Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe during the spring of 2020, the Cultural Creative Sector (CCS) has been one of the hardest-hit industries. The increasing significance of entrepreneurship within the arts and culture sector is intricately linked to the rise of creative industries. In a society that does not promote cultural expression, young artists grapple with a dearth of opportunities in the job market, exacerbated by insufficient investments in their specific field. Emerging artists also function as entrepreneurs, and lacking essential skills in certain critical areas, they may face difficulties in establishing their own enterprises or pursuits and sustaining themselves. ALDA recognizes that nurturing independence in young individuals within the cultural and artistic sphere not only unlocks their potential but also aligns perfectly with its mission to empower youth by giving them the tools to shape their own future through creativity and self-determination.
The Erasmus+ project “Create Up” has the overarching aim to minimize unemployment in the creative sector
The Erasmus+ project, Create Up has the overarching aim to minimize unemployment in the creative sector while simultaneously furnishing effective strategies for enhancing relevant, high-caliber skills and competencies.
Within this context, a comprehensive and in-depth research effort was undertaken to comprehend the specific competencies that individuals require to achieve success in their respective fields.
The research hypothesis posited is as follows: “Aspiring artistic entrepreneurs encounter significant challenges in establishing themselves within their chosen artistic domain. The overarching thesis that the project seeks to substantiate and subsequently elaborate upon is as follows: The enhancement of essential competencies plays a pivotal role in increasing the likelihood of individuals becoming successful entrepreneurs and converting their creative abilities into sustainable careers”.
The project initiates its analysis by focusing on the EntreComp (european ENTREpreneurship COMPetence framework), which has been introduced by the European Commission. EntreComp offers a thorough representation of knowledge, abilities, and mindsets needed for individuals to exhibit entrepreneurship and generate economic, cultural, or social value for others. Within this analytical framework, Create Up’s primary aim is to identify the key competencies that hold the utmost importance and are particularly pertinent to the specific target group of creative adults.
The primary research within the Create Up project aims to uncover:
- The requirements and demands of creative adults.
- The educational programs they have previously undergone.
- The challenges they encountered during their educational background.
The results of this study can be seen in the two important tools that were used: questionnaire survey and focus group interviews.
- The survey of creative adult entrepreneurs involved 122 young artists/entrepreneurs with different but similar backgrounds across six countries: Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Italy, Slovenia, and Turkey. Regarding competencies based on the European Entrepreneurship Competence Framework, participants were asked to assess their strengths.
- In the next phase of the primary research, 76 participants, primarily creative adults, were interviewed by project partners. These entrepreneurs were questioned about their careers, how they initiated their own businesses, and their level of success. The interviews primarily focused on entrepreneurial skills, encompassing their experience with EntreComp competencies and the significance of adopting a comprehensive strategy for building a progressive career. Respondents unanimously believed that creativity is innate and adequately nurtured in academies. Most respondents perceived a lack of understanding in financial, economic, and legal matters. Project management skills and communication skills were also identified as valuable for planning and organizing work effectively.
The results from this analysis lead the Create Up project to demonstrate the thesis that creative adults are struggling with becoming entrepreneurs, and in this scenario six competences were isolated within the EntreComp framework and selected as the most wanted in the entrepreneurial skills framework: spotting opportunities, financial literacy, mobilizing resources, coping with ambiguity and risk, vision, working with others.