Theatre Arts Creative Enterprises

Art Entrepreneurship and the Cultural Industries

The idea that arts businesses are somehow not serious businesses, that they are frivolous or insignificant, tended to be common during the 1980s; but this view is much less widely held now and entrepreneurship in the creative industry sector has been now recognized as a distinctive and increasingly important area of the European economy.

Arts organizations are founded on the principles of innovation and entrepreneurship: those industries have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and have potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property. Yet the dynamics of the creative sector do not necessarily always operate on the same way as for businesses in other sectors in the economy.


Artist-entrepreneurs may not necessarily even have set up to start business. Their main focus may be on developing their own practice, but they then face need to come to terms with the commercial environment in order to be able to make enough money to continue their artistic work; another option is to see the commercial market as means of communicating with larger audience which then involves developing the necessary management and organizational skills to facilitate the performance and promotion of their work e.g. writing business plans and understanding of copyright and contractual issues.

Freelancing and self-employment are the most frequent types of employment in the creative sector and here are particularly large concentrations of small enterprises. Enterprises tend to remain small-scale because of the creative nature of the activities involved: artist-entrepreneurs’ need to have control over heir creativity and the integration of innovation into heir practice.

EU Policy Framework

  • January 2013: Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan actions by Commission and at all levels (national, regional, local) in 3 action pillars;
  • Entrepreneurship education;
  • Environment where entrepreneurs flourish & grow; • Awareness & outreach to specific groups.

Promoting Entrepreneurship in Cultural Creative Industries (CCI) in Europe

CCIs are by nature inter-disciplinary, they combine culture on one hand and economy on the other.

Arts and culture are often described as the core in a system where the cultural and creative industries surround the core and the wider economy surrounds the cultural and creative industries in Europe.

Key questions on education for entrepreneurship

  • What is distinctive about cultural entrepreneurship and how can it be taught in scenography and set design?
  • What is the role of formal and non-formal educational institutions in Europe in developing relationships with the creative industries sector and in developing training and support systems for aspiring professional young artists?

Key points on scenography entrepreneurial education

  • Develop students’/young professionals` entrepreneurial ‘mindset’ within an inter-cultural setting (interdisciplinary approaches, creative/business clusters, collaborative problemsolving, enhanced commercial know-how…);
  • Create strong, innovative entrepreneurial projects using clear communication, negotiation and international networking skills;
  • Foster the capacity to integrate creativity and innovation.

Towards Cultural Entrepreneurship in Scenography Young professionals should explore: the role of creative industries in the workplace, interdisciplinary business clusters and their potential for business innovation, self-employment as a career option and the importance of cross-cultural, inter-and multi-disciplinary cross-arts collaboration (art, marketing, management, ICT, business, multimedia and communication).

With regard to entrepreneurial opportunities in set design, emphasis is placed on the ability of young entrepreneurs to identify and exploit the opportunity to transform the theater into a real cultural center interwoven into different artistic languages, leaving intact its theatrical vocation, but at the same time enhancing its image and broadening  its horizons, thus attracting new audiences.

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