TRACES focuses on Cultural and Creative Micro and SMEs (CC MSMEs) in Apulia and Western Greece and addresses the common challenge to promote creative entrepreneurship and to strengthen CC MSMEs as a key contributor to competitiveness across all economic and social sectors, enhancing cross-fertilization with other key economic sectors and quadruple helix actors.
It will tackle two common problems affecting the growth of CC MSMEs, preventing the full exploitation of their potential and spillover effect as engines of a smart and inclusive growth. Firstly, CC MSMEs present specific features that have negative impacts on their business development: the work form is of a temporary nature and project-based prototyping; creative people lack resources to turn innovative ideas into viable business propositions, as well as lack of trusted relationships among them and with HE&R institutes; they lack of competence networks to build upon cross-sectorial know-how and present cross-cutting opportunities; they are often isolated, facing the difficulty of developing sustainable structures and market visibility; they face specific challenges in achieving investment readiness for various reasons. Secondly, there are great geographical disparities of the sector. CC MSMEs tend to locate their business in few large urban agglomerate (such as the areas of Athens, Bari and Lecce) to the detriment of peripheral areas where they don’t find the ideal environmental conditions to start-up.
To this end the project aims at the setup and activation of a Transnational Accelerator for CC MSMEs, intended as a cross-border, tailor-made, diffused and networked environment to support incubation of cultural and creative entrepreneurship. It will develop a smart operating environment for the diffused delivery of customized and integrated incubation services to: facilitate the economic exploitation of new ideas and foster the creation of new firms; better monitor and evaluate skills, needs, results and spillover effects; find staff with the right mix of technical, managerial and ICT skills; make it easier to access funding; set up creative partnerships with HE&R institutions, businesses, public administrations; better embed creative enterprises in regional development policies and strategies. Lastly, to promote creative entrepreneurship and to strengthen CC MSMEs as engines of a smart and inclusive growth and to nurture their spillover effects on the local economy and society.
The main target groups are:
Regions: Apulia and Western Greece will benefit in terms of growth, job creation, internationalization and brand identity.
Beneficiaries: project Partners and other incubation service suppliers (education institutions, business support centers and agencies, clusters, incubators, science/technology parks, private business angels and venture capitals) will actively participate in the joint project development and implementation. They will benefit from the outputs delivery.
End-users: CC MSMEs and start-ups, in segments, such us: music, print media, art objects, film, broadcast media, fine arts, architecture, design, advertising, games software, New Media, Libraries, Museums and Heritage, Photography. They will benefit from the use of the main outputs delivered and project results.