Annual report 2019

In recent years, we have increasingly turned our focus towards how we as an organisation and those we work with can rethink methods and processes. The partnerships and specific actions the foundation undertook in 2019 clearly reflected this.
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At the Bikuben Foundation, we work constantly to be proactive and to test innovative solutions, formats and collaborative formats. Our mission is to create opportunities that focus on improving the potential for young people on the edge and for current performing and visual arts.

The tough transition from care to independent living

In the social area, we work to help young people hone their life skills and to pull them back from the edge of society. These efforts continued in 2019 with the launch of a new programme track that focuses on the transition from care outside the home to independent living. The goal of our efforts is to provide young people with the support they need as they age out of care and establish a life on their own. The track was born out of The Alliance, a Home for All programme and its long-standing efforts to help young people out of homelessness. Research shows that one in three homeless young Danes has been cared for outside the home at some point in their lives, and that those who have been removed from the home are more vulnerable in a range of areas than those who have not.

During the autumn, the Bikuben Foundation and SUS, the Social Development Centre, published the report Ung mellem anbringelse og eget hjem (Young People Transitioning from Care to Independent Living), which combines the experiences of 18 young people who have transitioned from care outside the home to a life on their own with the input of academics and professionals. The young people whose cases were included in the report identified their lack of relationships and the lack of assistance from council authorities (and, in some cases, its total absence) as two of the hurdles they faced when the time came for them to fend for themselves. In many cases, council benefits are cut off when the recipient turns 18 and they age out of care. From that point on, young people must stand on their own two feet – but a troubled past and broken relations often leaves them on shaky ground.

Fortunately, a number of local councils are now working to develop new methods to improve the guidance and support they provide to young people as they transition from care outside the home to caring for themselves. But, if we are to provide these young people a good future, we need to dare to be innovative, break down silos and challenge existing approaches. Based on the findings of the report, the Bikuben Foundation and the Danish Design Centre, in early 2020, invited representatives from the country’s local councils to participate in the Min vej hjem (My Way Home) initiative, which supports the development of ambitious, innovative ways to address issues related to children who are cared for outside the home.

We have earmarked DKK 30 million for initiatives in this area. The goal of the Min vej hjem initiative is to challenge the standard procedure and develop sustainable and value-creating solutions for young people who have been living in care. Five municipalities will be invited to participate in a development process that incorporates design-driven methods, input from national and foreign experts and practitioners and, not least, the involvement of civil society and young people themselves.

A Home For All, a strong alliance

Last year marked the fifth anniversary of the beginning of a process undertaken by the Bikuben Foundation and a number of partner organisations that was to lead to the establishment of The Alliance, a Home for All, which works to reduce youth homelessness in Denmark. In many ways, the year provides proof that the alliance is stronger than ever.

By participating in The Alliance, a Home for All, we are following our conviction that the problem of youth homelessness can only be alleviated by integrating housing policies and social policies. That is why it was uplifting to see that, after five years, the alliance has succeeded in becoming a peer to the variety of the other organisations that work in this domain, and that other foundations are now also investing in The Alliance’s partners.

There are also signs that our work and the work of our partners in the Alliance is moving things in the right direction: the 2019 homelessness survey compiled by VIVE, a social-sciences research institute, showed that the steeply rising youth homeless rate has flattened out. This may be due to increased focus on finding ways to relieve housing shortages. Even so, there is a long way to go before we reach our goal: the number of homeless young Danes is 72% higher than it was ten years ago.

Our participation in The Alliance allowed us to play an instrumental role in testing and rolling out new housing solutions; this work will continue in 2020. One of the initiatives, Bo-Sammen (Live Together), is well under way. As part of the Bo-Sammen initiative, 10% of the rooms at the student halls of residence we operate in the cities of Copenhagen and Odense will be set aside for homeless young people who either are, or would like to be, studying. Bo-Sammen builds on the idea that it takes more than just a home to end homelessness; programme participants living in one of our halls will become a part of a community and have the opportunity to make friends, as well as to receive council housing benefits. In 2019, Bo-Sammen was selected as one of Europe’s 50 most innovative ideas for ending homelessness. Another initiative, Hjem til dig (At Your Place), in which homeless young people are matched with a host family, has proven a huge success for those able to participate, but it has been a struggle to find host families. This will require us and our Alliance partners to use 2020 to explore new ways of finding host families so that more homeless young people can find a place they can call their own.

