Cultural entrepreneurship: A review of the literature

Nevena Dobreva, Stanislav Ivanov


The paper provides a comprehensive review of Scopus-indexed English language publications on entrepreneurship in cultural and creative industries and the arts. The paper analyses 131 publications published in the period 1982 – 2019 through quantitative analysis of frequencies and cross-tables, and qualitative thematic analysis of the publications. Eight research domains were identified: ‘Characteristics and motivation of entrepreneurs’, ‘Business models’, ‘Audience development’, ‘Use of information and communication technologies’, ‘Urban development’, ‘Public policy’, ‘Incubators and clusters’ and ‘Entrepreneurial education’. Findings show that two-thirds of the papers are based on empirical research, most of which is conducted in the UK. From a managerial perspective, conclusions are that the cultural entrepreneur is gradually becoming a central figure in contemporary cultural processes who has the potential to fulfill the market and audience needs, fill the emerging business niches and contribute to the revitalization of cities and regions. It identifies research gaps and formulates directions for future research.


cultural entrepreneurship; cultural industries; creative industries; arts

Full Text:



Amolo, J. & Beharry-Ramraj, A. (2015). Emerging entrepreneurs and the creative merchantry with reference to i heart market in Durban, South Africa. Problems and Perspectives in Management, 13(3), 132-140.

Banks, M. et al. (2000). Risk and trust in the cultural industries. Geoforum, 31(4), 453-464.

Beckman, G. (2007). "Adventuring" arts entrepreneurship curricula in higher education: An examination of present efforts, obstacles, and best practices. Journal of Arts Management Law and Society, 37 (2), 87-112.

Benghozi, P. & Paris, T. (2014). The cultural economy in the digital age: A revolution in intermediation? City, Culture and Society, 7(2), 75-80.

Bhansing, P., Hitters, E. & Wijngaarden, Y. (2018). Passion Inspires: Motivations of Creative Entrepreneurs in Creative Business Centres in the Netherlands. Journal of Entrepreneurship, 27(1), 1-24.

Bridgstock, R. (2013). Not a dirty word: Arts entrepreneurship and higher education. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 12(2-3), 122-137.

Calvo, N., Perez, B., Varela-Candamio, L. & Novo-Corti, I. (2017). Stimulating creative entrepreneurial initiatives: a flow diagram for strategic planning. Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, 29(4), 425-441.

Carey, C. & Naudin, A. (2006). Enterprise curriculum for creative industries students: An exploration of current attitudes and issues. Education and Training, 48(7), 518-531.

Cheung Leung, C. (2013). The development of cultural entrepreneurship: Case studies of four community orchestras in Hong Kong. Asian Education and Development Studies, 2(3), 275-294.

Coulson, S. (2012). Collaborating in a competitive world: Musicians' working lives and understandings of entrepreneurship. Work, Employment and Society, 26(2), 246-261.

De Klerk, S. (2015). The creative industries: An entrepreneurial bricolage perspective. Management Decision, 53(4), 828-842.

Dimaggio, P. (1982). Cultural entrepreneurship in nineteenth-century Boston: The creation of an organizational base for high culture in America. Media, Culture & Society, 4(1), 33-50.

Essig, L. (2014). Arts incubators: A typology. Journal of Arts Management Law and Society, 44(3), 169-180.

Essig, L. (2017). Same or different? The “cultural entrepreneurship” and “arts entrepreneurship” constructs in European and US higher education. Cultural Trends, 26(2), 125-137.

Essig, L. (2018). Value creation by and evaluation of US arts incubators. International Journal of Arts Management, 20(2), 32-45.

European Commission (2010). Green Paper. Unlocking the Potential of Cultural and Creative Industries, COM (2010) 183 Final.

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), 73-89.

Franco, M. Haase, H. & Correia, S. (2018). Exploring Factors in the Success of Creative Incubators: a Cultural Entrepreneurship Perspective. Journal of the Knowledge Economy, 9(1), 239-262.

Gangi, J. (2015). The Synergies of Artistic and Entrepreneurial Action. Journal of Arts Management Law and Society, 45(4), 247-254.

Gehman, J. & Soublière, J. (2017). Cultural entrepreneurship: from making culture to cultural making. Innovation: Management, Policy and Practice, 19(1), 61-73.

Go, F., Lemmetyinen, A. & Hakala, U. (2014). Harnessing Place Branding Through Cultural Entrepreneurship. Palgrave Macmillan UK.

Gregory, J. & Rogerson, C. (2018). Creative industries in Central Johannesburg: Entrepreneurs, organisation and locational choice. African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure, 7(4), 1-13.

Haans, R. & van Witteloostuijn, A. (2018). Expected job creation across the cultural industries: a sectoral division and its implications for cultural policy. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 24(1), 45-67.

Haynes, J. & Marshall, L. (2018). Reluctant entrepreneurs: musicians and entrepreneurship in the ‘new’ music industry. British Journal of Sociology, 69(2), 459-482.

Heebels, B. & Van Aalst, I. (2010). Creative clusters in Berlin: Entrepreneurship and the quality of place in Prenzlauer Berg and Kreuzberg. Geografiska Annaler, Series B: Human Geography, 92(4), 347-363.

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

Knudsen, B. Christensen, D. & Blenker, P. (2014). Enterprising Initiatives in the Experience Economy: Transforming Social Worlds. Routledge: London and New York.

Kohn, K. & Wewel, S. (2018). Skills, scope and success: An empirical look at the start-up process in creative industries in Germany. Creativity and Innovation Management, 27(3), 295-318.

Küttim, M., Arvola, K. & Venesaar, U. (2011). Development of creative entrepreneurship: Opinion of managers from Estonia, Latvia, Finland and Sweden. Business: Theory and Practice, 12(4), 369-378.

