Creative Minds Barometer: Only 12 pct of Romanian entrepreneurs believe the current economic context is good for business

Aurel Dragan 09/11/2018 | 11:28

UniCredit Bank has launched its second edition of the Creative Mind Barometer, the only study in Romania to analyze entrepreneurship in the creative industries, which reveals the problems entrepreneurs have in developing their business. The Barometer was launched in 2017 out of UniCredit Bank’s desire to better support and understand the creative minds in Romania. This year’s edition is supported by Cult Market Research.

“The contribution of creative entrepreneurship to the Romanian economy is becoming more and more relevant every year, and with this evolution there are changes in the needs and difficulties that the people behind these businesses face. Through the second edition of the Creative Mind Barometer, we went on with our creative X-ray approach that we first launched in 2017, and at the same time, we wanted to deepen our research. So, after last year’s focus on the creative industries in Bucharest, we have now looked at the business of the largest urban centers, the details of the creative client profile and the differences between mature businesses versus developing ones. UniCredit Bank will continue to support, through the entire Creative Mind Platform, people who do business differently, not just for their role in the economy but also for their social and cultural impact,” said Catalina Roman, Identity and Communication director at UniCredit Bank.

“This year, the Creative Minds Barometer presents an ambitious visionary entrepreneur with optimism weighing on the current legislative and bureaucratic challenges. The creative entrepreneurship segment in Romania is dynamic and the people in these industries are an inspiration for young entrepreneurs in other industries through resilience, ambition and free spirit. The initiative to include in this broader project a periodical sociological research to take the pulse of creative entrepreneurs in Romania is beneficial both for measuring the evolution of the state of mind in industry and for a greater visibility in the Romanian business environment,” said Paul Acatrini, managing partner Cult Market Research.

The main conclusions of the Creative Minds Barometer

  1. General context and the biggest obstacles:
  • Only 12 percent of entrepreneurs believe the current economic context is good for business; in this context, 17 percent of respondents consider expanding the business in the next year;
  • Entrepreneurs in Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca and Iasi are more confident in the economic environment than those in Brasov and Timisoara; At the same time, creative entrepreneurs from Cluj-Napoca, Iasi and Brasov are more eager to develop their businesses than those in Timisoara and Bucharest;
  • Both mature businesses and emerging businesses are doing the same thing to do some investment or, at least, keep afloat from the point of view of business health. At the same time, investment efforts as well as their scale can be felt differently depending on the business field of the business;
  • Legislative changes (24 percent), access to skilled human resources (19 percent) and cash flow problems (16 percent) are the main barriers to the development of businesses in the creative industries; alongside general economic conditions, low purchasing power and attracting new customers, these are the biggest impediments to both mature and developing businesses;
  • Most creative businesses need support for the development and diversification of products and services, fast and advantageous financing, increased awareness, recruitment and sales growth.
  1. Financing:
  • The most useful financial tool for creative entrepreneurs is self-financing (66 percent);
  • The most used financial services are internet / mobile banking and online payments, followed by short-term credit cards and lines;
  • 1 in 4 entrepreneurs consider that funding by European funds is needed;
  • Creative entrepreneurs are reluctant to source external funding or have not yet identified the opportunity to use them to grow their business. The biggest obstacles are high interest rates (19 percent) and cumbersome procedures in public funding programs (15 percent).
  1. Customer Profile in Creative Industries:
  • Customers of creative business are different, but have some common expectations and features. Whether they are natural or legal persons, they are demanding, they are pursuing innovation, promptitude, uniqueness and looking for quality at a fair price.
  1. Entrepreneurship Experience:
  • More than half of creative entrepreneurs come from the private sector and a third of the public sector;
  • Most entrepreneurs (83 percent) consider that previous professional experience has been helpful in their current entrepreneurial activity;
  • 73 percent say graduate studies and the built professional network have helped them in entrepreneurial activity.
  1. Human Resources:
  • Approximately half of entrepreneurs intend to make hiring in the next year; of these, most want to recruit full-time employees;
  • Millennials (18-34) are the most sought-after entrepreneurs;
  • The most important recruitment criteria are enthusiasm and involvement, followed by the personality of the candidate, the matching of the organizational culture with the candidate and the experience in the field; in a lower position, but still in the top priorities, are education and wage expectations.

The study was conducted between October 5 and 22, 2018, with a qualitative and quantitative component. The results are based on the responses of over 200 entrepreneurs with leading positions in small and medium enterprises from all creative industries according to the NACE codes in Romania (artistic, architectural and design, design, advertising, printing, publishing, photo-video, research and innovation, IT).

The Creative Mind Barometer is part of the Creative Mind Platform – the educational program by which UniCredit Bank supports the creative businesses in Romania and the minds behind them – alongside the Academy of Creative Ministers (the program of financial and entrepreneurial education), Creative Minds dedicated to creative business), the 24/7 Guide and the Creative Package.

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