Goals and strategy

The regional project “Development of Clusters in Cultural and Creative Industries in the Southern Mediterranean” aims to contribute to inclusive growth by fostering entrepreneurial cooperation in cultural and creative industries through the promotion of promising cluster initiatives.

Technical and financial assistance to cluster initiatives will allow selected small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to achieve levels of competitiveness that reach far beyond their individual potential. While SMEs growth is constrained by their limited access to resources and their inability to achieve economies of scale and scope, the selected SMEs will benefit from improvements in their value chains, develop new innovative products rooted in each country’s cultural heritage and benefit from collective efficiency gains —such as optimized costs, equipment sharing and visibility at trade fairs. Furthermore, the project will establish sustainable linkages between international buyers (retailers and manufacturers) and local suppliers. This will help selected SMEs to identify and access new markets that may otherwise remain inaccessible to them.

The project will also draw the attention of national financial institutions to the potential of cultural and creative industries, create linkages between Southern Mediterranean and European Union cluster support institutions, and strengthen the capacity of local business support and advisory institutions so that they can deliver tailored services and assistance to SMEs. The project will assist institutions in providing the policy-making process with feedback on their experiences in order to promote a more conducive environment for the development of well-performing clusters.

In addition, by developing dynamic online knowledge repositories, the regional expertise related to cultural and creative industries and cluster development will be increased and brought up to international standards. Workshops and meetings will foster the exchange of best practices and promote the project’s success stories nationally and regionally.

Ultimately, the project will advocate for the implementation of national and regional private sector development policies that are conducive to the formation of clusters and business linkages. These frameworks will be crucial for the replication of the project on a wider scale and will strengthen private-public partnerships in the region. National and regional government institutions will be exposed to the project experience and gain knowledge of cluster development methodologies including on diagnostic, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, replication and sustainability.

Through these activities the project will demonstrate the benefits of developing clusters in cultural and creative industries in the Southern Mediterranean and prepare the grounds for replication, which with wider support from financial institutions could promote further employment opportunities and inclusive growth in the region.


  • In each target country, two promising pilot cluster initiatives will benefit from capacity-building activities, modernization and expansion, in particular for the development of new products or services
  • Strengthen support institutions for cultural and creative industries, cluster-to-cluster partnerships and private-public partnerships
  • Create linkages with international buyers, local suppliers, financial institutions and other development partners
  • Devise plans for national governments to facilitate the replication of the project’s activities