Küttim, M., Venesaar, U. & Kolbre, E. (2011). Enterpreneurs' human capital in creative industries: A case of Baltic sea region countries. Actual Problems of Economics, 126(12), 381-390.

Lange, B. (2011). Professionalization in space: Social-spatial strategies of culturepreneurs in Berlin. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 23(3-4), 259-279.

Larso, D., Saphiranti, D. & Wulansari, A. (2012). Educating technology-based entrepreneurs: The development of an MBA Program in Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship. 2012 Proceedings of Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology: Technology Management for Emerging Technologies, PICMET'12, 879-884.

Lazzeretti, L. and Vecco, M. (eds.) (2018). Creative Industries and Entrepreneurship: Paradigms in Transition from a Global Perspective. Edward Elgar.

Lindkvist, L. (2013). Cultural entrepreneurship and creative points of intersection: The Island of furillen. In: Lindeborg, L. and Lindkvist, L. (eds.) The Value of Arts and Culture for Regional Development: A Scandinavian Perspective. Routledge, 284-302.

Lindkvist, L. & Hjorth, D. (2015). Organizing cultural projects through legitimising as cultural entrepreneurship. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 8(4), 696-714.

Lounsbury, M. & Glynn, M. (2001). Cultural entrepreneurship: stories, legitimacy, and the acquisition of resources. Strategic Management Journal, 22, 545-564.

Loy, A. (2014). Cultural entrepreneurs as foundations of place brands. In: Go, F., Lemmetyinen, A. and Hakala, U. (eds.) Harnessing Place Branding Through Cultural Entrepreneurship. Palgrave Macmillan UK, 48-64.

Mazzoni, L. & Lazzeretti, L. (2018). In search of creative entrepreneurship: An exploratory analysis. In: Lazzeretti, L. and Vecco, M. (eds.) Creative Industries and Entrepreneurship: Paradigms in Transition from a Global Perspective. Edward Elgar, 58-75.

Meissner, N. (2016). New Indies in old skins: the online audience building for The Hunt for Gollum. Journal of Media Practice, 17(1), 69-85.

Metze, T. (2009). Discursive power in deliberations: A case of redevelopment for the creative economy in the Netherlands. Policy and Society, 28(3), 241-251.

Naudin, A. (2017). Cultural Entrepreneurship: The Cultural Worker's Experience of Entrepreneurship. Routledge.

Oakley, K. (2014). Good work? Rethinking cultural entrepreneurship. In: Bilton, C. and Cummings, S. (eds.) Handbook of Management and Creativity. Edward Elgar, 145-159.

Ó Cinnéide, B. & Henry, C. (2007). Entrepreneurship features of creative industries: The Irish music and dance sector. In: Henry, C. (ed.) Entrepreneurship in the Creative Industries: An International Perspective. Edward Edgar, 72-86.

Petrová, P. (2019). Cultural entrepreneurship illustrated on the non-profit arts sector in the Czech Republic. Central European Business Review, 8(2). 56-74.

Phillips, R. (2010). Arts entrepreneurship and economic development: Can every city be "Austintatious"? Foundations and Trends in Entrepreneurship, 6(4), 239-313.

Preece, S. (2011). Performing arts entrepreneurship: Toward a research agenda. Journal of Arts Management Law and Society, 41(2), 103-120.

Qian, N & Liu, S. (2018). Cultural entrepreneurship in U.S. cities. Journal of Urban Affairs, 40(8), 1043-1065.

Rae, D. (2004). Entrepreneurial learning: A practical model from the creative industries. Education + Training, 46, 492-500.

Raffo, C., Lovatt, A., Banks, M. & O’Connor, J. (2000). Teaching and learning entrepreneurship for micro and small businesses in the cultural industries sector. Education + Training, 42(6), 356-365.

Ratten, V. & Ferreira, J. (2017). Future research directions for cultural entrepreneurship and regional development. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 21(3), 163-169.

Schediwy, L., Loots, E., & Bhansing, P. (2018). With their feet on the ground: a quantitative study of music students’ attitudes towards entrepreneurship education. Journal of Education and Work, 31(7-8), 611-627.

Scott, M. (2012). Cultural entrepreneurs, cultural entrepreneurship: Music producers mobilising and converting Bourdieu's alternative capitals. Poetics, 40(3), 237-255.

Spilling, O. (1991). Entrepreneurship in a cultural perspective. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 3(1), 33-48.

Thom, M. (2017). The rough journey into arts entrepreneurship: Why arts entrepreneurship education is still in its infancy in the UK and Germany. Education and Training, 59(7-8), 720-739.

Volintiru, C. & Miron, D. (2015). Business environment and creative industries in Romania. Amfiteatru Economic, 17(38), 358-369.

Walzer, D. (2017). Independent music production: how individuality, technology and creative entrepreneurship influence contemporary music industry practices. Creative Industries Journal, 10(1), 21-39.

Wardani, D., Setyowibowo, F., Sabandi, M. & Noviani, L. (2017). The model to increase the entrepreneurial performance in creative industries using entrepreneurial orientation and social capital development approach. Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 25(September), 85-98.

Warren, L. & Fuller, T. (2010). Capturing the dynamics of co-production and collaboration in the digital economy. Leonardo, 43(2), 200-201.

Werthes, D., Mauer, R. & Brettel, M. (2018). Cultural and creative entrepreneurs: understanding the role of entrepreneurial identity. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, 24(1), 290-314.

Wilson, N. & Stokes, D. (2002). Cultural Entrepreneurs and Creating Exchange. Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, 4(1), 37-52.

Wright, A., Marsh, D. & McArdle, L. (2019). A Darker Side of Creative Entrepreneurship. Design Journal, 22 (1), 177-188.

Copyright (c) 2020 Tourism & Management Studies

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.