The Business History Award is given by the Centre for Business History to an individual or group who have made lasting efforts to highlight Swedish business history and demonstrate the contribution of Swedish companies have made to the nation. Previous recipients are the writer Anders Johnson, the Dalén Museum and the Economic Museum and professor Håkan Lindgren.
When the prize is now awarded for the fourth time, it goes to IKEA, with the following jury motivation:
For many years, IKEA has worked to keep its history and cultural heritage alive for employees, partners and customers, an effort that is now managed by the IKEA Museum. IKEA has thus also succeeded in placing its development in Sweden’s overall social history – because if prime minister Per Albin Hansson once built the social well-fare state, it was Ingvar Kamprad who furnished it. Historical documents and objects are continuously preserved in the company’s purpose-built premises in Älmhult. On this basis, IKEA builds its story in books, articles, meetings, and not least in the IKEA Museum, both in Älmhult and digitally. It is a work that never ends, and which IKEA embraces with energy, perseverance and ingenuity.
Lennart Francke, chairman of the jury for the Business History Award, commented:
“For the first time, the Business History Award goes to a company. IKEA has shown how a company’s historical heritage can be used in the present. With this, the jury wants to draw attention to the role that companies themselves play in preserving and presenting their part of the Swedish cultural heritage.”
Linda Fisti, Marketing & Communication Manager at IKEA Museum will accept the award on behalf of the company at this year’s History Marketing Summit on Thursday 5 October at Nalen in Stockholm and will then also give a short award recipient lecture. She says:
“We value our history and by creating awareness of this we want to build understanding, inspiration and entrepreneurial courage among our colleagues, but also among tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and IKEA fans around the world. We therefore highlight stories of both mistakes, challenges and successes with the hope that it will inspire.”
IKEA intends to use the prize money to support young entrepreneurship.