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"Creative?"..."Entrepreneur?" -- Understanding the Creative Industries Entrepreneur

Tena Patten


This article explores the lived experience of being an entrepreneur in the creative industries. Entrepreneurial and creative organizations are frequently cited as necessary ingredients for thriving economies. While the individual/society nexus has been well documented by entrepreneurship scholars, the experiences of individuals within the creative industries remains under-theorized. This study seeks to contribute to an understanding of the life of the creative industries entrepreneur and is underpinned by a social constructionist philosophy.

Three creative industry entrepreneurs were interviewed twice, and the data were analyzed using the principles of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Detailed idiographic accounts were created of each entrepreneur before cross-case analysis occurred.

While the sample size for the study is small, the results indicate that creative industry entrepreneurs do not align themselves with traditional entrepreneurship discourses. The need to express their creativity through products, experiences, and services is balanced against the need to generate income and varying strategies are employed to do so. Research findings have implications for the education and support of creative industry entrepreneurs, and for policy-makers. 

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Copyright (c) 2016 Tena Patten

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

Artivate is published by Arizona State University Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Programs.
Photography credit: Tim Trumble Photography ©Arizona Board of Regents. All rights reserved.