Cultural and creative entrepreneurs in financial crises: Sailing against the tide?


  • Elsa Fontainha
  • Elisabetta Lazzaro



cultural and creative entrepreneurship, resilience, policy


We focus on a number of idiosyncrasies of cultural and creative entrepreneurs (CCEs) to study CCEs’ capacity of resilience under times of downturn (economic, financial and debt crisis). We analyse CC firms’ demography (born and dead), trends and performance and the association between subsidies received and firm survival. We look at mostly micro firms in a country where CCEs are particularly challenged from the financial perspective, namely Portugal. We exploit the unique availability of accounting micro data at private firm level in a time span of 8 years (2004-2011), which allows to include the effects of the latest financial crisis, and to understand the evolution of the economic success criterion. The obtained results about the impact of subsidies on survival are interesting in both CCEs and policy perspectives, suggesting a positive impact of subsidies in periods of downturn, and negative impact of subsidies in periods of growth of the economy. Further, CC firms revealed to be more dynamic than other firms in other sectors.

JEL Codes - L26; Z11; L82


Amez, L., Lazzaro, E., Mauri, C., Vlegels, J., and Ysebaert, W., 2017. The Cultural & Creative Sectors in the Brussels-Capital Region. Government of the Brussels-Capital Region. Brussels.

Antoncic, B., and Hisrich, R. D., 2001. Intrapreneurship: Construct refinement and cross-cultural validation. Journal of Business Venturing, 16(5), 495-527. 9026(99)00054-3

Bagwell, S., 2008. Creative clusters and city growth. Creative Industries Journal, 1(1), 31-46.

Baumol, W. J., 1968. Entrepreneurship in economic theory. The American Economic Review, 58(2), 64-71.

Beck, T., and Demirguc-Kunt, A., 2006. Small and medium-size enterprises: Access to finance as a growth constraint. Journal of Banking & Finance, 30(11), 2931-2943.

Bendixen, P., 2000. Skills and roles: Concepts of modern arts management. International Journal of Arts Management, 2(3), 4-13.

Bina, V., Chantepie, P., Deroin, V., Frank, G., Kommel, K., Kotýnek, J., and Robin, P., 2012. ESSnet-CULTURE: European Statistical System Network on Culture - Final Report.

DCMS, 2007. Staying ahead: the economic performance of the UK’s creative industries Department for Culture, Media and Sport. UK. Retrieved from

DCMS, 2009. Creative Industries Economic Estimates Statistical Bulletin. Department for culture, media and Sport.

DCMS, 2013. Classifying and measuring the creative industries - consultation on proposed changes. Department for culture, media and Sport.

Denis, D. J., 2004. Entrepreneurial finance: an overview of the issues and evidence. Journal of Corporate Finance, 10(2), 301-326.

Eikhof, D. R., and Haunschild, A., 2006. Lifestyle Meets Market: Bohemian Entrepreneurs in Creative Industries. Creativity and Innovation Management, 15(3), 234-241.

Ellmeier, A., 2003. Cultural entrepreneurialism: On the changing relationship between the arts, culture and employment. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 9(1), 3-16.

European Commission, 2010. Green Paper on Cultural and Creative Industries: Unlocking the Potential of Cultural and Creative Industries. COM_2010_0183_FIN. Retrieved from

European Commission, 2012. Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economical Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions promoting cultural and creative sectors for growth and jobs in the EU.

European Commission, 2013. Survey on access to finance for cultural and creative sectors.

European Commission, 2014. An introduction to EU cohesion policy 2014-2020.

Eurostat, 2016. Cultural Statistics. Brussels.

EY, 2014. Creating growth measuring cultural and creative markets in the EU.

Frey, B. S., 2000. Not Just for the Money: An Economic Theory of Motivation. Cheltenham, UK/Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar.

Garnham, N., 2005. From cultural to creative industries. An analysis of the implications of the “creative industries” approach to arts and media policy making in the United Kingdom. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 11(1), 15-29.

Gordon, J. C., and Beilby-Orrin, H., 2006. International measurement of the economic and social importance of culture. Paris: Statistics Directorate, Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development.

Hanage, R., Scott, J. M., and Davies, M. A. P., 2016. From great expectations to hard times A longitudinal study of creative graduate new ventures. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, 22(1), 17-38.

Hausman, A., and Johnston, W. J., 2014a. The role of innovation in driving the economy: Lessons from the global financial crisis. Journal of Business Research, 67(1), 2720-2726.