In 2020, we will also see the launch of an ambitious partnership involving The Alliance, a Home for All and four municipalities. The three-year initiative will test the effects of incorporating affordable housing, youth clubs and the social services provided across sectors, civil-society organisations and other stakeholders. The partnership will also explore the possible role of social investment bonds in the effort to end youth homelessness. In 2019, we made a DKK 5.4 million grant to support The Alliance’s work and its activities.

SKITSE – Giving insight into the artistic work process and expanding the art market

In the arts, we work to help artists reach their potential. In 2019, we chose to approach this in a new way. We established the company SKITSE (the Danish word for ‘sketch’), which runs an art store that sells artists’ sketches in the form of samples and materials from the creative process at affordable prices. The aim is to expand the market for art.

Part of the motivation for starting SKITSE was a 2018 survey of the financial conditions of visual artists in Denmark. The study, which we funded together with the Danish Art Foundation’s Project Support Committee for Visual Arts and the New Carlsberg Foundation, indicated that there was a need to come up with new ways for visual artists to sell their art. We took that recommendation seriously when we were approached with the idea to start ​​SKITSE.

In SKITSE, we also saw an opportunity to rethink our way of working philanthropically by opening a store and exploring the potential of expanding the market for the benefit of artists and the arts. All profits are channelled back into the arts and to the artists: half of revenues go to the artists, while the rest go to running the store and holding lectures and other events. In 2019, we invested a total of DKK 800,000 in SKITSE.

HAUT x Bikubenfonden Residency Pop-Up and Betty Nansen Teatret: an exploration of artistic methods and collective formats

Our work in the arts in 2019 included efforts to gain a better understanding of how we, as a foundation, can best strengthen the potential of the performing arts and their opportunities to develop. Amongst the ways we did this were by entering into dialogues with the field, holding an invitation-only workshop and looking for inspiration in the work of foundations active in the development of the performing arts in other countries. The work shows that the performing arts in Denmark are subject to financial and political priorities. As a result, there is very little focus on artistic development and the development of performing-arts institutions. We at the Bikuben Foundation are expanding and increasing our efforts to strengthen the frameworks and processes that can create opportunities for the performing arts in Denmark. Based on our continued dialogue with the field, we will investigate which new formats we need to use to become better at raising the level of artistic quality, experimentation and development.

To facilitate this, we joined with Haut, a performing-arts institution, to form the HAUT x Bikubenfonden Residency Pop-Up. The goal of the partnership is to test the potential of studio residencies to be a catalyst for research and development in the performing arts. HAUT x Bikubenfonden Residency Pop-Up evolves from HAUT’s short-term residencies, in which stage artists and self-producing groups of directors, producers, choreographers and other artists develop their ideas together, experiment and create conversations they can use to grow as performers. HAUT x Bikubenfonden Residency Pop-Up makes facilities available at the Bikuben Foundation’s main office for up to four weeks; HAUT curates the residency; together, we organise pop-up seminars with the artists and others with an interest in the arts to promote the conversation about the development of performance arts in Denmark and internationally. The ambition is to explore how long-term studio residencies impact talent-development and innovation in Danish performing arts.

In addition to making facilities available, we have also made a grant to HAUT x Bikubenfonden Residency Pop-Up in the amount of DKK 833,000 to produce, plan and hold seminars, communicate our results to stakeholders and inform the public about the partnership.

This same collective and collaborative approach is at the heart of another initiative that works to foster the on-going development of the performing arts; the Betty Nansen Teatret’s development programme for artistic practices received a DKK 8.3 million grant for a three-year investigation into collaborative theatre-making based on a deeply-held belief that collective work processes will be important in the future. We believe this long-term initiative can lead to the development of knowledge and insight into the potential of the collective and leave room for experimentation while, at the same time, hopefully inspiring the field as a whole.

(The video below is in Danish only)

Grant distributions i 2019

In 2019, grant distributions totalled DKK 119.2m distributed as DKK 58m to young people on the edge, DKK 55m to current performing and visual arts and DKK 6m to other purposes. In addition, there was a carry-back of grants distributed in previous years in the amount of DKK 2.0m; and, thus the net result of grants paid equalled DKK 117m. 

