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Cultural And Creative Entrepreneurs: Understanding The Role Of Entrepreneurial Identity

Daniela Werthes, René Mauer, Malte Brettel

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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore whether and how entrepreneurs in the cultural and creative industries develop an entrepreneurial identity. It also aims to expand research on cultural and creative entrepreneurship. Design/methodology/approach The study is based on longitudinal qualitative cases and analyses the potential entrepreneurial identity development of eight cultural and creative entrepreneurs from Germany. The researchers create a framework to ascertain whether and, if so, how cultural and creative entrepreneurs develop an entrepreneurial identity. Findings The findings suggest that cultural and creative entrepreneurs do develop an entrepreneurial identity and incorporate their cultural and creative identity into that entrepreneurial identity whereas self-reflection is a key driver in the development. Practical implications Cultural and creative entrepreneurs are a key driver of economic development. Hence, it is important to generate a more detailed understanding of their entrepreneurial mind-set and their behaviour. Originality/value The study suggests that cultural and creative entrepreneurs actively develop an entrepreneurial identity and that self-reflection, communication with other entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial experience are the main drivers of their identity development. Nevertheless, their cultural and creative identity does have an influence on their entrepreneurial identity. In addition, the study demonstrates how such entrepreneurs develop their identity.