Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Students present export strategies for fashion industry

20 Jan 2015 11:33 | Communication

Amsterdam is a global leader in casual design. Nevertheless, fashion designers have a tough time here due to the fierce competition in a small market. Around 50 European students are offering a solution: on Friday, 16 January they will give a presentation at credit insurer Atradius in which they will explain the export plans and the international contacts they have made for nine businesses in the fashion industry, under the leadership of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS). This project is supported by the Chamber of Commerce.

Export is difficult for many SMEs due to their limited budget: less than 30% of the SMEs in Amsterdam are involved in export. The Dutch students of the AUAS teamed up with French, Italian and German students to draw up marketing plans for nine fashion companies and established international contacts as part of their minor ‘The Real International Deal’. The Chamber of Commerce wants to stimulate the fashion designers’ export opportunities and therefore supports this student project.

Chamber of Commerce reaction

Marije Hovestad of the Chamber of Commerce: “We want to maintain variety in Amsterdam’s business community. We need fashion designers in order to maintain that diverse culture. The students have made contacts and deals that will enable the Chamber of Commerce and these fashion businesses to gain access to other markets, where these fashion designers can offer a product that is not yet available. Therefore these results are very important.”

Advantages for businesses

The students worked in teams to draw up marketing plans, review the business plans, offer financial advice and establish contacts for seven Dutch and two French fashion companies, as a result of which these companies can now export their products. Previously, a student team helped to establish export activities in Finland for sustainable clothing company Miss Green, after which turnover tripled.

About ‘The Real International Deal’ minor

The minor ‘The Real International Deal’ is a partnership between the AUAS, the IDRAC in Lyon, the Dutch Chamber of Commerce, Atradius and the Netherlands Consulate in the various cities, and is supported by ABN AMRO and De Nederlandsche Bank. The minor is aimed at helping businesses in the fashion industry to identify export opportunities in Lyon, Milan, Düsseldorf and Amsterdam, and finding qualified leads for the clients in the various cities.

Presentation at Atradius

On Friday, 16 January 2015, the European students of the minor will present the qualified leads to their client at credit insurer Atradius. This event will be attended by the Board of Directors of Atradius, the Head of the ABN AMRO Fashion Desk and the deans of Fachhochschule Dortmund, the IDRAC  in Paris and the Università Catolica in Milan. The AUAS will be represented by Willem Baumfalk, chairman of the School of Economics and Management. Various businesses will also be represented.