This part discusses the possibility of obtaining financial support for artistic or creative activity in Poland, excluding EU funds (which are common for all EU countries, such as SME Instrument Horizon 2020 and COSME, and will be seen later on).
The most important measures to support the sector and artists in Poland are the programmes of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage (for more information, go to https://www.gov.pl/web/kultura/programy-mkidn-2020); they are distributed under several programmes, including:
- Development of Creative Sectors: the goal of the programme is to support the development of the Polish cultural and creative sector and to strengthen their competitiveness around the world. The programme addresses all creative industries; however, in 2020 the priority will be given to activities dedicated to design, music, video games and new media sectors;
- Music: the goal of the programme is to support the most valuable phenomena and trends in Polish and world music culture;
- Musical Footprint: the goal of the programme is to record and distribute valuable, non-commercial recordings of music works, music scores, as well as scientific and popular science publications concerning music and dance;
- Theatre and Dance: the goal of the programme is to support the most valuable phenomena and trends in contemporary theatre and dance;
- Visual Arts: the goal of the programme is to support the most valuable phenomena in Polish contemporary art and to popularise the most interesting phenomena of Polish and world art in Poland;
- Film: the goal of the programme is to promote knowledge about the achievements of cinematography, its role in contemporary culture, as well as support for activities conducive to the development of film culture and disseminating ambitious, non-commercial film repertoire;
- Artistic Events for Children and Young People: the goal of the programme is to support valuable and fully professional artistic events of regional, national and international range, created for children and young people under 18 years of age;
- National Collection of Contemporary Art of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage: the goal of the programme is to create and develop representative, international collections of contemporary art to become part of national collections, to strengthen the exhibition system and visual arts in Poland;
- Composer’s Commissions: the goal of the programme is to create new music works, their first performances, popularisation and making them available in the public space;
- Literature: a strategic goal of the programme is to raise the level of literary awareness and complement the publishing market by subsidising valuable, non-commercial publications of Polish and world literature; and
- Promotion of Polish Culture Abroad: a strategic goal of the programme is to create a positive image of Poland abroad and to ensure that the knowledge of Polish artistic and intellectual heritage is firmly rooted among foreign audiences.
It is worth remembering that there are a number of local and regional funds (Marshal’s Offices in all provinces), as well as activities carried out by numerous non-governmental organisations and private entities (including banks, in particular), within the framework of which it is possible to obtain funding for artistic and creative activities. In order to find such opportunities, you should visit https://granty.pl/category/kultura/wsparcie-dla-tworcow-i-artystow/
This Confederation, having an important representation throughout the country, aims to help young entrepreneurs internationalise their businesses. To this end, they have programmes such as YES FOR EUROPE, with the aim of strengthening relations between businessmen throughout Europe. Follow the link for more information: http://www.ceaje.es/internacional/
This program of the Instituto de Comercio , Exportaciones e Inversiones -Spanish Institute of Trade, Exports and Investments- aims to help Spanish SMEs that want to internationalise during all phases of their project. https://icexnext.es
Financed by the Cámara de Comercio -Spanish Chamber of Commerce-, this project aims to help Spanish SMEs make the leap to the international market, helping with the internationalisation plan and various subsidies. More information in the link below: https://www.camara.es/comercio-exterior/plan-de-expansion-internacional-para-pymes
Another opportunity from the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, aimed at SMEs seeking to start exporting. It is financed by ERDF funds and is related to the Xpande programme mentioned above. https://www.camara.es/comercio-exterior/programa-internacional-de-promocion-pip
This is an opportunity for SMEs based in la Comunitat Valenciana to internationalise their product. The Instituto Valenciano provides funds with the objective of getting counselling from the experts, up to the 90% of the total costs. http://www.ivace.es/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7240:cheque-tutorias-internacionalizacion-asesoramiento-a-empresas-2019&catid=436:ayudas-a-la-internacionalizacion-de-las-empresas-2019&lang=es&Itemid=100459
At a regional level, within Castilla-La Mancha, it provides advice, processing and funds to those companies based in that autonomous community, to internationalise their business, both within Europe and in Asia or North America. https://ipex.castillalamancha.es/perfil/exportadores
Initiative-CEAJE (Confederación Española de Jóvenes Empresarios). This Confederation, having an important representation throughout the country, aims to help young entrepreneurs internationalise their businesses. To this end, they have programmes such as YES FOR EUROPE, with the aim of strengthening relations between businessmen throughout Europe. For more information: http://www.ceaje.es/internacional/
One of the best ways to internationalise businesses is to participate in international fairs. In espaivisor you can find the updated list of all fairs that gather cultural and artistic clients, Sellers, actors and stakeholders: http://espaivisor.com/ferias/
Financing a business is always a challenge. In fact, all the businesses created have at least one thing in common: the entrepreneur had to raise money to finance the company. Here is an overview of some common methods of financing business:
- Internal resources
- “Bootstrapping”, i.e. your savings: The wisest, more conservative and safest way to fund your business. With this type of financing however, you can be limited by the amount of money you can save.