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Merger with Kollegiefonden Bikuben and IT-system roll-out

In 2019, we merged with Kollegiefonden Bikuben to form the Bikuben Foundation (Bikubenfonden). We established Kollegiefonden Bikuben in 2001 with the purpose of building student halls of residence. The rationale for doing so was that, at that time, it was expected that we would be liquidated over a 15-year period. That outlook changed in 2010, when we merged with BG Fonden (the BG Foundation).

Since its establishment, we have been closely associated with Kollegiefonden Bikuben; we administered and ran the foundation, and our donations funded its operations. The merger lead to some one-off costs, but, in terms of day-to-day operations, it has allowed us to minimise administrative costs, while at the same time increasing our equity to DKK 1.5417 billion. The aim of the merger was to allow for more flexibility in the operation of the foundation, which, ultimately, will allow us to make larger philanthropic grants to the arts and social programmes.

Implementation of a new project and grant system cost more than expected. Unforeseen difficulties bringing the system online resulted in higher monetary and labour costs. Implementation of the new IT system was completed in 2019.

Best return to date

For a number of years, we have continued to refine our long-term and continuous investment strategy. In short, the strategy consists of the foundation capitalising on taking liquidity risks. This is something we have done over the years through increased investments in private equity funds and the like, as well as in Enkotec, a company we own, and which gives a good return. This approach ensures a stable return on our investments, which is important at a time when our grant-making has increasingly become long-term in nature.

In 2019, we realised our highest return to date: DKK 232.4 million, compared to a 2018 return of DKK 89.2 million. We do not expect this high level of returns to continue, and particularly not in light of the uncertainty created by Covid-19, but we believe that we can achieve a higher return through our investment strategy than would be possible if we followed a more traditional strategy.

Developments in the world mean the size of our financial headroom is less foreseeable. This is exacerbated by our shift to a strategy of larger, long-term grants. We try, to the extent possible, to adjust our investments to the prevailing financial conditions. As a result, our approach to investing remains dynamic, and we continuously evaluate our investments. This strategy has proven to be robust during upturns, as well as downturns.

All new investments are made based on the UN-supported principles for responsible investment, the principles of the UN Global Compact and all international conventions Denmark has acceded to. This means that, when investing, we take into account the impact of our activities on human rights and workers’ rights, their impact on the environment and the climate, whether they violate anti-corruption laws and whether they contribute to activities linked to non-conventional weapons.

New board member and a whistle-blower system

In 2019, we bid farewell to Anne Broeng as a member of the board. Mrs Broeng chose to resign after eight years of service. In May, we welcomed Dorrit Vanglo, the director of LD Fonde, as her replacement. As a board member, Mrs Vanglo brings with her significant experience in the area of ​​investment and social affairs.

The foundation decided to establish a whistle-blower system for our secretariat staff. Once rolled out in 2020, the system will ensure transparency and provide an opportunity to deal with any irregularities that our employees, partners or grantees may experience.

Exploration of new working methods

We expect innovation as much of ourselves as of our partners. In 2019, we took a close look at how to rethink our working methods and processes. During trips to New York and Paris, we visited a wide range of foundations that use philanthropy to achieve innovative, proactive results. We also looked outside the philanthropic sector to find new trends and sources of inspiration for our work. Our research has had a significant influence on our strategic focus areas, and the strategy work has given us insights into how we can explore and innovate our philanthropic toolbox and methodological approaches in 2020.

We have already taken the first steps towards establishing new approaches to philanthropy with the Min vej hjem initiative and the HAUT x Bikubenfonden Residency Pop-Up development programme. Internally, in 2020, we will test how to be more agile; we will optimise the path we take from idea to action; and we will explore how to modernise the traditional foundation approach – all in order to ensure that our way of working is optimal for coming up with innovations that will advance current performing and visual arts and improve the outlook for young people on the edge.

