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Comment: Dr Marta Herrero discusses the importance of entrepreneurship in the creative and cultural industries

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Dr Marta Herrero attended a launch event for the Creative Industries Federation’s policy paper ‘How public investment in arts contributes to growth in the creative industries’ at London’s Shard.

Discussing the paper, Marta said: “It is particularly welcome, especially because the government is due to announce its spending review for 2015-6 shortly. At the event John Kampfner, Chief Executive of the Creative Industries Federation, introduced the main findings of the paper, which was followed by a plenary including Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, Ed Vaizey; Peter Bazalguette, Chair of the Arts Council of England; Melanie Eusebe; John Berger (Warner Brothers), and Tracey Barber.

“The research presented in this paper is a call for public investment in the creative industries sector. Mainly, the publicly funded cultural sector is the cradle for the talent and spill-over of activities and expertise that will help not only the growth of the public sector, but also of the for-profit sector. The creative industries sector is an ecology where publicly funded and privately owned are intrinsically linked.”

On its timely release, Marta continued: “The timing for this paper is pertinent in view of the forthcoming culture and arts white paper to be published by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. It makes a case for the continuation of a mixed funding model in which public funding continues to play a key role. Compared to other EU countries such as France and Germany which have strong models of public funding for their culture sector, England is performing much better than them with lower levels of funding. The question is, for how long will we be able to tell this success story?

“The importance of entrepreneurship or entrepreneurial practices to be imported to the sector was raised during the plenary, bringing business practices into publicly funded institutions can help them. But this direct import from for-profits to not-for-profits needs to be rethought. It is not just the application of business practices, it is about thinking about what types of entrepreneurship and innovation are applicable and appropriate for publicly funded organisations. And key to an economic empowerment of the sector is to fund research and development programs to help organisations think about their distinctive worth, their values, their role in society, and how they can, at the same time, embrace entrepreneurial and innovative practices that are supportive and help mentor and develop these values.”

Dr Marta Herrero is a member of the Marketing and Creative Industries division at the Management School. Read more about her research here.

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