54 action proposals for inclusive and sustainable growth in Malmö
Malmö has transitioned from a manufacturing economy to a knowledge-intensive and technology-driven business environment. While the business sector in Malmö is growing rapidly, the city also faces unemployment, exclusion, and segregation. The Growth Commission has submitted its final report "Malmö: one city, two narratives" to the Malmö City Council, which presents 54 action proposals to create conditions for inclusive and sustainable growth in Malmö.
Malmö is a city with two narratives. One is about transition from an industrial city to a platform for knowledge-intensive and technology-driven entrepreneurship, about development opportunities and the unique geographical location with its proximity to Copenhagen and the European continent. The second narrative is about unemployment, exclusion, and segregation. In that way, Malmö is a combination of extremes in Sweden. It's easy to imagine that Malmö's challenge is about solving the problems in the second story, but it's not just about that. Malmö's biggest challenge is not to let the city's two stories develop into two parallel realities.
The report presents recommendations and proposals for action within areas that the commission considers essential to strengthen the conditions for more inclusive and sustainable growth in Malmö. These areas include Business and Entrepreneurship, Labour Market, Education, Municipal Operations and Organization, as well as Copenhagen/Denmark and northern Germany.
- The decision to establish a Growth Commission was made by the Malmö City Council in 2020, and now that the final report has been submitted, it will be exciting to see our recommendations and proposals for action realized, says Maureen McKelvey.
Expertise in business and entrepreneurship
Maureen McKelvey, is professor of Industrial Economics at the School of Business, Economics, and Law at the University of Gothenburg, is one of the commissioners in the Growth Commission. She is Director of the Gothenburg Centre on knowledge-intensive innovation ecosystems and Head of the Unit for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The commissioners are involved in all focus areas. However, Professor McKelvey’s focus has been on the measures that can be taken within the field of business and entrepreneurship. Business and entrepreneurship involve measures that strengthen the conditions for growth in all sectors of the business community in Malmö.
- Malmö is a city where the service sector and knowledge-intensive sectors like gaming and the creative industries have grown. It is a major structural transformation from the industrial city that Malmö previously represented, where industry is largely gone, replaced by new housing and activity areas such as Malmö Live, says Maureen McKelvey.
This area also includes entrepreneurship and the role of entrepreneurship in Malmö's continued growth, as well as the conditions for a larger proportion of Malmö residents to become self-sufficient through entrepreneurship. The proposed measures within this area include the business climate, conditions for solo entrepreneurship, regional collaboration in establishment matters, commuting opportunities, and access to venture capital.
- Stimulating business and entrepreneurship is needed in Malmö since productivity increases and economic growth are necessary to safeguard the future welfare state. The final report focuses on proposals that promote business and entrepreneurship and work hand-in-hand with proposals in other areas, says Maureen McKelvey.
She concludes by commending the Growth Commission's secretariat.
- They have done a fantastic job with organization, texts and images, advice, discussions in Malmö, and more.
Final conference on the report
The final conference, held in Malmö on June 9, 2023, gathered over 200 participants. At the conference, the Growth Commission presented its proposals and recommendations to the Malmö City Council on how the city's growth can increase sustainably and inclusively. The conference also provided an opportunity to listen to in-depth conversations within the areas presented in the final report.
The Growth Commission's key proposals
The report presents recommendations and proposals for action within Business and Entrepreneurship, Labour Market, Education, Municipal Operations and Organization, as well as Copenhagen/Denmark and northern Germany.
The 14 commissioners and the individuals in the secretariat have deep knowledge of these areas, and Malmö, as a city with two narratives, must work consistently across boundaries to succeed in creating a better future for all residents.
Business and entrepreneurship involve measures that strengthen the conditions for growth in all sectors of the business community in Malmö. This area also includes entrepreneurship and the role of entrepreneurship in Malmö's continued growth, as well as the conditions for a larger proportion of Malmö residents to become self-sufficient through entrepreneurship. Proposed measures within this area include the business climate, conditions for solo entrepreneurship, regional collaboration in establishment matters, commuting opportunities, and access to venture capital.
The labour market focuses on several measures that the City of Malmö can take to improve Malmö residents' opportunities to enter the labour market. This includes matching efforts, job placement, municipal employment initiatives, investments in combined measures (language training combined with work training), and work on strengthening the conditions for policy learning so that the City of Malmö gains increased knowledge over time about which measures that actually work.
Education includes measures that the City of Malmö can take to equip Malmö residents for both work and entrepreneurship. This includes early actions in schools, work with study and career guidance, opportunities for workplace skills, work-based internships, and vocational training.
Municipal operations and organization focus on various aspects of the municipality's work. Within this area, the commission highlights Malmö's work with overarching strategies, future visions, collaboration across administrative borders, evaluation processes, as well as work on procurement as a means to promote innovation and sustainability. The commission also addresses how the City of Malmö can work to strengthen the conditions for civil society actors and how the City of Malmö, through the municipal housing company MKB, can expand efforts to work against socio-economic segregation.
Copenhagen/Denmark and northern Germany address a unique condition for Malmö - Malmö's geographical location with a fixed connection to Copenhagen and, ultimately, northern Germany thanks to the upcoming tunnel under the Fehmarn-Bält. Within this area, the commission has addressed issues and developed proposals that involve Malmö as part of an integrated labour market region with Copenhagen, business development, and cross-border cluster formation, Malmö and the broader Malmö-Lund region's attractiveness for investments and business establishments, as well as future opportunities thanks to the Fehmarn-Bält connection and a possible Øresund Metro.
The Growth Commission is an independent commission tasked with analyzing the conditions for inclusive and sustainable growth in Malmö and making recommendations going forward. The goal of the Growth Commission's work is to provide the City Council with an analytical and scientifically grounded basis with proposals to improve conditions for inclusive and sustainable growth in Malmö in the medium and long term. The proposals and recommendations must be policy-driven and realizable. Growth Commission's website: https://malmo.se/Tillvaxtkommissionen.html
Who were the members of the Growth Commission?
The Growth Commission consisted of 14 commissioners and a chairperson. Its composition included researchers, experts, and practitioners in areas such as entrepreneurship, innovation, labour market, education, and climate. The commissioners represented a wide range of research disciplines and organizations. A presentation (in Swedish) of the commissioners can be found at: Kommissionärer - Malmö stad (malmo.se)