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Supporting Graduate Entrepreneurship in the Creative Sector
Start date: Sep 1, 2016, End date: Aug 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Factory floors are progressively being replaced by creative communities whose raw material is their ability to imagine, create and innovate. In this new digital economy, immaterial value increasingly determines material value, as consumers are looking for new and enriching "experiences". It is widely accepted that there is a profound shortage of coherent entrepreneurship training programmes throughout Europe with even fewer initiatives addressing the needs in sectors like the creative industry sector which has a number of sector-specific characteristics that require special consideration. While there is a broad range of vocational education and training programmes that address the development of creative skills there is no evidence that the essential entrepreneurship training is being integrated into non-business graduate education in any of the EU Member States. Supporting people to develop their creative skills without developing the business acumen is an on-going disconnect in education and training that cannot be allowed to continue.The creative industry sector comprises highly innovative companies and is one of Europe's most dynamic sectors, contributing around 2.6 % to EU GDP, with a high growth potential and providing quality jobs to over 5 million people across EU-27. Creative businesses often contribute to boosting local economies in decline, contributing to the emergence of new economic activities, creating new and sustainable jobs and enhancing the attractiveness of European regions and cities. EU cohesion policy has recognised the multifaceted contribution of culture and creativity to its strategic objectives of convergence, competitiveness and employment.For most creative individuals developing a new product or idea, the focus and priority is firmly placed on what it can do; how it can be used; what makes it different. While these are all essential pre-requisite to any future potential business of equal importance are questions like:- who are the management team behind the business?- what is the the business model proposed?- how will intellectual property be protected?- does the product or idea have scalable potential?So while having the right idea might get you half the way to success, it will only get you half the way as core business management skills are also required. While individual capacities like creativity, motivation and powers of persuasion are often considered to be key attributes that drive new business ventures among young graduates marrying those skills to business acumen brings success. Providing bespoke entrepreneurship training that is specifically designed to address issues that are unique and particular to graduates in the creative industry sector can help to harness the potential of this sector as a hotbed for graduate entrepreneurship throughout Europe and provide a sustainable pathway to self-employment, economic independence and social cohesion.It is now widely recognised that creative industries will make a significant contribution in building the post-crisis economic landscape in Europe. The “European Competitiveness Report 2010”, referred to the “transforming role” of the creative industries for the future of the EU economy. While entrepreneurship curricula are not in themselves innovative or new there is a need to provide bespoke learning resources that address the specific needs of different target groups and the SHADOWS project will develop Europe's first bespoke, targeted entrepreneurship curriculum for graduates embarking on a career in the creative industry sector.
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