-economic enterprises
  • Strengthen vocational education, vocational education and higher education