Pro-CCS: Promoting entrepreneurship and access to finance in the Cultural and Creative Sector
Euradia Italia is partner of the Erasmus+ co-funded project: “Pro-CCS: Promoting entrepreneurship and access to finance in the Cultural and Creative Sector”.
The Cultural and Creative Sectors (CCS) constitute one of the most dynamic industries in the European Union and the global economy. The sectors have tremendous economic value, since they constitute 4.2% of the European Union’s (EU) Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and create 7.4 million jobs, employing mainly young people. Cultural and creative sectors are important for ensuring the continued development of societies and are at the heart of the creative economy. Knowledge-intensive and based on individual creativity and talent, they generate considerable economic wealth. More importantly, they are critical to a shared sense of European identity, culture and values. In economic terms, they show above-average growth and create jobs while strengthening social cohesion.
The CCSs is largely composed of micro-enterprises, non-profit organisations and creative professionals that often lack access to financial support and might not have the specific skills for realising and managing their business ideas. Moreover, the crisis caused by Covid-19 was particularly critical for the CCS due to the sudden and massive loss of revenue opportunities. The suspension of activities and the cancellation (or postponement) of events, shows and festivals generated a chain of negative effects, which were difficult to compensate for even when venues could reopen and events could be organised.
The challenges in accessing finance is one of the most critical obstacles to the sector´s growth. Among others, access to finance is prevented by specific characteristics of CCS organisations: lack of tangible assets, high uncertainty of market demand, generation of value over long and uncertain periods of time, lack of knowledge of funding opportunities etc.
The Pro-CCS project supports the overall CCS reinforcing the competences of professionals active in the CCS and aims at bridging the cultural and creative sectors with the financial sector in order to facilitate access to credit for the CCSs. The project will create dedicated channels in order to provide solid information on the economic potential of the CCS to financial intermediaries so that they can overcome a traditional distrust of the sector and support its growth. In addition, the project will develop training that will equip the CCSs with the necessary knowledge to bridge the skills gap of professionals in the sector.
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The project will design and deliver 3 specific outcomes, aimed at facilitating the mutual understanding and cooperation between the financial tutors and professionals dealing with microfinance for culture and the professionals of the CCS looking for public or private financial support for the development of their business idea:
A training course addressed to financial tutors, BDS providers, trainers and mentors active in the micro-funding field. The training course will promote the acquisition of transversal and complementary skills, which are necessary for improving the performance of trainers, tutors and mentors and their capacity to address the needs of CCS professionals, thus providing them with a comprehensive overview, guidance and initial training on all aspects of a business.
A training course addressed to professionals of the CCS (especially start-ups and micro enterprises) to provide them with specific transversal and technical skills about management, entrepreneurship, access to finance and business development. Toolkit addressed to financial intermediators to support business start-up in the CCS. The toolkit will both offer technical support to financial intermediaries, providing them with specific skills to evaluate the loan request of CCS, as well as facilitate a change of perspective towards the CCS and its entrepreneurs, seeing them as key players in the development of a sustainable, networked and shared economy.
The Pro-CCS project is led by the Ente Nazionale per il Microcredito, involving important organisations so as to constitute a powerful task force cooperating to address this challenge at the European level. The consortium is composed of 5 organisations from 4 different countries. It is characterised by a highly transversal nature, involving different types of organisations covering the full range of the activities foreseen by the project: a national public body (ENM, Italy) expert in the implementation of microfinance policies and tools at European and national level; an innovation and business centre (InnoGrowth, Bulgaria); a business incubator part of a worldwide network (Impact Hub Leipzig, Germany); European cultural network supporting the CCS at EU level (Culture Action Europe, Belgium) and a consultancy company (Euradia Italia) specialised in institutional relations, project management and communication.