- Friends and family: Family and friends are options that can potentially provide investment for start-ups. Don’t forget that the investment and its agreement have to be completed professionally and legally. You can ask them for a business loan, or offer them a part of your company. However, if this solution can be convenient, you have to take in account that your friends or family members might want to be involved in your business decisions. And in case of failure, you have to ask yourself if you are willing to risk your relationship for the sake of your business.
- The resources of your company: if you already have a (profitable) activity, you have the possibility to increase the value of the shares that already exist, so that you can benefit from more resources.
- External (national) resources
- Long term bank credit: This is the most common financing source of the business. Usually, however, the access to these credits will be tougher if you start a new activity.
- Micro loans: you also have the possibility to ask for micro loans, also known as microcredits, which provide micro loans for small businesses, usually under 50,000 dollars. PerMicro is an example of company specialised in microcredit.
- Governments: various levels of government have an impact on the development and growth on the start-up ecosystem in Italy. You can check the region, the chambers of commerce (Camera di Commercio) and the city (especially big ones), that sometimes play important roles in the development of the start-up ecosystem.
- External (European) resources
The European Union (European Commission, the Council of Europe, the European Investment Bank and others) also provides support to European small and medium-sized enterprises, through grants, loans and, in some cases, guarantees.
You can find some relevant information visiting the official EU websites:
- Guarantee fund for small and medium companies
- Creative Europe: for cultural and audio-visual sectors
- COSME: COSME aims at facilitating access to finance for SMEs through the access to guarantees, loans, risk capital and equity, channelled through financial institutions already present in the territory.
- UniCredit: promotion of entrepreneurship in Italy
- Other resources/support:
- Business Angels : A Business Angel is a person, business or group that provides financial resource for small start-ups or entrepreneurs (from 25,000 euros to 100,000 euros per company, but it can be even higher). They particularly care about the following aspects: the quality of the business or idea, people’s passion and integrity of the founders.
- Venture Capitals: Venture capital (VC) firms invest other people's money in your idea. They are private organizations that accumulate capital to purchase equity positions in young businesses with potential to grow in long term and develop in a profitable enterprise.
- Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding is the use of capital from a large number of people online to finance a start-up. Crowdfunding has the potential to develop large amounts of capital for the development of a new start-up. There are four types of crowdfunding websites including equity based, reward based, donation based and lending based. Equity based is the most popular form of financing of start-ups as it enables start-ups to raise money and gives investors the opportunity to earn equity.
- Start-ups accelerators and incubators: Accelerators, through intensive business and personal development programmes, help entrepreneurs moving from the initial business idea to a strong model on which they can build their new venture. This turns to be very effective to attract investors for further development. Besides space where to work, entrepreneurs have access to mentors who guide them in their business design. By the end of the term the entrepreneurs present their pitches to the investors and venture capitalists with the idea to raise first funding.
Examples: Start-up Europe: a meeting point which connects start-ups, investors, accelerators and other stakeholders in order to create a local ecosystem and support it.
EBN innovation network: It aims at supporting the development and growth of entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs, and gathers a community of professionals that helps these businesses to grow in the most effective, efficient and sustainable way.
There are also Italian incubators. Here is an example of incubator in Milan: https://www.startupbusiness.it/investors-in-milan-a-practical-startup-guide/93698/
In the United Kingdom, there are many different funding channels which female artists and creatives can explore in order to help expand a business across borders and into an international market.
- UK Government Website: https://www.gov.uk/business-finance-support
- Finance and support for your business. A system of 168 schemes accessible in the UK for businesses.
- Princes Trust Grants: https://www.princes-trust.org.uk/help-for-young-people/support-starting-business
- Providing financial assistance to young business starters and owners (18-30 years old).
- Horizon 2020: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/horizon-2020-what-it-is-and-how-to-apply-for-funding
- Funding opportunities for SMEs to encourage innovation throughout business in the UK and Europe.
- Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP): https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tradeshow-access-programme
- Available grants for attendance to overseas tradeshows and conferences to promote businesses and products.
- Arts Council England Funding: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding
- Funding opportunities for those in the creative and cultural industries.
There are many different funding streams, agencies and opportunities in Belgium:
- Funding and Support for Small Businesses in Belgium:
- Financing and support in the different regions of Belgium: https://www.belgium.be/en/economy/business/creation/financing_and_support
- The EU and Business in Belgium:
- Funding for creative businesses in Belgium (and other countries):
- Funding agencies and streams in Belgium:
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