creative economy entrepreneurs

The co-founders of Creative Startups have published a book that is a guide for anyone interested in the creative economy at any level — Creative Economy Entrepreneurs. This book is a good read but it is more of text book, sprinkled with anecdotes and data, than a single narrative. I would recommend it for anyone working in economic development today. The authors share their 25 years of experience and compile a lot of information in an accessible form.

The premise of this book is that the fourth industrial revolution is changing the nature of work and the economy.

“Now, in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, economies are evolving to handle and process our enormous mass of accessible information. With so much information available and so many methods of analysis, access to knowledge is no longer the challenge. Everything is connected, and these connections happen instantly. The challenge for the Fourth Industrial Revolution becomes interpretation, reflection, and innovation. How do we create new value out of our hyperconnected knowledge?”

A number of companies, some well-known, are examined—Cirque du Soleil, Meow Wolf, ListenMe News, George Town Festival, Native Realities, Some of these companies are in major urban centres while others are quite rural. Guidelines and considerations are provided for each. The book describes some rural creative ventures that succeed and others that fail.

“Will your civic leaders hide away in the shadows? Will they mine industrial legacies for diminishing returns, ignoring the economic potential of cultural legacies. Will your regional histories include a chapter on innovative companies that departed because the region couldn’t innovate their infrastructure or policies?”

Unfortunately, this describes my own region.

If you are interested in the creative economy, as a potential entrepreneur or a funder, this book is worth reading and keeping handy. The book closes with 19 recommendations, with a page describing each one.

  1. Find the entrepreneurial leaders
  2. Support education that builds the future
  3. Good broadband access
  4. Attract human capital
  5. Promote & foster connections between entrepreneurs and managers
  6. Facilitate mentor connections
  7. Attract investment capital
  8. Investors, step out of your box
  9. Fill public calendars & spaces with relevant workshops
  10. Hosts dedicated creative economy workshops
  11. Encourage creative economy tourism
  12. Find outlets to tell stories of local creative entrepreneurs
  13. Campaign to attract your creative diaspora
  14. Establish an office for the creative industries
  15. Develop creative entrepreneurship zones
  16. Integrate creatives entrepreneurs into the larger entrepreneurial system
  17. Influence national & regional intellectual property policies
  18. Be as entrepreneurial as the entrepreneurs you want to foster
  19. Celebrate creative process, risk-taking, and failure, regardless of outcome


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