Creative sector

Many creatives do not feel that they are entrepreneurs, but rather artists, musicians, actors, designers, 3D animators, or app-developers. They identify more with the craft that they perform than with entrepreneurship. More than half of everyone working in the creative sector, however, will at some point in his or her life be an entrepreneur. Because of this, the creative sector is the most entrepreneurial sector of the economy. However, if you want create sustainable and attractive work, then you need to have some knowledge of entrepreneurship.

The Creative Entrepreneurship Lab (CE-L) wants to bridge the gap between creativity and entrepreneurship by conducting research and to (have) services and goods developed. Creative individuals and entrepreneurs have a lot in common. They create something from nothing and have a major drive to create, see, and grab opportunities. However, there is also an important difference. The entrepreneur carefully evaluates the market and attempts to utilize opportunities for exploitation. Creatives, on the other hand, primarily go for the process of creation and exploration. As creative entrepreneur you therefore have to work on a balance between creation and exploitation, innovate and earn, perseverance and connecting with others, and between creative satisfaction and an attractive, financially healthy future.

Creative ecosystem

The creative product is what makes creative entrepreneurs unique. In the exploitation (the commercialization) oftentimes little can be standardized. Financing parties do not know what they would finance, clients do not know what they would experience, and the creator does not know who might steal the idea. To actually sell the creative product, many parties therefore have a role in the so-called creative ecosystem. This includes for example the creator, the producer, the distributor, but also agents, financing parties, governments, and interest groups. More so than other entrepreneurs do creative entrepreneurs have an interest in having the whole ecosystem of creative production collaborating smoothly.

There are many different types of creative entrepreneurs. From self-employed to large entreprises, from makers to distributors, and from autonomous art to applied creativity. Some ventures have a lot of experience, others have little, and where one self-employed entrepreneur has a vast international network, the other is a local player. Every entrepreneur is – to varying degrees – successful.


Tilburg University conducts yearly research into the success factors of creative entrepreneurs. If you participate in this research, you help both yourself and the community of creative entrepreneurs. In exchange for ten minutes of your time, you get a free report in which you can see how well you are doing compared to your fellow creatives. Furthermore, you help the creative community. Therefore, it is of great importance that as many entrepreneurs as possible partake in this research.