Creative industries are nowadays central in many policies to stimulate the economic development of cities, regions and advanced capitalist economies in general. This paper contributes to the creative industries literature in two respects. First, we empirically explore if high shares of creative industries in regions go together with one particular aspect of regional economic development, namely firm entry rates. Drawing on Dutch trade register data over a six-year period, it is concluded that at the level of municipalities there is indeed a connection between the share of creative industries and firm entry, even after controlling for the sizes of municipalities, and no matter if creative industries are defined broadly or narrowly. Second, the paper analyses if firms in creative industries are heterogeneous in terms of business processes and their contribution to regional firm entry. Drawing on previous work four creative domains are identified: arts, media and entertainment, creative business services and, at the periphery, knowledge intensive business services. After analysing survey data of 4,746 Dutch SMEs, we find that firms across these domains are distinct in their use of the surveyed business practices: innovation, strategy and marketing, and human resources practices. Especially knowledge intensive services firms are deviant. For the connection with firm entry rates, it appears that high shares of firms in the arts and knowledge intensive business services are significantly connected with regional firm entry rates, while media and entertainment and creative business services remain insignificant. Implications for practitioners and future research are discussed.
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