Welcome Hub Agder (WHA) was founded in 2021 by Impact Hub Agder, Arendal Chamber of Commerce and Arendal Municipality to support new internationals who have relocated to the area to settle in comfortably and to overcome the challenges that come with integrating with a new community.
WHA works with local municipalities, businesses and organisations in Agder county to arrange courses, events and networking opportunities to connect newcomers with what they need to know to find their way! By focusing on the whole family, we not only ensure that the Agder community continues to grow but that long-term settlement is achieved.
Agder county is comprised of several municipalities including Arendal, Grimstad, Lillesand and Kristiansand.
WHA provides a number of services including -
WHA Founding Organisations
Welcome Hub Agder (WHA) was created following the establishment of a groundbreaking battery factory in Arendal municipality in 2021.
Arendal municipality is located in the county of Agder, which is growing rapidly due to the development of The Battery Coast, bringing challenges in terms of attracting expertise from all over the world. The international talent relocating to the area often also come with a partner and children. They have left behind a comfortable life and have chosen to start a new one in a foreign country and now need to cope with a different language, culture, traditions and laws.
This often creates challenges and a stressful time for new families. It also puts pressure on international recruitment companies and businesses hiring international talent as they work to address these challenges and help alleviate common stress factors facing their new employees. Failure to do so often leads to talent leaving, which in turn results in economic consequences and challenges for both the companies and the region.
Impact Hub Agder, together with Arendal Chamber of Commerce and Arendal Municipality hope that by creating a hub, both international talent and their families can receive the support they need and will ultimately choose to stay in the region.
As a hub, WHA supports not only newcomers, but also companies and the municipalities in the region. It plays a vital part in facilitating access to information, networks and support in navigating “the system” in Agder.
We know that getting the most out of a new place means getting involved. Our network of over 100+ organisations will help everyone get involved with something that interests them - building a vital social network and an opportunity to be a part of the great Agder community.
In 2022, WHA established Job Start Agder, Ambassador Network Agder, Living and Working in Norway (and with Norwegians) and City Walk Arendal (pilot). WHA also offers an easy “drop-in” support which allows one to meet a friendly face in a warm and inclusive environment.
We welcome you to Agder and look forward to meeting you – we think you will be here for a while!