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Maintaining the scene: entrepreneurship in Berlin's artistic sectors.

Cunningham, James; Tolonen, Kaisa-Maija


Kaisa-Maija Tolonen


Berlin is a city famous for its artistic culture and uniquely inspired history, building a hotbed of creativity to draw talent from across the world. Our research problem is that, notwithstanding abundant creativity, Berlin's economy struggles behind other capital cities, and indeed Germany's national economy. We offer an explanation for this situation in the way entrepreneurship functions in Berlin's artistic sectors. We apply a mixed embeddedness lens to find the key role of the intermediary driven by cultural agendas and the maintenance of artistic integrity. Thus, economic goals are deprioritised. Our findings have implications for understanding the creative industries in Berlin, and more broadly, they demonstrate the importance of social and spatial context in determining the nature of entrepreneurial activity. This is a revised and expanded version of a paper presented at 15th interdisciplinary European conference on entrepreneurship research 2017 (IECER 2017): entrepreneurial diversity: current research and future avenues, 20-22 September 2017, Siegen, Germany.


CUNNINGHAM, J. and TOLONEN, K.-M. 2019. Maintaining the scene: entrepreneurship in Berlin's artistic sectors. International journal of entrepreneurship and small business [online], 37(4), pages 492-512. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 17, 2017
Online Publication Date Aug 15, 2019
Publication Date Dec 31, 2019
Deposit Date Nov 28, 2017
Publicly Available Date Aug 16, 2020
Journal International journal of entrepreneurship and small business
Print ISSN 1476-1297
Electronic ISSN 1741-8054
Publisher Inderscience
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 37
Issue 4
Pages 492-512
Keywords Cultural entrepreneurship; Creativity; Berlin; Mixed embeddedness; Social context; Artists; Non-economic; Ethnography; Qualitative data; Social construction
Public URL


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