In the research, we found that all 5 partner countries: Croatia, Estonia, Italy, Slovakia and the United Kingdom have some type of Artistic and Creative Enterprise Advisor activities which take different forms, have different inputs and meet different objectives. The key contexts for the ACEA role are integrated within the specific workforce agencies and delivered by individual workers or freelancers in the day-to-day work. There is support from government for this role but it is not always broad, strategic or responsive to the needs of the CCI sector. There are examples of current developments of grass-roots creative entrepreneurial activities in Estonia and Slovakia. However, public sector cuts have directly affected programmes in the UK and Croatia.
The top 5 key competencies of this job role are having: commercial insight and business planning skills; knowledge and skills in business strategy and operations; current cultural sector knowledge, both national and international; good interpersonal skills and access to local and global cultural sector networks.
There are currently no legal pre-requisites for undertaking this job role in any of the partner countries. In the UK, Estonia and Croatia there are currently some forms of qualification or/and training in this area. In the UK, the Institute of Consulting offers a specific Certified Business Adviser Award, which is aligned to the SFEDI standards (SFEDI is the UK Standards Setting Body for Business Support and Business Enterprise). In Italy, there are a range of Master degrees and training courses for this role; in Croatia, training is available in the humanities, or in production and cultural management; and in Slovakia, training is predominantly in Marketing and Communications for the people who undertake this type of role. In Estonia, some specific training is provided through the Sotsiaalsete Ettevõtete Võrgustik, the Social Enterprise Network). There is little Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for individuals that perform this job role except through formal courses in Italy or Croatia. However, experience gained through working in international and national creative and cultural Industries (CCIs) is very important.Good practice material for this job role exists from various sources in Croatia, UK and from European projects but none of these are specific to the cultural sector. Two key critical success factors for the ACEA role include the ability to combine a degree of commercial acumen and business know-how with skills, knowledge and experience of the creative sector and to have access to relevant networks in the Creative and Cultural Industries to benefit clients. As a result of this research, the Aspire 2 Create project team, which is currently transferring the Euro-Aspire Framework and Tool-kit to a group of trainers and advisers in the partners countries, will adapt or evolve the Framework to take into account its findings, as well as some of the emerging needs from the current trainer group. A copy of the full research study can be found below: