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EACEA National Policies Platform


8. Creativity and Culture

8.6 Developing entrepreneurial skills through culture

Last update: 16 January 2024

Developing entrepreneurial skills through cultural activities

Formal education emphasizes the link between of creativity in entrepreneurship, but no specific programs or initiatives are set up on cultural activities and entrepreneurship.

In non-formal education and youth work more attention is geared towards the connection between cultural activities and entrepreneurship. The Action Plan for Entrepreneurship Education 2015-2019 (Actieplan Ondernemend Onderwijs 2015-2019) mentioned support for youth cooperation (see also chapter 3). Youth cooperation schemes enable young people to experiment with their entrepreneurial skills in a supportive and safe environment. This has led to some initiatives.

One example is Haven. Haven is a cooperative of young people, youth houses and motivated partners. The co-operative was founded in May 2016 by ten youth houses, Format (the Federation of youth houses) and the Artevelde school (more specific ArtePreneur within the Artevelde school). They provide a safe experimental space where young entrepreneurs get the space and time to experiment with their own project. This way they can safely test the viability of their own businesses while developing the necessary entrepreneurship skills. This project is supported by VLAIO, the Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepeneurship.

Support young entrepreneurs in the cultural and creative sectors

Kopiloot was an initiative of Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen - VLAIO, the contact point for entrepeneurs in Flanders), Cultuurloket and Flanders DC (Flanders District of Creativity is the contact point for entrepreneurs in the creative industries in Flanders). It stopped in 2024. Through the Kopiloot platform young creative entrepreneurs could pose questions to experts with experience in the cultural and creative sector. These experts provided advice or formulated guidance processes in which they shared their knowledge. In addition to individual assistance, young creative entrepreneurs could also enrol in group programs through Kopiloot.

Flanders DC, or Flanders District of Creativity in full, is the unique point of contact for entrepreneurship in the creative sector. It supports, promotes and connects creative entrepreneurs from Flanders through:

  • the entrepreneurs guide: a guide with practical information and tools to get started 
  • tailored advice 
  • promotions for the design, fashion and gaming sector
  • an online magazine, for and about creative entrepreneurs
  • an activity calendar for the creative sector

Cultuurloket, founded in 2016 (before it existed as Kunstenloket but with a narrower scope on the arts sector) and funded by the Flemish Government, provides first-line advice to individuals and organizations active in the cultural and creative sectors. Young entrepreneurs in the cultural and creative sectors can go there with questions about business and legal aspects. They offer:

  • an online knowledge base that collects business economic and legal information, useful for the cultural sector 
  • advice, both by telephone and through personal conversations
  • info sessions (e.g. about contracting and negotiating in the performing arts) or round table discussions, for those who also want to exchange ideas with others
  • brochures and documents on various topics, such as VAT in the artistic sector, crowdfunding, ..

Kunstenpunt is the support centre for the arts in Flanders and Brussels. Kunstenpunt advises and supports everyone who is professionally active in the visual arts, performing arts and/or music. They are not specific geared to young artists, but they pay special attention to emerging artists. Kunstenpunt 

  • answers questions about the field of visual arts, performing arts and classical music
  • answers questions about financing, e.g. via the Arts Decree
  • gives advice on developing a career as a professional artist or work of art
  • developed a guidance for emerging artists

VI.BE is the Flemish support centre for musicians that provides support to musicians in various ways. They offer advice and guidance on various aspects of the music industry, such as legal and financial matters, promotion, and networking. VI.BE also provides a platform for musicians to showcase their work and connect with other musicians and industry professionals. Similar to Kunstenpunt, they are not exclusively focused on young artists, but they pay special attention to emerging talents. For instance, they organize programs and initiatives aimed at supporting emerging artists, such as workshops, training sessions, and networking events. They also provide information and advice on funding opportunities and other resources that are available to new artists.