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Creative Industries and Youth Entrepreneurship

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Article by ASFAR

Creative industries are an important driver of economic growth and have become key drivers of global competitiveness, hence the increasing interest in creative entrepreneurship, especially among young people. The rise of the creative industries presents significant opportunities to transform youthful energy into new ideas and a future vision for societies.

Creative industries are those industries that have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent which have a potential for job and wealth creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property (‘Creative Industries Mapping Document’, DCMS, 2001). All these concepts and approaches share the common theme of creativity. Human creativity is the source of cultural and creative industries goods and services. They also share the common links of culture, trade, and intellectual property rights, particularly copyright. Importantly more dynamic creative industries can generate new jobs and empower young people to respond to new opportunities while at the same time utilizing creativity and diverse knowledge to create competitive services.

The creation of employment opportunities is crucial to economic and social well-being. There is a strong relationship between the presence of creative and cultural industries and prosperity. Indeed, one can argue that the absence of opportunities for young people to experiment on new ideas and take on risks usually differentiates a creative, flexible, entrepreneurial society from another in which institutions are becoming increasingly rigid, hierarchical and risk-averse.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) considers the concept of creative industries a powerful advocacy tool for development. However, to enable creativity young people need to change their mindsets and behaviours in “taking entrepreneurial action” and create favourable rules of the game to play in today’s competitive and innovation-driven creative economy. Empowered with the tools to express creativity through the Internet and global media networks, the young people of today have the means to exceed their expectations once the challenges and barriers of the digital divide are overcome, within and across nations.

Creativity is often the biggest asset for young people who can afford to experiment and take calculated risks in the early stage of their lives and careers when a whole range of possibilities exists, as creativity is seen as a major personal skill to deal with challenges and demands. Young people should be able to express their creativity through entrepreneurship, especially as they should be able to transform creativity and human capital into early growth and sustainable development. Additionally, over the last decades, it became a common sense that creativity is not just a given talent but an ability that can and should be trained and improved.

On the other side developing youth entrepreneurship represents a viable but insufficiently explored policy and programmatic option to deal with the challenges of youth unemployment through employment creation by young people.

If Europe wants to remain competitive in this changing global environment, it needs to put in place the right conditions for creativity and innovation to flourish in a new entrepreneurial culture. There is a lot of untapped potential in the cultural and creative industries to create growth and jobs, especially for young people.

Source: Creative Industries for Youth: Unleashing potential and growth. UNIDO. Available:


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