Under the government's action plan for cultural and creative businesses VINNOVA, the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems, finances and organizes studies of small and medium-sized enterprises to analyse the conditions for business growth opportunities in this sector. This study is conducted during the autumn 2012.
We want to study the momentum and the ability of Swedish small and medium-sized fashion companies to grow internationally. The lack of a more systematic knowledge about these types of companies, both concerning management and their capacity for innovation and business development, and the role design plays in this development. We intend to make several detailed case studies of companies that are different in size and age, but are present on several markets, also outside the Nordic region. These case studies will also be compared with facts about the companies, such as what happened at different economic leap in development.
In 2011 exports counted to about 12 billion SEK. Reality indeed looks better since Statistics Sweden (SCB) only counts goods manufactured in Sweden, or passing the country's borders. Manufacturing has shifted to lower cost countries, and today's fashion is about creativity, design knowledge and production management. Larger companies with good logistics ship their products directly to foreign markets. One issue in the project is thus to study how smaller companies handle export and internationalization. A few brands will recognize themselves in the name of "the Swedish fashion miracle" when most are struggling to establish themselves internationally and ensure profitability. Instead it is the talents of Swedish fashion that brands are built upon - entrepreneurs that create attractive, high quality products at affordable price ranges that answers today's demand for contemporary design. With the right conditions, the Swedish fashion industry develops further as a growth industry, contributing to increased employment and exports, and increase Swedish competitiveness.
Project team: Åsa Sertenius Strivér and Katrin Tijburg