Saturday | 02 Mar 2024

“The Southern Mediterranean is a region steeped in cultural diversity and history, and its cultural and creative sectors are pivotal drivers of its economic prosperity and social cohesion. These industries such as music, cinema, fashion, design are wellsprings of innovation, employment opportunities, and promoters of cross-cultural understanding. CREACT4MED seeks to strengthen these ecosystems in the Southern Mediterranean through mapping the sectors, training of budding entrepreneurs, financial support to MSMEs, and advocacy on impactful policy change.”

Maria Ruiz de Cossío, Senior Project Manager, EMEA and Coordinator of CREACT4MED

CREACT4MED (CReative Entrepreneurs ACTing FOR the future MEDiterranean) aims to boost entrepreneurship and job creation for youth and women through the cultural and creative industries in the Southern Neighborhood of the European Union.

The project builds on the research work conducted by the Euro-Mediterranean Economists’ Association (EMEA) and the Euro-Mediterranean and African Network for Economic Studies (EMANES) on emerging socio-economic trends, challenges and needs in order to develop a renewed vision of socio-economic development in the South Neighbourhood Countries (SNCs). Research conducted in the SNCs resulted in a policy roadmap providing a comprehensive framework to formulate, implement and monitor a fully-fledged MSME policy and to mainstream the “Think Small First” principle in all policy areas relevant to the development of MSMEs in all sectors, including the cultural and creative industries (CCI).

Supporting entrepreneurship and MSMEs is therefore crucial to gaining access to markets and create sustainable jobs. Globally, the creative industries are fast growing (estimated by the World Bank (in 2017) to contribute as much as 7% to global GDP. In the cultural sector (mainly architecture, design and photography), there were 1,2 million cultural enterprises generating 193 billion EUR of value added in the EU. No comparative data exists in the Mediterranean region. According to World Bank data in 2017, this industry is growing fast (up to a 10% growth rate in the MENA region) with Kuwait leading the process after setting up its creative industry hub in 2017.

The overall objectives of CREACT4MED are to boost CCI businesses and entrepreneurship in the Southern Mediterranean, increasing the capacity of CCI to attract investment, create jobs and foster inclusive economic growth, empower current and potential entrepreneurs, in particular young people and women, to start or grow CCI businesses through tailored training and financing opportunities, and establish a regional CCI hub to bring together actors from North Africa, the Middle East and Europe, strengthening networking, exchanges and cooperation in the sector across the Mediterranean.

To achieve these objectives, the CREACT4MED project will:

  1. Strengthen the role of CCI in public policy and strategic planning in Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia;
  2. Support new initiatives with a high potential for creating value (economic, social and cultural) and new CCI job opportunities, and promoting entrepreneurship as a means of self-realisation;
  3. Improve operational and financial sustainability, replication strategies, exposure and interconnectivity of local CCI initiatives and projects.
  4. Map the CCI ecosystem in eight SNCs to increase knowledge on the CCI ecosystem and its potential to create economic, social and cultural values in target countries;
  5. Design and implement the CREACT4MED Training Academy in order to build capacities of (future) young and female entrepreneurs active in CCI in target countries.
  6. Design and implement the subgranting scheme in order to financially support 24 creative entrepreneurs in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia and 8 business incubators in the region.
  7. Raise awareness and strengthen the community to ensure increased sustainability and interconnectivity of CCI projects/business initiatives, entrepreneurs, NGOs, start-ups, MSMEs (MED CCI HUB).

CREACT4MED is coordinated by the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association and is co-funded by the European Union.