Living Hand to Mouth: Why the Bohemian Lifestyle Does Not Lead to Wealth Creation in Peripheral Regions

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Using demographic data from a study of micro and small business owners operating in the crafts industry in rural Mid and West Wales, this paper identifies a mismatch between government business incentives and the bohemian values of local enterprises. This is highlighted as a contributing factor to explain why creative organizations in Wales do not generate the regional economic wealth expected from those working within the creative industries. Chaston [2008. Small creative industry firms: A development dilemma? Management Decision, 46(6), pp. 819–831] suggests that national policy relating to the economic development of regions is misguided because it is based on data collected in major cities. In periphery locations, many creative operations are concentrated in art and craft, yet little is currently known about these enterprises, and a limited amount of research has been conducted involving the craft sector in general. An initial investigation into micro and small craft enterprises is presented here, which indicates that although policy-makers view all creative firms as capable of economic development that will deliver growth and jobs [Oakley, 2011. In its own image: New labour and the cultural workforce, Cultural Trends, 20(3–4), pp. 281–289], the type of creative firm attracted to the periphery regions of Mid and West Wales does not necessarily exhibit the type of growth anticipated from the creative industries sector.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2390-2403
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Planning Studies
Issue number12
Early online date12 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - 02 Dec 2015


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