Factory of the future aims to improve the growth conditions of creative entrepreneurs and attract new creative entrepreneurs in Southern Funen, which is an outlying area with low growth and limited access to knowledge, advice and relevant collaboration partners.
The objectives are reached through courses and coaching for selected entrepreneurs to improve their skills and change their mindset. In addition, the project facilitates networking and mentoring activities, and provides courses for municipal administration and business advisers.
Factory of the future is managed and coordinated by the local incubator ‘Fremtidsfabrikken’ and the main beneficiaries are entrepreneurs in the 4 municipalities of Southern Funen, the municipal administration and local business advisers benefit. Course instructors and coaches come from private firms and are selected in tenders.
The total budget of the project, including supplementary grants, was €3.4M. The main budget item is teacher- and advisor- related expenditure. Another important budget item is project management. Registered time spent by entrepreneurs in the project counts as co-financing.
Evidence of success
The project has been evaluated by an external company measuring both qualitative and quantitative outputs and effects based on interviews and questionnaires. 36% of the respondents declared that the project would improve their growth potential, 46% that it already had.
The success of the project can to some extent be explained by the communication method in recruiting participants and by the efforts to improve framework conditions and the commitment of local government.
Potential for transfer
The project could be interesting for other regions with similar challenges and the following practices and lessons learned could be relevant transferring:
- The recruitment method for creative entrepreneurs with less focus on economic growth.
- The communication to municipalities emphasising the positive effects in each municipality.
- Teachers should have hands-on experience as entrepreneurs themselves.
- Differentiation of courses and possibly other offers are needed both in relation to skills and ambition level.
Transfer of the project experience has also taken place to a large degree in Denmark, and the project management has given presentations in different geographical areas of Denmark.