Describe the main features of the measure/initiative:
The Initiative Creative Entrepreneurship Serbia is a unique program for developing creative entrepreneurship in Serbia and raising awareness on sustainable creative economy through creative entrepreneurship development. The program aims to boost the sustainable development of creative economy at a local level and to improve the economic and cultural position of creative entrepreneurs, first at the entrepreneurship level, then at the policy level. This is accomplished through two lines of capacity-building and training: a program to improve different aspects of doing business in creative entrepreneurship (the laboratory for creative entrepreneurship) and a program to improve the capacity of policymakers and creative entrepreneurs to participate in the creation of fair and sustainable policies that support creative entrepreneurship (the school for creative economy). These are supported with a variety of side activities such as mapping, documenting, and promoting sustainable creative entrepreneurship; networking and boosting the visibility of creative entrepreneurs (rural creative industries fairs, expos, public events, promotions…); raising local governments awareness of the developmental impact of rural creative entrepreneurship; and strengthening partnership for sustainable development (Creative Economy Forums). These two things seemed like linked and intertwined training programs: on the one hand, the Initiative wanted to empower creative entrepreneurs to run businesses in a better and more economically sustainable way, but also to increase their knowledge of the economics of creative industries; on the other hand, it intended to empower them to be equal participants in the creation of economic and other policy measures related to their development. Oftentimes, advanced creative entrepreneurs attended both programs, because they wanted to be the “voice” of their creative community and to push for a better working environment. This allowed them to connect with other stakeholders from their local community, whether they were also creative entrepreneurs or policymakers. The Initiative therefore created a community in which knowledge was transferred from creative entrepreneurs to policymakers, allowing them to better articulate the economic measures to support creative entrepreneurs. Creative entrepreneurs have been empowered not only to better articulate their problem, but also to form a partnership between policymakers and those affected by their policies. As a result, both parties learned from this interaction. Creative Entrepreneurship Serbia maps creative entrepreneurs, their capacities and needs, based on which it designs custom training courses. Creative entrepreneurship laboratories last 3-6 days. Each creative entrepreneurship lab is tailored for a specific region or territory. Each one is unique and specific. This enables them to provide better and more useful knowledge that meets the needs of entrepreneurs in the specific area or territory. The laboratory serves as an “open knowledge innovation” program, providing information in the field of business and cultural economics. It is also important that everyone with a business idea related to creative industries can participate in Labs, because the laboratory, in addition to empowering them business-wise, also empowers them socially. Working in a group allows them to connect and get stronger, to do something together, to realize that they are not alone, but also to better integrate into social and economic life. The Laboratory’s participants get new knowledge about local cultural expressions and improve their skills in order to enhance their employability. It focuses on themes that are most important to creative entrepreneurs in the Western Balkans region, yet are inaccessible to them. These include financing, taxes, intellectual property, and legal aspects of doing business in creative industries. The Initiative had a significant impact on professionalization and the improvement of human capacity for creative entrepreneurship as well as encouraging public-private dialogue between key stakeholders in creative economy. Through the laboratory of creative entrepreneurship as well as publications, books, training, and other educational material, the Initiative increased knowledge of more than 500 women, youth, and other stakeholders on how to become an entrepreneur in the creative economy environment. Through public events, the Initiative has increased the knowledge and skills of more than 5000 people, as well as their motivation to explore cultural expressions and local culture and increase income opportunities by applying this knowledge and skills in the creation of creative products and services. The Initiative has also contributed to the improvement of existing skills and the creation of new ones for more than 500 rural creative entrepreneurs. Additionally, the Initiative greatly contributed to raising awareness of creative entrepreneurship through research and mapping studies, which were useful to boost the visibility of the diversity of cultural expression and affirm local cultures in the municipalities. The policy component of the Initiative is focused on participative creation of public policy and based on mixed groups—creative entrepreneurs, policy makers, NGOs, and other stakeholders. Mixed groups enable all stakeholders to gain a better understanding of the creative ecosystem and the needs of each of these groups. It is aimed towards creative entrepreneurs who want to be advocates of changes in the creative entrepreneurship ecosystem and who want to participate in the process of creating sustainable and effective policies in this area.
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the measure/initiative?:
Results of the Initiative are: Economic • Innovative approach to boosting creative entrepreneurship of women and marginalized group was provided, one that combined the principles of entrepreneurship and the diversity of local cultures, and provided entrepreneurs with new multidisciplinary knowledge and ideas to create the basis for a competitive and authentic entrepreneurial endeavor • More than 500 women, youth, and members of marginalized groups increased their knowledge on how to become an entrepreneur in the creative economy environment • New business models that support economic and cultural diversity dimensions of entrepreneurial endeavors in a sustainable way were explored • Increased public awareness of the value of creative micro entrepreneurship in Serbia and the creative business of women • Contribution to overcoming the missing link between entrepreneurial approach/practices and creative skills and the lack of knowledge about doing creative business, the economy, and the creative side of their work • Increased knowledge and skills of members of different marginalized groups, and their enhanced motivation to explore cultural expressions and increase income and employment opportunities by applying this knowledge and skills in the creation of creative products and services • Increased understanding on how to start a creative business and awareness of the potential of local culture for creating business and employment opportunities Social • Strengthened networking and cooperation of creative entrepreneurs as well as creative entrepreneurs and policymakers • Strengthened creative entrepreneurship among stakeholders and increased legitimacy of creative entrepreneurs to participate in more than 25 policy-making processes • Increased capacity and knowledge of more than 125 different stakeholders in the creative ecosystem for participative governance • Increased access of more than 450 women to the local labor market, and increased empowerment and motivation of women for self-employment in cultural and creative industries in a legal way Cultural • Strengthened policy focus on the development of creative entrepreneurship in more than 25 communities and municipalities • Supported diversity of cultural expressions, especially that of marginalized groups and women