LiU supporting companies of the future
When companies expand quickly, they often face the same problems irrespective of their sector. That’s why a combination of an open exchange of experiences between companies and targeted coaching from experts is so useful. This is demonstrated by a programme where Linköping University is a participant.
A major initiative aimed at small growth companies is now being implemented in the Östergötland province of East Sweden via collaboration between CAM – the Centre for Applied Management for small and medium-sized enterprises – at Linköping University (LIU), and the venture capitalists, Almi Företagspartner.
This gives the leaders of these companies a chance to take advantage of applied management services, coaching and seminars. They can also exchange experiences and learn from one another. Since the beginning of 2012, two groups of specially selected entrepreneurs have been participating in the project’s growth programme and more groups will be initiated after summer.
“We have identified companies in a period of rapid growth or with the potential to grow. There has never been an initiative like this anywhere before,” says project manager Karin Tell from Almi Företagspartner.
Linköping University is represented by several researchers with connections to CAM. Anna Öhrwall-Rönnbäck is project manager and Staffan Hård af Segerstad is programme constructor. The entrepreneurs are offered a comprehensive programme and each group features companies from different sectors.
“The idea is that they can break free from the traditional logic in their sector, and share their thoughts without worrying about revealing trade secrets to competitors,” says research fellow Tomas Nord, who is one of the group leaders.
One of the participants is Adam Naredahl, who runs rehab clinics and outpatient care for young people with addiction problems. So far his group has had three meetings.
“Participating in this programme provides me with valuable perspectives on my own entrepreneurship. Staff issues, skills supply, financing and division of responsibilities; most of these areas are relevant to us all. I learn a lot from the others and every meeting has resulted in some kind of exchange.”
His views are shared by Roger Eriksson at Prodema AB, who sees a major advantage in the fact that everything discussed stays within the group, and that he can get instant feedback on his ideas.
“I also like to pick up on what happens when theory and practice come together, when Almi and the LiU contribute.”
The programme arose following a study from Östsam, a regional development agency for Eastern Götaland, which exhibited good competitiveness but low growth rates among companies with 20-100 employees, and is financed by the EU regional development fund, the Östsam regional fund, Almi Företagspartner and Linköping University.
The growth project will run until the end of 2013 and will be the basis for a research project on growth.
- CAM – The Centre for Applied Management for small and medium-sized enterprises
- Almi Företagspartner
- Anna Öhrwall-Rönnbäck
- Tomas Nord
- East Sweden Regional Association (Östsam)
- European Regional Development Fund
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Last updated: 2013-05-22