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Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

Population2.89 Million
Area in km²15.763 km²
GDP/inhabitant (year)32.342€ (2016)
GDP growth rate (year)1.2% (2016)
Unemployment rate (year)4.9% (2017)
Cohesion Policy categoryMore developed region

Number of CCI support organizations: 23
Global creativity index – GCI, country level: 0.837 (2015)
Regional Entrepreneurship Development Index – REDI: 49.8 (2017)

1. Introduction

In the following we will present a regional profile of the Cultural and Creative industry in Germany’s northernmost country Schleswig-Holstein. The Ministry of Economy, Traffic, Work, Technology and Tourism published in 2017 a report about developments of the Creative Industries in Schleswig-Holstein.

The report differentiates between a core segment and a mini segment of the Creative Industries. The core segment includes self-employed and companies as well as employees with a turnover of more than 17,500€ per annum. The mini segment comprises self-employed and companies as well as employees with a turnover of less than 17,500€ per annum. 42% of those people working in the CCIs are working in the mini segment, which is rather a large percentage.

The development of the CCI in Schleswig-Holstein has been less dynamic than the whole economy. The number of employees in the CCI fell from 2009 to 2015 around 2,7% while it grew overall by 9,4%. Yet, only in the mini segment the overall rate fell (minus 22,3%).

The segments of the Creative in Schleswig-Holstein are Music business, Book market, Art market, Film business, Broadcasting, Performing Arts, Design, Architecture, Press (Print/Digital), Advertising, Software / Games, Other.

There is no specific definition for the CCI in Schleswig-Holstein. A definition for the whole of Germany is given by the Conference of the Ministers for Economic Affairs: “People in the Creative and Cultural Industries are self-employed or employees of SMEs, which are predominantly profit-oriented and are engaged in the creation, production, dispersal and/or distribution through the media of cultural/creative goods and services”

2. General information about Schleswig-Holstein

Table 1 gives an overview of employment in the CCI in Schleswig-Holstein and revenue of the CCI industries. There is no data available on exports.

Table 1

SectorNumber of Enterprises and Institutions*Number of Employees (Gain or loss from 2009)Total income** (in this case revenue); (Gain or loss from 2009)
Music business319+4581,975 (+7,9%)€ 150,2 Million (+ 22,6%)
Book market492+6662,571 (-4,0%)€ 150,9 Million (-32,7%)
Art market459+6851,565 (+7,0%)----
Film business395+6022,547 (-7,3%)€ 371,0 Million (+22,7%)
Broadcasting545+7481,597 (+ 2,3%)----
Performing Arts409+6342,552 (+ 27,1%)€ 119,9 Million (+40,7%)
Design1360+12844,826 (-8,2%)€ 282 Million (core segment only)
Architecture1047+6334,375 (-8,5%)€ 272,9 Million (+1,1%)
Press (Print/Digital)947+9979,402 (-10,2%)€ 450,9 Million (+3,1%)
Advertising737+7494,328 (-35,2%)€ 221,8 Million (-34,7%)
Software/Games852+6986,641 (+30,8%)€ 427,3 Million (+78,7%)
Other189+215525 (-6,4%) 

* companies and self-employed in the core segment (2015) + companies in the mini segment (2012)
** Revenue 2012 core segment + 2015 mini segment

Different sectors of the CCI are developing differently as is indicated by the number of employees in the sub-sectors. The music industry, the architecture sector and as shown especially the software/games industry are growing significantly in terms of employees. They are growing stronger than the overall economy. Yet, the number of jobs in advertising, the film business, the press market as well as in design is falling. Especially for design it is true that the number of employees has fallen, yet the number of self-employed has increased. In the core segment since 2009 the rate of self-employed has increased by 29 percent, in the mini segment by 14 percent.

3. Economy

Economic importance of the CCI in the region

Table 2

CCI main indicators for Schleswig-Holstein2015
# of CCI employees37,300
% employed2,7%
# of CCI companies13,097
% of companiesn.A.
Total income (mln €)2.2€ *
% GDP2.9%

* core segment only revenue, in billion €.

The biggest segment of the CCI in Schleswig-Holstein in relation to the number of people working in the segment is the press market with 9.400 employed. That is 25% of all CCI employees and self-employed in the CCI in Schleswig-Holstein. According to revenue the press market is still the largest market of the CCI in Schleswig-Holstein as well, yet gross value fell about 3% and the press market is only the third largest segment in this category.

One of the strongest and most dynamic segments of the CCI in Schleswig-Holstein is the software/games industry. In 2015 6.600 people worked in this segment, which is 18% of the employees in the CCI in Schleswig-Holstein. This number of people working in this segment grew more than 30% from 2009 to 2015. The software/games industry is, in relation to employees, the second biggest market behind the press market. 427 million in revenue has been created by the software and games. Revenue grew by 80% since 2009. Gross value is at 211 m, number one of the segments of the CCI.
The third biggest segment of the CCI in Schleswig-Holstein is the design industry. In 2015 the numbers of employees and self-employed in this segment was 4,800 person, a reduction of about 8% from 2009. In this segment a growing number of people is self-employed. 1.400 people in the core segment (2015) and 1.300 (2012) in the mini segment are self-employed. This is plus of 28% in the core and plus 14% in the mini segment.

