Policy Guidance Tool

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SDE (Servei de Desenvolupament Empresarial – Business Development Service)

1. Introduction

Goals, results, timeframe, context and relevant actors.

What is SDE?
The Business Development Service (SDE) was established in 2006, designed to serve as a tool for Catalan cultural and creative companies.
Its main objectives are to offer cultural companies support in starting up and consolidating their businesses and to contribute to improving competitiveness and promoting the conditions necessary to favour innovation in management.

The added value of the SDE is its ability to offer tailor-made responses to the needs of the cultural and creative sectors of Catalonia, through direct and personalised attention.
The main objectives and challenges of the SDE are:

  • To become a tool for creative company development: external consultancy and management training.
  • To promote exchange and synergies, generate projects created jointly between cultural companies and others and provide executives with information and training.

The operating objectives of the SDE are:

  • To encourage innovation in cultural industries.
  • To generate new resources and maximize already existing ones.
  • To provide cultural industries with information and tools so that they can access new markets.
  • To foster networking.
  • To promote the transfer of digital media and technology applied to the creative industries.

What we do
The Business Development Service works in two main areas:

  • Information and training for executives: through the organisation of seminars, workshops, conferences, working sessions and congresses focused on specific topics of interest to cultural companies. The main areas of action are: business management, marketing and communication, law and taxation, internationalisation, digital music 2.0 and digital media.
  • Consultancy: through a line of specific subsidies to carry out consulting activities at cultural companies or organisations.

Over the years the training offer has grown exponentially, with more than 50 sessions each year, an average of 2,000 participants and a range of top-level speakers and lecturers.
The SDE website and videos of some of the information/training activities held:

2. Cluster connection

This paragraph is to determine whether the project is linked to a creative cluster in this region and whether there is a link with other clusters.

Is this case part of a cluster?

Our public

  • Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • Micro-companies
  • Freelancers and the self-employed

Audiovisual media, media, books, music, performing arts, visual arts, new multimedia arts, videogames, design, photography, architecture, gastronomy, etc.

What type of cluster (digital, fashion, creative general etc), does the cluster consist of one type of (sub)sectors or is it heterogeneous?


What actors does the cluster consist of?


Who is responsible for this cluster? Is there a cluster organization?


Are there other strong clusters in the area/region, and if so: are there exchanges between the creative clusters and the others?


3. Role of government

This paragraph is to determine the role of (local/regional/national) government and policy in this case.

How important is the role of the government in this case?

The budget for all SDE training activities is public (from the local Catalan Government).
Some activities are carried out in collaboration with other public organisations and institutions.

The (provisional) available budget for the 2013 activities is €77,000, and €35,000 for cultural consultancy.

What are the relevant policies that contribute to this case?


What are the policy instruments used?


Please pay attention to financing (total budget relevant to the cluster), percentage of government funding in the total budget available for this case and any other resources made available.


4. Role of private sector

This paragraph is to determine the role of private actors in this case.

In your case, what role(s) do private actors play and how important are they?

As stated above, the funding for all activities promoted by the SDE is supplied by the Catalan Government, in its totality.
All scheduled activities are free for attendees.

Please pay attention to financing (total budget relevant to the cluster), percentage of government funding in the total budget available for this case and any other resources made available.


5. Role of knowledge institutions

This paragraph is to determine the role of Knowledge Institutes (aka Schools, Universities etc) in this case.

Are knowledge institutions involved?

In order to program specific workshops and activities, the SDE works in continuous collaboration with other public bodies. Some examples: Mercat de Música Viva de Vic, Sonar, Primavera Sound, ACC1Ó, FiraTàrrega, etc.

If knowledge institutions are involved, please describe their contribution (including financial).


6. Successes and failures of the case

This paragraph is to determine what the success and fail factors are in your case. Please keep in mind that it is important for ECIA to find out whether it is context, financing, the various actors, change of policy etc.

Please describe the main success and fail factors, provide a clear description, limit the use of bullet points.

The number of information and training activities as well as attendees and speakers has progressed exponentially since 2006.

Data 2006-2012:

  • Total attendees: 10,276 professionals from cultural sectors
  • Total information and training activities: 230
  • Total speakers: 542

During 2013, we launched the cycle ‘I2: Inspiration and Innovation’, in order to promote networking among creative companies and facilitate collaboration among other companies outside the creative realm but with the common denominator of inspiration and innovation in processes and projects. The whole cycle uses gamification.

The main partners are: ACC1Ó (Ministry of Innovation), LaSalle University – Master’s Degree in Multimedia Creation and Serious Games, and the Moritz Brewery.

Over the years the SDE has made up for the lack of permanent training in creative companies, mainly dominated by liberal professionals. It has also aided in the generation of meeting spaces to promote networking and cooperation among companies. However, there is still a long way to go in this area, especially in terms of helping to solidify international collaboration and networking.

The new digital technologies and transmedia storytelling and projects in cultural sectors are areas in which the SDE is working recently, as we see it as an opportunity to design new business models. However, again, there are still many possibilities to explore and carry out.

7. Replication potential

This paragraph is to determine if this case could be copied by another region, country or even Europe.

Would it be possible to replicate this case in another region? If so, in which region?

The SDE model can not only be replicated but also extended in terms of the skills and services offered to cultural companies. It would also be interesting to explore co-payment or sponsorship formulas for certain activities.

What would be the conditions to do this?


8. Finance model

Please pay attention to financing (total budget relevant to the cluster), percentage of government funding in the total budget available for this case and any other resources made available.


If knowledge institutions are involved, please describe their contribution (including financial)


9. Contact


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