EURATEX is the European Confederation representing the interests at the level of the EU institutions of the European textile and clothing industries as a whole. EURATEX during its General Assembly on 28 May 2015 organized a round table, an exceptional opportunity to meet young entrepreneurs sharing their views on the challenges and opportunities for creating and running a manufacturing SME in Europe.
The round table guests proved that there is a new generation of innovative and talented textile and fashion entrepreneurs â€“ they have different set of mind, think â€˜out of the boxâ€™ and are not afraid to experiment and overcome all challenges.
Five fashion and textile start-up companies from UK, France, Belgium and Spain came to Brussels to present their ideas, new business models and innovative methods of production.
From the wide-spectrum of markets addressed during the round table there is no single recipe for a successful start-up, perhaps a number of ingredients should be combined â€“ talented people with a bright idea, a good strategy and a decent plan of its execution, the European Apparel and Textile Confederation reports.
The role of the external support is essential, in terms of finance and mentoring in protecting and safeguarding innovation. However, there are much more factors that determine the actual success of the newly created textile and fashion companies, according to the Confederation.
Marcel OlivÃ©, CEO of Nooem â€“ the 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. He believes that entrepreneurial people often get discouraged by uneasiness to start and run their own business â€“ administrative burdens, stern taxation rules and humble access to finance.
Building trust and mutual understanding among the actual and potential partners is another challenge for the new companies. Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones, owners of London based womenswear brand Teatum Jones, said that it was not easy for them 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.
BioSerenity, the company using smart clothing with embedded medical diagnostic devices, has also been recognised by a number of international awards. Pierre-Yves Frouin, the companyâ€™s CEO, pointed out that along with the financial prize, awards bring valuable mentoring support and networking opportunities.
Venture capital is another source of finance for young companies. However, all participants of the round table agreed that while preparing fund raising a long time in advance, the start-ups should not lose track of their own business model and strategic priorities.
To start a prosperous company, often there is no need to reinvent the wheel â€“ one should apply disruptive approach to the existing models and cooperate with the right partners, often thanks to the mentoring role of incubators.
SÃ©bastian Ramel explained how using data in different manner brought success to his start-up company Fitizzy â€“ an online service helping consumers to calculate the right size of clothing purchased online.
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