The Action plan: Ljubljana urban region presents an important regional document for the field of Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI). It has been prepared by the Regional Development Agency of the Ljubljana Urban Region (RRA LUR) in the co-creation process with the most relevant stakeholders from the region in May 2018.
In the times of pandemic, when protecting the diversity of cultural expressions is more important than ever, this document shapes the specific activities that the region has and will undertake to overcome the challenges and shows the logical steps to reach the goals. Due to the complex nature of their work, cultural professionals and creative workers are particularly affected by the pandemic, the lockdown impact on the entire creative value chain (creation, production, distribution, and access) is massive. Therefore all the efforts have been put to the implementation of the Action Plan and additional support of the Regional Creative Economy Centre that works under auspices of RRA LUR has been granted from the various programs and projects to help overcome the challenges of the "new normal".
Since the Action 1 (Capacity building of students and creative professionals) and Action 2 (Development of support programs for coworking spaces) were successfully implemented, the majority of the focus was dedicated to the Action 3: The Establishment of the creative incubation program. The program was originally developed as the response to the last economic crisis when Slovenia faced the problem of high youth unemployment: there were virtually no jobs for young, highly educated people. Later the program was upgraded and adapted to the new circumstances. Today, when, due to pandemic crisis 31.5 % of CCI workers in Slovenia were forced to stay at home with no work during self-isolation, 77 % of all respondents from CCI sector reported having experienced loss of business in March, April and May and 73.4 % of all workers who continued working reported lower or much lower work efficiency and when Slovenia along with other EU countries is facing a new increase of unemployment in the upcoming months, the program opens up new dimensions. The ultimate objective is to stimulate employment, recovery of existing businesses with the development of new business models, and the emergence of new businesses with the potential for growth among young educated people through a series of motivation events, the selection of promising business ideas, and the intensive training and mentoring. To ensure the entire focus of these young entrepreneurs will be on business development, they will be all assured a minimum wage for the four months. The program will be carried out across all Slovenia’s regions by consortia of different actors. The program was due to current situation postponed to a later date, September 1st, 2020 is the starting point for the first group of entrepreneurs.
We strongly believe that the program will effectively support the cultural professionals and creative entrepreneurs since it takes into consideration the specifics of CCIs, characterized by its business models, special nature of activity related to creativity, identity, and self-expression. Activities carried out in the framework of the CRE:HUB project, such as exchange of best practices, preparation of policy documents, collaboration with international and local stakeholders, expert exchange, etc. lead to the preparation of the Action plan that will not only have the impact on the employment and the production but will also contribute to the technological progress and long-term development of the region.