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Small creative industry firms: a development dilemma?

Ian Chaston (CENTRUM Catolica, Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, Lima, Peru)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 20 June 2008




The purpose of the paper is to examine whether the standard support service intervention model of providing training programmes to stimulate business growth is an effective economic regeneration model in the case of small creative industry firms.


A survey of small creative firms was implemented in the south west UK. The aim of the survey was to gain owner/manager views about participation in training.


The results reveal the majority of firms are interested in a lifestyle based on fulfilling creative aspirations. Very few respondents exhibit any interest in participating in training schemes aimed at enhancing business performance.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of the research are that it only relates to creative industry firms and was restricted to a single geographic area and only generated data from micro‐enterprises. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to whether regional development agency policies in rural areas should primarily be directed towards supporting industry‐led expansion of existing creative industry small firm clusters.

Practical implications

The results provide useful guidance in relation to avoiding public sector expenditure on support schemes that are unlikely to stimulate significant economic growth in the small business sector. Additionally a more cost effective approach to stimulating growth in small creative firms outside of metro‐city areas is presented


Previous researchers have raised questions about the benefits of offering business training to small firms. This study provides additional knowledge in relation to this issue. More importantly, however, the study offers conclusions about the possible need for support agencies to radically revise their current strategies in relation to stimulating growth and new job creation in the creative industry sector.



Chaston, I. (2008), "Small creative industry firms: a development dilemma?", Management Decision, Vol. 46 No. 6, pp. 819-831.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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