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Creating Innovation in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

This working paper looks at the short-term impact of the Creative Credits pilot scheme which operated in the Manchester region from 2009 to 2010.

This working paper looks at the short-term impact of the Creative Credits pilot scheme which operated in the Manchester region from 2009 to 2010. 

Key findings:

  • Creative Credits aimed to boost innovation in SMEs by directly linking them to creative businesses.
  • The scheme has proved popular with Manchester’s businesses.
  • For every ten credits awarded, eight were used to support B2B relationships involving creative services that would not have formed in the absence of the scheme.
  • There is evidence of short-term commercial benefits from the scheme; furthermore, three-quarters of small firms agreed that their business’s attitude to innovation had become more positive through engaging with it.

Creative Credits was a business-to-business voucher mechanism designed to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises to work innovatively with creative companies. Businesses received credits worth £4,000, which they matched with at least £1,000 to spend with creative firms on a variety of creative services. 

 

Creative Credits – like other innovation voucher schemes – was intended to address barriers to innovation in SMEs which result in inadequate collaboration. These may reflect behavioural failures which are prevalent in smaller businesses, including inertia, excess levels of risk aversion and a tendency towards myopia. 

 

The pilot was funded by Nesta, Manchester City Council, the North West Development Agency, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

 

Authors:
Hasan Bakhshi, John Edwards, Stephen Roper, Judy Scully and Duncan Shaw

 

 

Authors

Hasan Bakhshi

Hasan Bakhshi

Hasan Bakhshi

Centre Director, Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC); and Executive Director, Creative Economy and Data Analytics, Nesta

Hasan oversees Nesta's creative economy policy, research and practical work.

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