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EACEA National Policies Platform


8. Creativity and Culture

8.6 Developing entrepreneurial skills through culture

Last update: 28 November 2023
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  1. Developing entrepreneurial skills through cultural activities
  2. Support young entrepreneurs in the cultural and creative sectors

Developing entrepreneurial skills through cultural activities

Developing entrepreneurial skills through cultural activities is being achieved within both formal education and activities within, for instance, voluntary associations or other fora.

Entrepreneurship education focusing on cultural activities in formal learning in Denmark

Students in vocational upper secondary education programmes are trained for the labour market, which includes entrepreneurial skills. According to the Act on Vocational Educations (Erhvervsuddannelsesloven, LBK nr. 956 af 21/06/2022  ), one of the objectives of VET programmes is to meet the labour market’s demand for innovative and creative labour. Furthermore, students in VET programmes have the opportunity to study abroad and thereby strengthen their intercultural awareness. For more information on mobility in VET programmes, see section 6.5.

In 2009, the Government launched the Strategy for Entrepreneurship Education. Regarding the higher artistic education programmes, the target was to increase the number of students receiving entrepreneurship education, either as a separate activity, a separate subject or integrated onto other subjects.

In the most recent monitoring of entrepreneurship education in the Danish formal school system from 2020, the Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship concludes that 43 % of the courses on higher artistic education programmes involves entrepreneurship educationin the academic year 2019/20.

One example is the master’s programme Strategic Design & Entrepreneurship. The programme is a cooperation between the Royal Danish Academy and Copenhagen Business School. The programme is specifically aimed at facilitating the exchange of knowledge between design, architecture and management into fruitful and constructive meetings through design thinking methods for innovation and entrepreneurship. The entire programme is structured around project-based modules where you get to work with actual companies and organisations and real-world challenges in collaboration with social science students from Copenhagen Business School (CBS).

Furthermore, as of 1 September 2020, a new administrative business unit has been established at the Royal Danish Academy with the objective of uniting the institution’s external activities. The unit will include a cooperation between three artistic education institutions, entitled LINKED, which will focus on business cooperation and entrepreneurship for students.

In 2017, the Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship published a report on the variety of entrepreneurship education in the formal higher artistic educations. The report is a mapping of all types of entrepreneurship activities in formal artistic educations. The report documents a great variety in teaching and examination methods, of extra-curricular activities, fundraising, start-up activities, mentoring, etc. Among other things, the variety of activities is due to different understanding of entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship education focusing on cultural activities in non-formal, informal learning and youth work in Denmark

The Act on Non-Formal General Education and Democratic Voluntary Activity (folkeoplysningsloven), mentioned in section 8.4, also provides the opportunity for the support of activities that may enhance young people’s entrepreneurial skills.

The Danish Youth Council (DUF) funds a host of projects for children and young people, where entrepreneurial skills can often play a role, for instance skills in organising, planning and conducting projects

The strategy for young people’s encounter with art and culture from 2014 (see section 8.3) contained funds for launching a course to further young project initiators’ skills in organising, planning, and conducting cultural projects. The total funding was DKK 2.1 million. The funds were used in connection with the start-up or further development of local training courses.

Also, the strategy contained funding for young people’s self-organised cultural projects, where young people and local players (e.g. municipal youth schools and cultural institutions) collaborate on exploring and improving possibilities for self-organised youth culture. The pool targeted partnerships between young people and e.g. municipal youth schools, general education associations, cultural institutions etc. The projects were obliged to take their starting point in the young people's desire to and abilities for creating and organising something themselves, while at the same time providing a framework for the young people to receive help, assistance and sparring from more established parties. The total funding was DKK 5 million. 


Support to young entrepreneurs in the cultural and creative sectors

All the higher education institutions within the fine arts under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture (see Chapter 6) include entrepreneurial training in their curriculum.

The arts education institutions support CAKI – Centre for Applied Artistic Innovation which is a knowledge centre for entrepreneurship within the arts educations.

Moreover, the Ministry of Culture administers two regional art foundations with the purpose to support the development of local art productions and the establishment of sustainable art businesses and art environments. The foundations fund cultural entrepreneurship that is economic sustainable, innovative and of high quality with the potential to initiate business growth in the local art environment.

Activities and beneficiaries should be in the interface between art/culture and business/growth.

Private persons, associations, networks, entrepreneurship environments or art groups may apply for funding. The funding is not targeted solely at young artists, but young artists may apply for funding.

Primarily, the funding is seed-money to support start-up of projects.

See also section 3.9 and 3.10