Direktør Søren Kaare-Andersen og bestyrelsesformand Niels Smedegaard

Direktør Søren Kaare-Andersen og bestyrelsesformand Niels Smedegaard
In 2019, grant distributions totalled DKK 119.2m distributed as DKK 58m to young people on the edge, DKK 55m to current performing and visual arts and DKK 6m to other purposes. In addition, there was a carry-back of grants distributed in previous years in the amount of DKK 2.0m; and, thus the net result of grants paid equalled DKK 117m. 
The Assets of the Bikuben Foundation
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The Bikuben Foundation is a commercial foundation. We own various assets, each manged individually according to its purpose: some assets are held as investments and some are used for furthering the goals of the foundation.

Our assets that further the goals of the foundation include: Svanninge Bjerge, a unique forested area that we primarily use for social activities, three halls of residence that provide students a good base during their studies, and Fondenes Hus, a building in Copenhagen where other foundations and organisations can rent premises and which houses the main office of The Bikuben Foundation.

For investment purposes, we have DKK 1.6 billion placed in listed bonds and assets and investments in unlisted private equity and private debt funds. In addition, we are the sole owner of Enkotec A/S.

The Bikuben Foundation is part of the community. We live off the revenue generated by our assets, while any profit the foundation makes forms the basis of our grants to projects that advance current performing and visual arts and improve the outlook for young people on the edge.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) set a framework for supporting sustainable community development. The Bikuben Foundation has an interest in following and documenting how our assets contribute – or might contribute – to this development at various levels. Rewilding 500 hectares of forestland in Svanninge Bjerge helps us to contribute actively to the realisation of SDG 15: ‘Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems [...] and halt biodiversity loss.’ At the same time, our grants within the social area and the partnerships we establish in our efforts to pull back young people from the edge, further the realisation of the UN SDG that address social sustainability. As to our assets, our halls of residence have been included in our work to reduce homelessness and give vulnerable young people a better starting point for completing an education (an initiative that relates to SDG 4: ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’).


The Svanninge Bjerge natural area and Høbbet Farm are located on southern Funen. Together, the two properties constitute a 600-hectare area owned and operated by the Bikuben Foundation.

In 2005 and 2006, we acquired the largest and central parts of the area with the aim of preserving and developing the unique natural environment and landscape and, in so doing, provide the ideal habitat for animal and plant life, for the benefit of present and future generations. Over the years, we have expanded the area by incorporating smaller adjacent tracts of land, most recently in late 2019 and early 2020. We manage the entire area with the goal of making it as biologically diverse as possible. Svanninge Bjerge is open to anyone who wants to enjoy the diversity of nature and experience the hilly, glaciated landscape and the picturesque views of the Danish archipelago and the mainland. Thousands of people visit Svanninge Bjerge each year. In 2018, together with the neighbouring Svanninge Bakker area, it was included in the Danish nature cannon.

Using nature for social purposes
Over the years, we have increasingly become aware of nature’s potential benefits for the socially vulnerable. In 2019, we launched the Nature, the Key to a Good Life Laboratory initiative, in partnership with the Forest and Landscape College at the University of Copenhagen, the Aalborg University Centre for Youth Research and a number of organisations and local councils. The goal of the initiative is to develop methodologies and explore how nature can be integrated into treatment and educational programmes. Other partners include: Slagelse municipality, Faaborg-Midtfyn municipality, Multi Skive, DGI Storkøbenhavn, TUBA, Askovhus and Havregården / Empower Me.

Wild forest and biodiversity in Svanninge Bjerge
In 2016, we began phasing out forestry operations in Svanninge Bjerge as part of our rewilding programme. Since then, we have made efforts to break up the uniformity created by commercial forestry. Today, the area is more varied, and it encompasses large, natural, open spaces; vegetation of varying ages; expanses of wetlands; and, most importantly, an ecosystem that can support a rich variety of life. Rewilding measures will end on 1 July 2020. The goal of the initiative is to promote the establishment of more wild and biodiverse areas in Denmark as part of our efforts to support national objectives for wild/uncultivated forest areas, as well as the UN’s goals for stopping species loss.

