Creative credits

When companies buy creative skills


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NESTA+44 (0) 20 7438 2500
GB United Kingdom


About the project Edit

Creative Credits was created in Manchester, England. This is an initiative by NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts), Manchester City Council, Northwest Development Agency, The Arts and Humanities Research Council and The Economic and Social Research Council.
The SMEs selected to be part of the credit program for creativity receive £ 4000 in credits for creative work contracted with subcontractors or service providers, which equals to a contribution of £ 1000 from the SMEs.
The SMEs selected for the program can use their credits at a creative provider of their choice, since it has been approved and is part of the Online Gallery of NESTA.
Conditions for eligibility:
• Being an SME under the EU (with less than 250 employees and an annual turnover of less than 50 million Euros).
• Having its main line of business other than a business related to the creative industry.

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

Originally applied to innovation - through Innovation Vouchers launched in England by the Department of Trade and Industry, the Creative Credits program is the first of its kind in the world. It is in fact the first time a community is subsidizing the cultural and creative industry, allowing designers to develop a commercial relationship with the business community, and also to stimulate and develop their business.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

The social added value of the project is twofold: on the side of creative businesses, the initiative provides funding and incentive to showcase their talents and offer their works. On the corporate side of recipients, the process is open to social entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations. These may thus benefit from skills to which they normally wouldn't have access for both cultural and economic reasons.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

The Creative Credits initiative is fully implementable in many areas as long as creative service providers and local businesses participate. Implementing this initiative requires the intermediation of a local community structure, an economic development agency, a municipality, etc. The implementation of the pilot project of Creative Credits in Manchester required a budget of £600,000, which was funded by NESTA in partnership with NESTA Creative Partner and key partners mentioned above.

The program is very much oriented towards the establishment of a virtuous "creative ecosystem". It can be implemented in contexts where an economic base seeks to "break the ice" vis-à-vis the creative industries and encourage conventional businesses and the social economy sector to use the lever of creativity in a more professional and organized way.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

What is the business model of this project? Edit


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