Hausman, A., and Johnston, W. J., 2014b. Timeline of a financial crisis: Introduction to the special issue. Journal of Business Research, 67(1), 2667-2670.

INE, 2014. Empresas em Portugal – 2012. Lisboa: Instituto Nacional de Estatística.

Jacobs, D., 2012. Creatief ondernemerschap en het dubbel succescriterium Holland Managemet Review, 146, 37-43.

Jacobs, S., Cambre, B., Huysentruyt, M., and Schramme, A., 2016. Multiple pathways to success in small creative businesses: The case of Belgian furniture designers. Journal of Business Research, 69(11), 5461-5466.

Jeffcutt, P., and Pratt, A. C., 2002. Managing creativity in the cultural industries. Creativity and Innovation Management, 11(4), 225-233.

KEA, 2006. The Economy of Culture in Europe. Brussels: KEA European Affairs.

Klamer, A., 2011. Cultural entrepreneurship. The Review of Austrian Economics, 24(2), 141-156.

Klamer, A., and Zuidhof, P.-W., 1998. The Role of the Third Sphere in the World of the Arts. Paper presented at the Conference on Cultural Economics, Barcelona, Spain.

Konrad, E. D., 2013. Cultural Entrepreneurship: The Impact of Social Networking on Success. Creativity and Innovation Management, 22(3), 307-319.

Konrad, E. D., 2015. Cultural Entrepreneurship and Money: Start-Up Financing Structures in the Creative Industries. Problemy Zarzadzania-Management Issues, 13(4), 159-176.

Langley, P., 2013. Anticipating uncertainty, reviving risk? On the stress testing of finance in crisis. Economy and Society, 42(1), 51-73.

Lazzaro, E., 2017. Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurs. In B. Mickov and J. E. Doyle (Eds.), Culture, Innovation and the Economy. London: Routledge.

Lazzaro, E., and Lowies, J. G., 2015. Le poids économique des industries culturelles et créatives en Wallonie et à Bruxelles. Namur: Institut wallon de l’évaluation, de la prospective et de la statistique (IWEPS).

Lazzeretti, L., Capone, F., and Secilmis, I. E., 2016. In search of a Mediterranean creativity. Cultural and creative industries in Italy, Spain and Turkey. European Planning Studies, 24(3), 568-588.

Lazzeretti, L., and Cooke, P., 2017. Responding to and resisting resilience. European Planning Studies, 25(1), 1-9.

Lee, N., and Rodriguez-Pose, A., 2014. Innovation in Creative Cities: Evidence from British Small Firms. Industry and Innovation, 21(6), 494-512.

McKelvey, M., and Heidelmann-Lassen, A., 2013. Managing Knowledge Intensive Entrepreneurship. Cheltenham, UK/Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar.

Mumford, M. D., and Gustafson, S. B., 1988. Creativity syndrome: Integration, application, and innovation. Psychological Bulletin, 103(1), 27-43.

Piergiovanni, R., Carree, M. A., and Santarelli, E., 2012. Creative industries, new business formation, and regional economic growth. Small Business Economics, 39(3), 539-560.

Porfirio, J. A., Carrilho, T., and Monico, L. S., 2016. Entrepreneurship in different contexts in cultural and creative industries. Journal of Business Research, 69(11), 5117-5123.

Pratt, A. C., 2017. Beyond resilience: Learning from the cultural economy. European Planning Studies, 25(1), 1-13.

Statistics Portugal, 2015. Conta Satélite da Cultura 2010-2012. Destaque INE.

Swedberg, R., 2006. The cultural entrepreneur and the creative industries: beginning in Vienna. Journal of Cultural Economics, 30(4), 243-261.

Throsby, D., 2001. Economics and culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

UNCTAD, 2006. What are Creative Clusters? The Global Allience for Cultural Diversity. Geneva: UNCTAD.

UNCTAD, 2008. Creative economy report 2008. Geneva: UNCTAD.

UNCTAD, 2010. Creative economy report 2010. Geneva: UNCTAD.

United Nations, 2013. Creative Economy Report 2013 Special Edition.

Wiesand, A., and Soendermann, M., 2005. The ‘creative sector’— an engine for diversity, growth and jobs in Europe. Amsterdam: European Cultural Foundation.




How to Cite

Fontainha, E., & Lazzaro, E. (2019). Cultural and creative entrepreneurs in financial crises: Sailing against the tide?. Scientific Annals of Economics and Business, 66(Special issue - dedicated to the VIII Wo), 73–89.