Here I am making a brief examination of how the four or was it five? aforementioned characteristics of entrepreneurship fit with the profile of creative industries people.
Entrepreneurs are prepared to take risks
This got me thinking. Are all folks that go through creative industry type courses* entrepreneurs? Based on the highly competitive fields that we are training people for aren't those creative individuals taking a risk on their own talent, future employment, financial and not to mention emotional well-being (i.e if it doesn't work out and it doesn't always). Do they make an investment in their talent and hope it pays dividends?
The Entrepreneur manages resources, knowledge and power (as opposed to being an employee and having those things managed by other people)
Levels of self-employment within the creative sector are very high. In some sectors as many as 80%* of individuals are self-employed. With over 42%* of creative industry graduates having had some level of self-employment in the first five years of graduating.
Doesn't sound like employee material to me ..although note to self :- must remember to ask esteemed colleague about entrepreneurship through necessity, survival...When that is the only employment option!
They are in pursuit of profit (although this may come in the form of something other than money) but lead us to question how do we measure 'other' types of profit?
Now this is a strange one, you see and this is anecdotal, from my own experience and backed up by a series of recent interviews. The motivations for people within these sectors are often around full-filling a creative need, not being an employee, not selling out or giving up, doing a better design, building a bigger profile, being 'known' for being good at what they do. The motivation is never cited as being financial although all recognise that this is a requirement of staying in business and continuing to do what they want to do. In terms of this profiting them I need to think about this one.
Personal satisfaction is a major motivator
As above - this is a major motivational factor in this sector and a major reason for folks pursuing the self-employment route.
Their relationship to opportunity: they tend to either seek it, create it or recognise it and presumably exploit it!
In a recent piece of research I was involved in, that looked at social inclusion in the creative industries, one of the major barriers to beneficiaries (individuals who took part in the project) becoming or sustaining self-employment was there inability to do any of the above, sometimes these were the most talented individuals but there inability to exploit, recognise, or pursue opportunities set them apart from others. There maybe many reasons for this but what it did identify was that in this sector where talent is at such a high premium without the opportunity its not worth having. Incidentally the groups who were targeted for that piece of research were from communities who were vastly under-represented in the creative industries and had even lower levels of self-employment.
* I will dig out the references for these stats, mainly from the Destinations and Reflections report (1999)