The Finnish fashion entrepreneurship ecosystem

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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Finnish fashion entrepreneurs are failing in creating an impact on the domestic economy, achieving sufficient growth and competing successfully in the international markets. It has been proven that it is not due to the lack of design talent, but rather due to a lack of business know-how. This study examines the Finnish fashion entrepreneurship ecosystem by using Daniel Isenberg’s framework (2011) of domains of an entrepreneurial ecosystem, the community of organisations and individuals that create its structure and components, to understand the gap between the demand and the offering of fashion specific entrepreneurial services and information available in the field. The method of this research was to interview fashion designers to understand the different types of actors in the field and then, by concentrating on the entrepreneurial types, to learn about their business skills and their specific needs of services from the help organisations and the ecosystems stakeholders. It was investigated whether the help organisations information was accurate and relevant to the requirements of the designers or if there were gaps in the services offered. Results showed that the designers don’t have enough business skills on their own, that there was a lack of fashion field specific information and that the offering did not follow the demand. In addition, the analysis of the ecosystem showed that the six domains highlighted in the thesis, are not communicating well enough with each other in order to create spillovers and thus create sustainability in the ecosystem. This study fully supports the necessity of having an organisation that owns the fashion field specific knowledge to facilitate the entrepreneurial fashion ecosystem by creating an easy way to navigate through the existing information, create new data about the field and to help in the better allocation and utilisation of resources.
McGrory, Peter
Thesis advisor
Gurova, Olga
Finnish fashion, fashion entrepreneurship, fashion ecosystem, support organisations, fashion institute, designer types
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