This study provides a much-needed in-depth review of the market potential of the EU's cultural and creative sectors. It analyses the sector's structure and disproves oft-heard clichés about its supposed lack of profitability. On a more detailed level it charts the specific financial needs of Europe's creative entrepreneurs as well as their difficulties in accessing private financing. Its results indicate that the new Creative Europe Guarantee Facility will provide a much-needed source of relief.
The study probed the opinion of nearly 3000 respondents from over 30 countries through an online survey and complemented this with in-depth interviews and an extensive literature review.
Contrary to what is often assumed, it found no evidence that the CCS are made up of financial underperformers. In fact, many of these companies exhibit above-average levels of profitability and are in good financial health. And yet creative entrepreneurs face strong difficulties in accessing finance, because of the intangible nature of their assets, the relatively young and fragmented market they operate in and their sector's vaguely defined boundaries.
To help us in fine-tuning our response to this problem, the study explored the multidimensional nature of the problems surrounding access to finance. While it found that lowering the financing risk for banks –a problem which will be addressed through the Creative Europe Guarantee Facility– is critical, it equally highlights the importance of providing the right financing mix for the CCS.
Another finding emerging from our research, is the importance of knowledge sharing if we want to fully tap the potential of these dynamic and quickly developing sectors. This will both involve capacity building initiatives for creative and financial professionals as well as the promotion of closer interaction between banks, public-private financiers, micocredit providers, business angels and venture capitalists