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Euratex roundtable on challenges in managing SME in Europe
01
Jun '15
Euratex, the European textile trade body recently organised a roundtable which discussed and shared views on the challenges and opportunities for creating and running a manufacturing SME in Europe.

The round table organised by Euratex during its General Assembly on May 28, 2015 saw five fashion and textile start-up companies present their ideas, new models and innovative methods of production.

“There is no single recipe for a successful startup, perhaps a number of ‘ingredients’ should be combined like talented people with a bright idea, a good strategy and a decent plan of its execution,” it said.

“The role of the external support is essential, in terms of finance and mentoring in protecting and safeguarding innovation,” Euratex explained in a press release.

Marcel Olivé, CEO of Nooem, a Spanish company producing textile-based accessories for technology, underlined that business environment should be more favourable for young companies willing to produce ‘Made in Europe’ goods.

“Entrepreneurial people often get discouraged by uneasiness to start and run their own business – administrative burdens, stern taxation rules and humble access to finance,” he observed.

According to Euratex, building trust and mutual understanding among the actual and potential partners is another challenge for the new companies, especially those working in the creative industries.

Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones, owners of London based womenswear brand Teatum Jones said it was not easy for the young London designers to build the reputation of trusted business partners.

“Receiving the renowned awards from the UK Fashion and Textile Association and the Centre of Fashion Enterprise helped them to gain recognition,” they informed.

Pierre-Yves Frouin from BioSerenity agreed to the observations made by the UK based fashion designers, since BioSerenity too has been recognised by a number of international awards.

Frouin pointed out that along with financial prizes; awards bring valuable mentoring support and networking opportunities.

Venture capital is another source of finance for young companies. However, all participants agreed that while preparing for fund raising, start-ups should not lose track of their own business model and priorities.

“To start a prosperous company, often there is no need to ‘reinvent the wheel’, one should apply disruptive approach to the existing models and cooperate with the right partners,” Euratex noted.

Sébastian Ramel explained how using data in different manner brought success to his start-up company Fitizzy, an online service helping consumers to calculate the right size of clothing purchased online.

An interesting example of cross-fertilisation of ideas was given also by the company Projects which started the production of textile-based volleyball nets with embedded led lights.

To respond to the specific need of certain sport, it implied launching new industrial value chains on very narrow market niches. (AR)

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