The CCI remains a market where many people working in it belong to the mini segment with a revenue of less than 17,500 EUR. Of all self-employed and companies with a revenue less than 17,500 EUR 7.7% belonged to the Creative Industries in 2012. These are overall 6,696 self-employed or companies.

International links

Participation in international fairs & important business links in the BSR

There is support for taking part in international fairs through Gründerviertel, an initiative by Technikzentrum Lübeck. This is mainly directed a tech-oriented start-ups. The government of Schleswig-Holstein has opened together with several partners an office in San Francisco’s Silicon Valley to establish cooperation between Schleswig-Holstein’s tech firms and international players. #kreativkiel supports business cooperation between companies from the city of Kiel with Denmark, especially the cities of Aarhus and Kolding, and Sweden.

4. Regional business eco-system

The region has the following support organizations and types of support:

Table 3

CCI Support OrganizationTypes of Support
DiWiSHClustermanagement for the digital economy of  Schleswig-Holstein (DiWiSH); Network for all SMES companies of the IT, Media and Design sector;
Networking to find project partners; Consultation to finance projects; Knowledge transfer; Marketing & PR for Schleswig-Holstein as a location for the Creative and Digital Industries
Muthesius TransferparkFounded in 2017 as center for innovation transfer, cross-innovation, internationalization, and interdisciplinary approaches between economy, society, and universities.
myPlan/EXISTEXIST is a nationwide scheme located at many universities hat wants to improve the culture of establishing businesses at universities and research institutes; it also supports knowledge transfer Goals of the scheme:
  • Strengthen the level of competitiveness of the CCI in Schleswig-Holstein and support sustainable success
  • Helps develop creative potential
  • Support collaboration between different sectors of the economy
The scheme offers: Consultation, Coaching, Networking, Education
Starterkitchen IncubatorIncubator for startups with a digital approach; trying to increase the probability of the formation of companies.
The initiative tries to facilitate processes of initiation and accelerations
Gründerviertel (City of Lübeck)Information- und Ionnovation portal of the Technology Center Lübeck; Technology Transfer, supports start-ups as well as already established companies; offers an interactive guideline for a market entry in international markets and a leaflet on how to take part in international fairs.
Technikzentrum LübeckInterreg Project Lean Landing:
Supports the internationalization of young start-ups; partner in Schleswig-Holstein is Technikzentrum Lübeck
NordkollegCourses in Cultural Management; Networking
Ars BalticaMultiplier; Networking; Funding Guide
Kreativstammtisch KielMonthly meeting of creative professionals in the city of Kiel
Schleswig-Holstein Government Plug ‘n PlayUp to ten companies per year will be able to use the infrastructure of Plug ‘n Play and stay in the Silicon Valley for 3 months
Northern Germany Innovation Office in San Francisco
Northern Germany Innovation Office in San FranciscoJoint Office of the states of Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg , the city of Kiel as well as four companies in San Francisco to facilitate networking and projects
Waterkant FestivalThe festival focus is to establish dialogue, networks and cooperations between companies, startups, organisations and the general public. The subjects are diverse – New Work , Startup culture, Womens‘ Entrepreneurship, Gaming/Esports, Mobility, Education, Green tech, Fintech, AI, Virtual Reality, Sustainability and more.
#kreativkielConsultation, Networking, Funding
Schleswig-Holstein StartUp CampStartup Accelerator; Meeting of players from government, industry and young entrepreneurs
Baltic Business Angels Schleswig-Holstein e.V.Supports start-ups in receiving venture capital
German Motion Picture FundFilm Funding, national level
Film Funding Hamburg Schleswig-HolsteinFilm Funding, regional level
Kulturförderung der Landeshauptstadt Kiel; Culture Funding of the City of KielGeneral funding of cultural projects; municipal level
Initiative Musik gGmbHInitiative Musik is the federal government’s funding agency that supports the music industry for rock, pop, and jazz in Germany. Initiative Musik’s support programmes offer artists financial support to indirectly support their professional development. One of its main goals is to promote and support young musical talent, musicians with immigrant backgrounds, and disseminating music from Germany on a national level and on foreign markets. Another focus is the support of music venues that significantly contribute to maintaining cultural diversity within Germany with their work.
German Federal Cultural Foundation; national levelThe German Federal Cultural Foundation promotes art and culture within the scope of federal competence. One of its main priorities is to support innovative programmes and projects on an international level. The Foundation also invests in projects which develop new methods of fostering cultural heritage and tap into the cultural and artistic potential of knowledge required for addressing social issues.
Kultur- und Kreativpiloten Deutschland (Cultural and Creative Pilots Germany)Yearly contest that gives awards and mentoring innovative and creative approaches to business ideas from all segments of the creative and cultural industries
Förderlotsen IB.SHFree counsel service for company founders in terms of financing and business plans directed not only at the CCI
KulturfokusSupports German-Danish micro-projects in the areas of culture, language children, youth, leisure and sport

There are few organizations that focus on the CCI industries. Most are general business support organizations with an emphasis on the emerging start-up scene. There is a focus on companies with digital, innovative approaches, which can be CCI companies but not necessarily.

