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Access to markets and finance

What is it about?

Cultural and creative industries (CCIs), like many enterprises, often require start-up capital and investments, as well as a client base.

In the case of the former, this usually takes the former of investment or loans from financial institutions and, in the latter, this involves identifying or accessing a market or audience.

Why is it needed?

Cultural and creative industries are very varied, ranging from large, well-resourced, and well-connected conglomerates to small, poorly resourced, and poorly connected micro-entities. For the latter, access to finance and, thus, markets remains problematic for several reasons:

  • Lack of expertise in financial institutions to analyse CCI business models;
  • Poor valuation among financial institutions of the intangible assets of CCIs;
  • Lack of data and statistics;
  • Complexity of culture sector business plans and models.

The matter is further complicated by a lack of harmonisation between tax, business, and intellectual property laws across the EU.

What is the EC's role?

The role of the European Commission here is manifold, including actions to increase the quality and quantity of statistics, support the development of partnerships and platforms for the culture sector, and develop responses to new and emerging issues, such as changes in audience behaviour.

In addition to this, with the increased use of digital technologies and e-commerce, the Commission is exploring ways in which to adapt the regulatory environment to increase the benefits for CCIs.

What has been achieved so far?

The Commission has, so far, undertaken a variety of initiatives and actions in the sector, as well as providing support under the Culture and MEDIA programmes.

In addition to these, the Commission is implementing partnerships, through the European Creative Industries Alliance, funding the FAME and C-I Factor partnerships to improve access to finance, as well as piloting a project for partnerships in the fashion sector.

What are the next steps?

The Commission intends to continue supporting CCIs by:

  • Reinforcing regulatory dialogues;
  • Assessing the possibility of risk sharing facilities;
  • Encouraging CCIs to pool resources, for example through European Economic Interest Groupings.

A guarantee facility will also be established, in the context of the Creative Europe programme.