Svanninge Bjerge and Høbbet: initial carbon accounts
Global warming and the capacity for forests to store CO2 received widespread attention in 2019. There is considerable uncertainty when it comes to CO2 accounting for natural areas (where plant species and age, density, nutrient availability and soil conditions all play a role). Nevertheless, we felt it was worthwhile to have a carbon account drawn up in 2019 (by the consultancy Conterra) that could give us an indication of the situation. Operationally and experientially, Svanninge Bjerge is closely tied to the Høbbet Farm, which is the reason why we chose to include the greenhouse-gas emissions (primarily CO2) from both in our calculations. Overall, the calculations show that some 1,800 tonnes of CO2 equivalents are absorbed annually, corresponding to the annual emissions of more than 200 Danes (source: As far as we know, there are currently no comparable figures for natural areas, but the emissions related to agricultural operations are significantly lower than the national average.

The initial carbon account that was drawn up in 2019 will be updated.

Svanninge Bjerge Research Station
We also make our research station in Svanninge Bjerge available to scientists and students from the University of Southern Denmark for use in connection with biological field activities. The university is a tenant of the research station, which is equipped with lecture halls, laboratories and acommodation.


Over the past 15 years, the Bikuben Foundation has made grants to Kollegiefonden Bikuben, which spent the money to build and operate three halls of residence, in the cities of Odense, Aalborg and Copenhagen.

Kollegiefonden Bikuben was established in 2001 with the purpose of offering students in the old Danish university cities access to modernised housing. In May 2004, the Bikuben Kollegiet in Odense was completed. It contains 88 modern flats of various sizes and a range of communal facilities. In 2006, Kollegiefonden Bikuben welcomed 115 students to the Bikuben Kollegiet in Copenhagen’s Ørestad district. And, in 2008, the Bikuben Kollegiet in Aalborg, with a total of 64 flats, was taken into use.

Sustainability is a key factor in the operation of our halls of residence. We choose energy-efficient and durable solutions. In 2018, the halls were retrofitted with intelligent lighting systems that turn off automatically. In addition, all halls of residence reduce their carbon footprint by using electricity generated at offshore windfarms.

The halls of residence also promote social sustainability. As part of our Bo-Sammen initiative, we allocate 10% of the flats in our Copenhagen and Odense halls of residence to young people on the edge, offering them a chance to get back on their feet and become part of their community. With this policy, we aim to contribute to a culture of reciprocity, mutual engagement and inclusion, and to build the basis for a sustainable society. This initiative is part of the Bikuben Foundation’s goal of ending youth homelessness. In 2019, Bo-Sammen was selected as one of Europe’s 50 most innovative ideas for ending homelessness.

The Bikuben Foundation and Kollegiefonden Bikuben merged in 2019. The combined foundation retains the name Bikuben Foundation. The aim of the merger was to allow for more flexibility in the operation of the foundation, which, ultimately, will allow us to make larger philanthropic grants. Establishment of the new foundation was approved, and the decision entered into force on 11 April 2019. Its accounting year began on 1 January 2019.

The Bikuben Foundation has been shaped by a series of mergers during the years. These changes, however, have not altered our guiding philosophy of community engagement, innovation and helping people to help themselves. In 2019, the Bikuben Foundation celebrated its 30th anniversary.


Bikuben Foundation New York, Inc was established by the Bikuben Foundation in 2003. Two years later, we acquired a 1,300m2 property with the intention of establishing a hall of residence for Danes studying in New York City. Academic Guest House opened on 1 January 2008. It is situated on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, close to Central Park, and its twelve flats accommodate twenty-two students. To qualify for residence in the Academic Guest House, a Danish student or academic must have a formal agreement with an educational institution in New York City or with an educational organisation that offers master classes.


In 2013, the Bikuben Foundation acquired Fondenes Hus, at no. 5, Otto Mønsteds Gade, in central Copenhagen, with the intention to promote knowledge-sharing, development of competences and co-operation amongst foundations by taking advantage of the benefits of co-location. In addition, the Bikuben Foundation hoped that the shared facilities would enhance the transparency of the work foundations do.

Day-to-day operation of Fondenes Hus is guided by the principles of environmentalism. To reduce energy consumption, we have installed intelligent lighting, heating and ventilation systems throughout the building. We are currently in the process of connecting to the city district-heating network.


Enkotec A/S is a company that is wholly owned by the Bikuben Foundation. Since 2006, when the Bikuben Foundation assumed ownership and added the company to our investment portfolio, Enkotec’s profits have been allocated entirely to funding the Bikuben Foundation’s philanthropic work.

