What do entrepreneurship and quality of place have in common? More than you might think, according to a joint study conducted by Arizona State University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
The study examines the connection between entrepreneurship and an underlying creative-class culture, asking the question: Are cities with high levels of creative employment also conducive to entrepreneurship?
Researchers examined creative-class data and the number of occupations in computer and math, architecture and engineering, management, business and finance, law, health care, education, and arts, design, media and entertainment against the rate of business formation and growth across different regions.
They found that the larger a region’s percentage of creative employment, the higher its level of entrepreneurship and growth. Not only is entrepreneurship connected to an underlying creative class culture in cities, that connection is strongest in places where arts and media thrive, according to the study.
In particular, jobs in management and arts, design, media and entertainment are inextricably tied to entrepreneurship at the regional level. In fact, these fields even drive creativity and entrepreneurship in many places, the study notes.
Cultural Meccas Attract Entrepreneurs
Perhaps this is why country music capital Nashville, Tenn. has become a hotbed for entrepreneurship — not only in entertainment but also in health care and technology.
Wichita, Kansas is another example of how arts and culture can drive entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs like Clyde Cessna and Bill Lear helped turn Wichita into an aviation and aerospace capital, but the city also has a celebrated heritage as a cultural mecca, with more than 30 art galleries and museums and a reputable live theater and music scene.
Across the country, CEOs are starting to see the role of arts and culture in attracting highly skilled and talented workers, and more communities are embracing it as an economic development strategy.What’s your view on this latest research? How does it support that theory? Please share your thoughts below.