5. CCI in the region - Overview of the role of CCI sector in regional business

21.600 people work in the core market in the CCI in Schleswig-Holstein, that is about 56% of all employed in the CCI.

18 % of the employed in the CCI in Schleswig-Holstein are self-employed/companies in the mini segment. 24 % percent of the employed belong to the mini segment as well. Thus 42% of all employed in the CCI in Schleswig-Holstein belong to the mini segment. The number for Germany overall is even 55%. Therefore, in Germany as well in Schleswig-Holstein the CCI is rather fragmented. Overall 13,097 of those employed in the CCI in Schleswig-Holstein are self-employed or owner of a company. They are almost evenly split in the core segment and the mini segment.

Overall, 35% of the people working in the CCI in Schleswig-Holstein are self-employed/companies compared to 33% for the whole of Germany. The average revenue of a CCI company in Schleswig-Holstein is 340,000 EUR compared to 607,000 EUR in Germany.

CCI support and development system

The CCI support system appears to be rather fragment with a focus on the digital industries. Yet there are many support and funding possibilities on the municipal, regional and national level. One initiative which has not been part of chapter is the strategic focus of the capital of Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel, to establish the city as creative city. The city is funding and supporting projects with at least three partners that focus for example on innovative projects of sustainability, demographic change or inclusive shaping of communities or creative development of the city. The project is all about shaping urban living and not so much on business development.

CCI development & support strategies (national, regional, municipal, European):

European initiatives/programs: Interreg, Interreg Policy Area Culture, Creative Europe.

Governmental level supporting institutions: German Federal Cultural Foundation, German Motion Picture Fund, Initiative Musik gGmbH, myPlan/EXIST, Northern Germany Innovation Office in San Francisco, Kulturförderung der Landeshauptstadt Kiel (Culture Funding of the City of Kiel), Kultur- und Kreativpiloten Deutschland (Cultural and Creative Pilots Germany)

CCI eco-systems (national, regional), please describe each listed entity also shortly by its function and/or activities: DiWiSH, Muthesius Transferpark, Starterkitchen Incubator, Gründerviertel (City of Lübeck), Technikzentrum Lübeck, Nordkolleg GmbH, Ars Baltica, Kreativstammtisch Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein Government Plug ‘n Play, Waterkant Festival, #kreativkiel, Schleswig-Holstein StartUp Camp, Baltic Business Angels Schleswig-Holstein e.V., Film Funding Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, Förderlotsen IB.SH – see Table 3 for descriptions and projects

Access to finance: There are some possibilities for founders and start-ups to receive counseling, first-year financial support as well as infrastructure like incubators, festivals and workshops. Most of them are general business support infrastructure not specifically designed for the CCI.

6. Knowledge base and skills

In the capital of Schleswig-Holstein at the Muthesius-Kunsthochschule (Art college) there a four university courses belonging to the field of the CCI: Industry Design, Communication Design, Space Concepts (‘Raumstrategien’) and Free Art (Freie Kunst).

At the University of Applied Science in Kiel it is possible to study for a degree in Multimedia Production, Media Concepts as well as Journalism and Media Economics.
The University of Lübeck offers a Bachelor as well as Master degree in Architecture.

In Germany it is possible to do Dual Education, meaning a combination of school education and on-the-job-training that normally last three years. There are several Dual Education courses that lead to jobs in the CCI. These are: Book merchant, Stage Painter (eg Theater), Media and Information Services, Event technology, Film and Editor, Foto and Media, Informatics, Marketing and Communication, Make-up artist, Software developer, Media Designer Audiovisual, Media Designer Audiovisual Digital and Print, Fashion Tailor, Fashion Sticher.

7. Regional CCI development outlook

Few funding offers are directed specifically at the CCI; most offers concerning funding are directed at digital start-ups and company founders in general.

On the one hand there is funding for cultural, non-commercial events on the other there is a lot of support or funding for digital start-ups; CCI companies or founders that do not focus solely on digital approaches like designers, architecture, film, foto, book and music market there seems to be a lack of support.

Only a few and rather limited support activities are aimed at internationalization.


  1. Report on the CCI in Schleswig-Holstein (2017):
  3. Report on the CCI for Germany (2018):
  5. Global Creativity Index:
  6. The Regional Entrepreneurship and Development Index: Structure, Data, Methodology and Policy Applications / László Szerb, Zsófia Vörös, Éva Komlósi, Zoltan J. Acs, Balázs Páger, Gábor Rapp.: