Tag Archives: entrepreneurship

Cultural Entrepreneurship: Good or Bad Work?

In her chapter entitled Good Work? Rethinking Cultural Entrepreneurship (in Creativity and Cultural Policy edited by Bilton), Kate Oakley rethinks entrepreneurship and the notion of good work. The thrust of her argument is that the policy rhetoric encouraging entrepreneurship in the cultural sector needs to take note of the challenges of cultural work and self-employment. A better understanding of different practices and individual experiences needs to inform the ‘rethinking of cultural entrepreneurship’. As Oakley states, there is a ‘disconnect between the discourse of cultural entrepreneurship and the reality of it.’

I’d like to pick up a few ideas from Oakley’s chapter and add my own research and comments to the debate. Continue reading Cultural Entrepreneurship: Good or Bad Work?

The Entrepreneurial State

I was interested to read about Mariana Mazzucato’s book, The Entrepreneurial State which looks at the role of the public sector in entrepreneurship. Of course, the public sector tends to be looked upon as the opposite of entrepreneurial and is much criticised for this (see Du Gay’s Organising Identity which touches on this subject). Mazzucato argues that in many cases, the innovations at the heart of many entrepreneurial companies, were often developed through publicly funded research. In a recent article in Public Finance International, she states:

But what if the image we are constantly fed – of a dynamic business sector contrasted with a necessary but sluggish bureaucratic, often ‘meddling’, state – is completely wrong?

What if the revolutionary, most radical, changes in capitalism came not from the invisible hand of the market but the very visible hand of the state?

According to Mazzucato, many technological innovations behind products such as the Iphone, GPS, touchscreen etc. were government funded. So rather than a ‘meddling’ state, she presents The Entrepreneurial State.

This position reminded me of a chapter by Anne De Bruin, Entrepreneurship in The Creative Industries, who writes about how various levels of entrepreneurship have enabled innovation in New Zealand”s the film industry. De Bruin states that the New Zealand government developed policies with the Screen Production Industry to grow the sector through funding opportunities and public and private partnerships. Similarly to Mazzucato, De Bruin explains that:

Typically, entrepreneurial focus has been on the individual and the firm. Recent research, however, has pointed to the need to consider the external context or a creative milieu as being of importance to innovation (see, for example, Kresl and Singh, 1999; Porter and Stern, 2001)…The strategic state is a key driver of innovation in the national economy and is seen as a catalyst in the creation of favourable systemic conditions for knowledge creation and an important actor within the National Innovation Systems framework and regional systems of innovation.

While De Bruin recognises Peter Jackson’s (Lord of the Rings) contribution as a film maker and entrepreneur, she presents his success and that of the New Zealand film industry as a partnership in which risk taking and entrepreneurial characteristics are applied at multiple levels.

Enterprise Stories

There are lots of stories about successful entrepreneurs but fewer examples of the challenges of entrepreneurship, particularly from the cultural and media industries. My colleague, Nayan Patel and I have been working with some students at Birmingham City University (BCU) to investigate enterprise from the student perspective. On Friday 13th we will present our project at the International Enterprise Educators Conference (IEEC).

Continue reading Enterprise Stories

Creative Enterprise Conference 2013

Register here for the Creative Enterprise Conference 2013! The event will take place on Thursday 2nd May at Fazeley Studios in Birmingham, UK.

Speakers include Ruth Leary who will discuss her work on the NESTA funded Happenstance Project and Clayton Shaw of Sampad who will present his experience of developing a sustainable cultural enterprise.

The event is organised in partnership with Enterprise Educators UK and with Digital and Cultural industries consultant, Lara Ratnaraja.

For more information about the event please contact  annette.naudin@bcu.ac.uk or check the conference blog.

Attending Conferences is Good for you.

I recently attended the Advancing European Tradition of Entrepreneurship Studies conference in Leeds. I’ve writen a short blog post about it here. I found it thought provoking and challenging. The best conferences should help you  debate, progress your thinking and test your knowledge.

While I was in Leeds, and not available to teach, my students attended the Virtual Ent conference in Birmingham. Feedback from the students has been very postive. One of them said, ‘it got me thinking’.
Continue reading Attending Conferences is Good for you.

Defining Cultural Entrepreneurship

Cultural Entrepreneurship is difficult to define. Are we taking a wide definition of ‘culture’ to include a ‘way of life’ or are we taking about the ‘arts’ or the ‘creative industries’?

Of course, there is no single definition.

In the Guardian’s Secret Entrepreneur series,  there is a debate about whether or not a definition for social enterprise is important. According to the Secret Entrepreneur:

Social enterprise is a melting pot from which anything might emerge. Continue reading Defining Cultural Entrepreneurship