The Business History Award was inaugurated in 2019 by the Centre for Business History in Stockholm – a non-profit association that preserves and presents Sweden’s corporate history. The award is presented to an individual, group or company that has made lasting efforts to highlight Swedish business history, and Swedish companies’ contribution to the nation’s societal development. Previous winners include Professor Håkan Lindgren, the Dalén Museum in Stenstorp, and the Economy Museum in Stockholm. Now as the award is presented for the fourth time the jury has chosen to highlight IKEA, and the award was presented to IKEA Museum.
– Receiving this prize is a wonderful celebration of everyone at IKEA Museum who works daily to preserve and share the story of IKEA. As a museum we are still in our infancy, and we feel a huge sense of humbleness in our job of contributing to Sweden’s business heritage, says Linda Fisti, Marketing & Communication Manager at IKEA Museum.
The jury’s comments for the award were:
“For many years, IKEA has worked to keep its history and cultural heritage alive for coworkers, partners and customers – a job now overseen by IKEA Museum. IKEA has thereby also managed to put its development into a broader context of societal developments in Sweden – because if Per Albin Hansson built the welfare state, Ingvar Kamprad furnished it. Historical documents and objects are routinely stored in the company’s specially built facilities in Älmhult. On this foundation, IKEA builds its history in books, articles, meetings, and not least at IKEA Museum itself, both in Älmhult and online. This is a job which never ends, and which IKEA embraces with energy, persistence and inventiveness.”
– We value our history, and by raising awareness of it we want to create understanding, inspiration and entrepreneurial courage among our colleagues, but also among the entrepreneurs of tomorrow and IKEA fans around the world. At IKEA Museum we therefore highlight not only stories of our successes, but also of mistakes and challenges, in the hope that they will inspire visitors, says Linda Fisti, Marketing & Communication Manager at IKEA Museum.
The two new IKEA Museum exhibitions, IKEA Through the Ages and Hej Ingvar!, alongside the use of historical archive material both in brand communication and as a source of inspiration for new product series, are just some examples of how the story of IKEA is shared and used. IKEA Sweden is a market that actively integrates the brand’s history in communication with coworkers and customers alike.
– On the Swedish market, we see great value in building pride and inspiration when talking about our roots and our history, while also communicating our plans for the future. During our 80th anniversary celebrations this year, we have linked strategic developments to historical storytelling in different ways, says Linda Vikström Nielsen, Country Communication Manager at IKEA Sweden.
The Business History Award includes a prize sum of SEK 100,000, which IKEA Museum will be using to support young entrepreneurs.