The Centre for Fashion Enterprise is a pioneering Fashion & FashTech business incubator in London. In fact, CFE is located within London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London. It supports London’s most promising creative talent who are growing successful and sustainable fashion and fashion tech businesses.
The CFE accounts for a number of industry specialists that deliver support to designers and includes coaching on strategic business planning and brand development, and operational issues such as range planning, production, legal, IP, costings and finance.
CFE has supported London’s most promising new names in creating successful and sustainable fashion careers, including Molly Goddard, Liam Hodges, Faustine Steinmetz, Erdem, Peter Pilotto, Mary Katrantzou, Marques Almeida, Wales Bonner and Craig Green. Centre for Fashion Enterprise is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
The FTEF project vision is to support the new eco-system emerging in London, recognising the convergence of fashion and technology SMEs.
By way of their four-level tiered offering, the project encourages business growth via a programme of activities. These include intensive bespoke interventions/programmes, one-to-many workshops, fash-tech meet-ups, and Manufacturers Trade Fairs.
Businesses are supported to adopt and innovate their business models, products, and services. Through the creation of new fashion and lifestyle products, digital marketing and retail solutions, and digital supply chain tools, businesses unfold potential to transform the high-value fashion sector.
By driving growth and promoting greater cross-sector collaboration, the project supports SMEs to develop their capacity through improved business infrastructure, finance and better supply chains, ultimately improving the competitiveness of London’s fashion SMEs. CFE provides the tools to boost brand confidence – for designers, manufacturers, and buyers, to ultimately reach economic sustainability.
The FTEF project is part funded from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, European Regional Development Fund funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.
Covering finance, legal issues, manufacturing and marketing, each of CFE’s fully-subsidised programmes has four levels to suit different businesses, and range from two-day workshops to two-year programmes:
Market Entry. Open to London-based Fashion, Jewellery, Accessory and FashTech SME’s, the Market Entry Programme empowers businesses with essential knowledge and tools to develop their business infrastructure and growth strategies, enabling them to support their creative abilities.
Fashion Pioneer. CFE’s Fashion Pioneer Programme nurtures emerging London-based designer labels, identifying and providing solutions for some of the issues that may be stifling growth in the early stages of business.
Fashion Production 2. CFE’s Fashion Production 2 is a personalised programme for fashion brands ready to expand their supply chain or scale up their production, source new products and develop their team.
Jewellery Pioneer. The programme, delivered in partnership with Centa Business Services (CENTA), nurtures emerging London-based jewellery businesses, identifying and providing solutions for some of the issues that may be stifling growth in the early stages of business. This project will particularly assist those designers who would like to move in a more couture direction, either working with precious or semi-precious metals, as well as designers currently showing at, or applying for shows such as Rock Vault or Couture Vegas.
FashTech Pioneer. The Fash-Tech Pioneer Programme supports fashion technology entrepreneurs who want to redefine the future of the industry. Bridging the gap between fashion, technology and digital industries, our tailored programme will provide successful applicants with the necessary support to scale tomorrow’s big ideas.
Fashion Production 1. The Fashion Production 1 workshop (Fashion P1) empowers London-based fashion businesses with the best tools and practices to successfully navigate their way through the production process – from finding the right manufacturer to meeting that delivery date.
Fashion Accelerate. The Accelerate Programme (formerly known as ‘New Fashion Venture’ programme) fast tracks emerging London-based designer labels, identifying and strategising areas for growth and funding towards developing a new product process or service.
Jewellery Production 1. The Jewellery Production 1 workshop (Jewellery P1) has been created to help small jewellery designer-maker businesses ready themselves to work with larger scale suppliers and respond to the changes in the jewellery market today. This two-day intensive course will cover a range of topics designed to provide attendees with the knowledge and tools to help increase profitability, maximise time and attract new customers; exploring some of the ways in which you can extract more value from your business, without diluting your brand.
FashTech Accelerate. The FashTech Accelerate Programme (FT Accelerate) offers selected businesses a free desk space in CFE’s FashTech community-led offices at Mare Street, as well as tailored support, to enable FashTech businesses to further grow and establish their brand, vision, products and services.
BBE Fashion. Building Brand Equity is a 3-month programme of workshops and bespoke 1-1 support for London based fashion and fashion tech businesses looking for investment from angel investors or VC funds. The programme will help businesses understand investment, develop strategies for maximising brand equity, build a funding proposition and market themselves as an attractive investment proposition.