Enkotec A/S is the world’s leading supplier of machines for making precision nails. For more than 35 years, Enkotec A/S has been developing and refining machines for mass-producing precision nails for the building industry. Enkotec’s machines are designed to produce nails in mass quantities to keep unit costs down while, at the same time, maintaining a high level of quality. Moreover, the machines are more energy-efficient, make less noise and pollute less than competing products on the market. Thanks to a special technology, Enkotec’s machines do not require lubrication, as other nail-making machines do, which reduces the environmental impact. Environmental issues are generally a high priority for Enkotec A/S; its production is powered by sustainable energy sources and the company has introduced a system for sorting used packaging materials and paper.

In recent years, Enkotec A/S has been engaged in developing IoT solutions. Data generated by machines enable clients to anticipate maintenance needs. Consequently, clients can plan servicing to optimise operations and avoid down-time, allowing for highly efficient production, regardless of a client’s location. As part of this, Enkotec A/S has developed a sales concept that allows clients to lease machines.

Enkotec A/S holds its suppliers to high quality and corporate social responsibility (CSR) standards; all suppliers must live up to the Supplier Code of Conduct, which is based on the UN’s Supplier Code of Conduct.

Company history

Enkotec A/S began as a PhD development project in 1981 at the NKT nail factory in Middelfart, Denmark. Enkotec A/S was incorporated in 1986 as an independent company and relocated to Skanderborg, where it is still headquartered. The Bikuben Foundation is committed to keeping Enkotec A/S’s production operations in Denmark. Since the acquisition by the Bikuben Foundation, Enkotec A/S has quadrupled in size.

Today, Enkotec A/S employs 60 people and has about two-thirds of the global market share for high-quality nails. In addition to its headquarter in Skanderborg, Enkotec A/S has an office in the United States and six agencies in other countries that allow the company to cover the global market. There are more than 750 Enkotec nail-production machines in 45 countries worldwide.

The Bikuben Foundation's financial strategy is the cornerstone of our grant-making. It ensures maximal return on our investments within the chosen risk profile. In 2019, we witnessed the true strength of the strategy, as we realised our highest return to date.
The Bikuben Foundation has its historical and conceptual roots in the Danish savings bank Sparekassen Bikuben
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The Danish savings bank Sparekassen Bikuben was established in 1857. It was the first savings bank to operate both a financial institution and a mutual welfare society. The social aspect of its activity came in reply to the need for improved welfare services for the growing working class of Copenhagen. Today, the Bikuben Foundation uses its returns and holdings to make grants, primarily to the arts and social programmes, based on the fundamental ideas that shaped the savings bank: social responsibility, innovation and self-help.

Over the years, various mergers, take-overs and other developments have changed the framework and ownership of Sparekassen Bikuben and its successors. Several smaller charitable foundations grew out of these activities and later merged with foundations that had similar remits. In 2010, in the most recent such merger, BG Fonden was absorbed by Bikuben Fonden af 1989 (the Bikuben Foundation of 1989), the latter a commercially operated foundation that continues as the Bikuben Foundation. The Bikuben Foundation established Kollegiefonden Bikuben in 2001 in order to build halls of residence that allocate a number of the flats for homeless young people. In 2019, Kollegiefonden Bikuben merged with the Bikuben Foundation, forming in the process the commercially operated the Bikuben Foundation.


The assets of the Bikuben Foundation stem from the transition, in 1989, of Sparekassen Bikuben to Sparekassen Aktieselskab, a limited company. Today, the Bikuben Foundation does not have any major individual holdings of bank shares. Instead, the foundation has a diverse investment portfolio that is managed with the goal of maximising real returns and to use the proceeds to fund the foundation’s philanthropic activities. Our investment portfolio includes a careful balance of shares and credit bonds that reflects the foundation’s risk profile.

Active investment in listed securities is currently outsourced to two external managers, Danish Capital and SEB Asset Management, with identical mandates.

The Bikuben Foundation’s largest investments are in companies that are made through private equity investments.

Last, but not least, the Bikuben Foundation owns Enkotec A/S. Headquartered in Skanderborg, Denmark, Enkotec A/S develops and manufactures machines for the production of high-precision nails for the global building industry.

