David Boyle and Kate Oakley. 2018. Co-operatives in the Creative Industries. Manchester: Co-operatives UK.
Co-ops have the potential to offer greater control over production and distribution of creative products, exactly the sort of control that many creatives want, but are told is only available to them as ‘entrepreneurs.’ They also have structural features that lead to them being better able to deliver autonomy to creatives, whilst at the same time delivering greater equality – economic and cultural – than that typically found in non-co-operative businesses.
We want to challenge the dominance of the competitive, entrepreneurial model that has been central to both business support and educational provision for the creative industries, and argue that the skills of collaboration and co-operation are equally vital.
While we are not suggesting that co-ops are ‘the answer’ to all of the problems, or that they necessarily guarantee stronger growth, we do believe that the question of ownership and business models have been neglected in creative industries policy.
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