To most Germans, Trelleborg might exclusively be known for its ferry harbour that paves the way for entering Sweden for their summer holidays. The economic structure of the 29.000 inhabitants city is not surprisingly dominated by retail and farming and – creative industries. Although the Swedish definition of CCI might seem very broad to some as it includes also tourism and gastronomy, their presence in Trelleborg surprised not only policy makers. The sector became visible in a pre-study the municipality conducted in the course of planning an incubator for entrepreneurs.
“We wanted to dig where we stand”, says Ditte Fagerlund, executive director of the local development agency. The city of Trelleborg is a city of transition. The big companies, although still important employers, have moved many jobs away and are thus not the only labour market players anymore. In the course of this transition the city looks for other sources of development for local companies and the labour market and also started to incorporate individual entrepreneurs into their considerations.
The Green Room was opened in January 2013 and currently provides room for five entrepreneurs:
- a festival manager
- an IT programmer
- an interior designer
- a chef
- and a souvenir developer.
“I am a bit shocked that people wanted to help me” says Jonas who has a company organizing an annual countryfestival in Söderslätts and wants to make his business independent from public funding. He is experienced in organizing events and wants to have his own event agency one day.
The entrepreneurs within the incubator benefit from regular meetings with a personal coach and gain from a network of specialized consultants when it comes to specific legal, marketing or other business questions.
For the future, the activities of the incubator will be extended to networking events and a mentoring scheme. Already now the companies wihin the incubator profit from mutual exchange because they are in different phases of business development.