The Bikuben Foundation’s consolidated accounts include its own activities and the activities of Enkotec A/S, BIFI A/S and Høbbet A/S. Høbbet A/S farms the land adjacent to the Bikuben Foundation’s Svanninge Bjerge nature area.


According to the Bikuben Foundation’s statutes, the foundation has the following purposes:

  • to carry out financial activities through investments in shares or other participating interests and convertible debentures in commercial enterprises of every description;
  • to provide grants, grant loans or in any other way encourage the operations of Danish enterprises for skilled trades and minor industrial businesses and, hence, contribute to the establishment of new enterprises within trade and light industry, as well as contributing to development projects within the framework of such enterprises; and
  • to serve non-profit and charitable objects, subject to the board’s discretion, comprising objects that would have been natural for Bikuben to support, taking its history and identity into account.


The Bikuben Foundation’s philanthropic work takes place in Denmark and, to a small extent, in Greenland. The foundation seeks to create new opportunities for young people on the edge of society and helps artists and cultural institutions find new paths. The foundation’s social initiatives focus mainly on young people aged thirteen to thirty facing complex social challenges. Within the arts, the foundation focuses mainly on the performing and visual arts. Every year, the foundation presents the Vision exhibition award, which supports the realisation of visionary visual arts exhibition formats. The Bikuben Foundation also hosts a series of debate salons focusing on issues, trends and developments within the performing and visual arts.

In addition, the Bikuben Foundation recognises extraordinary achievements in culture or the social area via the Crown Prince Couple’s Awards.

The Bikuben Foundation owns and manages the Svanninge Bjerge nature area, which is used, amongst other things, as the setting for the foundation’s natured-based social initiative, Nature, the Key to a Good Life.

The Bikuben Foundation provides funding for the Bikuben Foundation New York, Inc and formerly provided funding to the now-defunct Kollegiefonden Bikuben. These funds have been used to operate an Academic Guest House in New York City and to build and operate three student halls of residence in Denmark, in the cities of Odense, Aalborg and Copenhagen.

Board of directors and management
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The board of directors is made up of as few as six and as many as eight members elected by simple majority of the board for two-year periods. The board elects its own chair; it may also elect a vice-chair. Each member of the board may be re-elected four times. Members of the board may be elected up to and including the year in which they turn 67, and they must resign no later than 1 May of the year in which they turn 68. Potential new board members are identified by means of an exhaustive recruitment process that often involves impartial external assistance. The goal of this is to ensure that the board possesses the highest qualifications in the areas it addresses: management, investment, business administration, art and social issues.

Guided by the principles of foundation governance, the board is responsible for the overall management of the foundation. The board approves the strategies for foundation activities and investments. It determines the general principles for the foundation’s work and ensures that they are being lived up to. The board advises the management. The board is responsible for conducting an annual evaluation of its own work.

The board of the Bikuben Foundation, which currently comprises six members, held four board meetings and one strategy meeting in 2019. In addition, the chair and the vice chair attended meetings prior to each board meeting.

Each board member receives DKK 200,000 / year in remuneration for his / her service. The chair receives three times that amount, and the vice-chair receives twice that amount. No other members of the board receive additional remuneration from the Bikuben Foundation.

The management of the Bikuben Foundation

The CEO of the Bikuben Foundation is Søren Kaare-Andersen. He receives an annual salary of DKK 2,392,504.

In 2019, the foundation had an average full-time staff of 27 people, of which an average of 15 people performed duties related to administration, projects, the Bikuben Foundation New York, Inc or Høbbet A/S and BIFI A/S. A further 59 people are full-time employed by Enkotec A/S.

Annual reports 2014-2018
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You can read the full version of the Bikuben Foundation's annual report 2019 here (in Danish only).
Read annual reports from 2018201720162015 and 2014 here. (The reports for 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014 is in Danish only)

Read annual reports for BIFI A/S 20192018 and 2017 here (in Danish only).

Read annual reports for Høbbet A/S 2019201820172016 and 2015 here (in Danish only).

Read annual reports for (the former) Kollegiefonden Bikuben 201820172016 and 2015 here (in Danish only).

Recommendations on
Foundation Governance

The Bikuben Foundation embraces the Recommendations on Foundation Governance such as they have been set out by the Danish Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs.