Our Story 

Welcome Hub Agder (WHA) was created as a result of the rapid growth seen from The Battery Coast following the establishment of a groundbreaking battery factory in Arendal municipality in 2021.

Initiated by Impact Hub Agder, Arendal Municipality and Arendal Chamber of Commerce, WHA’s main goal is to support newcomers who have relocated to the area to settle in comfortably, and to overcome the challenges that come with integrating with a new community.

International recruitment companies and businesses hiring international talent also face challenges both in terms of hiring and retaining talent respectively.

WHA’s two-pronged approach aims to address and alleviate the challenges faced by companies, and also newcomers and their family as a whole.

By collaborating with and extending support to local municipalities, businesses and organisations in Agder* to arrange courses, events and networking opportunities, WHA connects newcomers with what they need to know to navigate ‘the system’ in Agder. This paves the way for newcomers to better cope with the stresses that follow a new job in a new country with a different language and culture; traditions and laws. It can also increase the probability that they will choose to make Agder their home for the long run which in turn will enable companies to retain their new talent.

*Agder county is comprised of several municipalities including Arendal, Grimstad, Lillesand and Kristiansand.

What We Do

WHA provides a number of services including-

  • providing one-to-one consultation, advice and info on a variety of day-to-day living issues such as renting and buying a home, healthcare registration, schools, amongst others, through Welcome to Agder meetings, Drop-In sessions and our Settlement Support tip box 
  • equipping internationals and/or their spouses with the necessary tools to secure a job through our career focused Talent Hub Agder programme and Talent Hub Database 
  • creating opportunities for newcomers to meet in a warm and welcoming space, make new friends, exchange ideas, share common experiences and challenges on moving to Agder through our weekly Coffee Connections sessions
  • organising a variety of networking and social events throughout the year that connect newcomers to leisure activities and organisations
  • connecting internationals and Norwegians through enjoyable activities to build social networks and promote long-term residency through Community Hub
  • making integrating into Norwegian society smoother through our Norwegian language courses 
  • supporting businesses and organisations in their efforts to recruit and retain international talent through our many courses, programmes, activities and Talent Hub Database

Our Team

Megan Elizabeth Strand
CEO, Welcome Hub Agder
Brit Maria Marcussen
Business Development Adviser, Arendal Municipality
Tonje Salgado
Business Adviser/Project Manager
Kamachi Ruthramurthi-Nilssen
Project Manager
Tove Hardaway
Project Manager, Community Hub

Advisory Committee

Marion Baghdadi, Impact Hub Agder
Brit Maria Marcussen, Arendal Municipality
Linda Sætra, Arendal Municipality
Nishi Asdal, Arendal Municipality
Joanna Derdowska, Agder County Municipality
Amina Bitar, NAV
Lisbeth Iversen, MHFA With a Heart For Arendal
Hilde Mjøs, Arendal Adult Learning Center
Anne Simonsen, NHO Agder
Clare Jortveit, University of Agder
Eugene Guribye, Norce
Morten Haakestad, Arendal Chamber of Commerce
Welcome Hub Agder is a programme operated by Inklusiv Agder AS in collaboration with the Arendal Municipality, as an integrated part of the community to welcome international talent and their families to Arendal and Agder.
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