After an exhilarating morning of exploring Verona’s hidden treasures, such as a castle on the edge of the P.TE Scaligero River, we went on a professional visit to l earn about Venetia’s Consortium. The Consortium was formed by five business owners, who are now the board of directors, in 2000 and acts as a consultant and “middle man” for small Italian fashion companies, often producers, to succeed in building their projects. Projects can range from going global, rebranding, re marketing, and even learning how to reach the consumer directly. Specifically now, the goal that the Consortium helps to push for companies is not only having the best product possible, but also finding the perfect way to market that device in order to succeed in the industry today. In order to work for the Consortium, you must be a small business that is willing to collaborate and work with other companies and some other prerequisites may be that you have a startup company and need assistance finding tools and supplies, whether it be globalization (such as reaching the United States), digitalization (selling the company’s merchandise online rather than in stores), or marketing (finding the best way to reach the desired crowd).
As Diego described, the consortium is essentially an “incubator” for companies to interact and reach success. The consortium is very similar to many consulting agencies in the United States, where consultants work with (usually) smaller companies to find ways to succeed in their businesses. The Consortium is able to link companies that need help or have projects with other companies that may have the tools to help them succeed. For example, a startup company may have an idea and ask for help from the Consortium to make that dream a reality. The Consortium may then direct this small aspiring business to resources such as Mero & More, which has creative spaces, manufacturing devices, fabric supplies, and even a small store. The Consortium linked the small startup company to the resources and connections that this company may need, with the hope and goal that once the startup learns and begins succeeding, then they will be able to find long term suppliers from this.
Some advantages to joining the Consortium have been mentioned previously, but also span to a variety of different advantages as well. For example, globalization of a company is huge for small businesses. The Consortium doesn’t necessarily worry about competition between any of the 46 businesses within the Consortium, and hopes these companies look past the competition to market around the world through globalization, specifically in America. The biggest competitors are usually manufacturers in China, since the cost to make products is much cheaper there. In addition, digitalization has a huge effect on small companies. The Consortium is able assist a company find the right education and technology experts to help the company go digital. This is one of the best decisions that they could make, because they are able to reach the entire world rather than just those shopping in the neighborhood, and also allows the company to eliminate unnecessary sales jobs in a brick and mortar store and focus more on the other steps in the company to providing products online. Marketing is also a huge advantage. Because the Consortium has a variety of different fashion companies, there are a variety of markets that they have already reached and can help target a new company to these markets. They may help them learn through example, find the education to help them learn themselves, or even direct them to marketing companies to help the company succeed in reaching the desired audience. Also, it is a huge advantage to have 40+ companies that are willing and able to help make a small company’s dreams come true. The Consortium is a perfect example of “quid pro quo”, which translates from Latin to “something for something”. The companies are able to share a collaborative project with other companies and will help them succeed in the industry.
The Consortium is a successful and valuable resource for small Italian fashion businesses in the Venetia region to take advantage of. The successes between company collaboration and interaction has provided a trampoline for new companies to begin thriving. I learned so much from the Consortium and I cannot wait to tour two more companies that used the Consortium to help launch them to success!