Hub Thessaloniki, Greece

The Cultural Entrepreneurship Hub of Thessaloniki is a community and network for people who bring creativity to society and the economy. We envision communities where local creatives drive regional culture and economy.

Through the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI), artists and creatives in Thessaloniki can use business and entrepreneurship skills to turn heritage, culture and creativity into innovation for a society and economy in transition.

Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece, an important coastal hub in Southeastern Europe, and the country’s biggest university town, including the largest university in the Balkans and a total of 150,000 students in the city each year. The city has vibrant human talent, mobilized mostly around universities, research centers, technology and innovation, tourism and international events.

The creative community is a nation-wide pioneer in design since the 1980s, with about 1000 Graphic Designers & Multimedia Designers based in the city (2011 census), and international award-winning firms. Thessaloniki was the European Cultural Capital in 1997 and the European Youth Capital in 2014. The city hosts annual international events such as the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, the Dimitria cultural festival, the Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, the newer Elephantastico — the European Children’s Festival — and a growing number of smaller events like the Comic Con and the STAMP Festival for film, culture, art, dance, music, design and more.

The creative and cultural community has strong links to the region’s tourism sector and the city’s emerging technology and startup ecosystem. Today, clusters of creativity with small shops, office spaces and studios (architects, graphic designers, arts and crafts, photography, film and music) have developed in areas of the city center, benefitting from decreased rent and empty commercial spaces. In the last few years, there are even more creative professionals, and new co-working or maker spaces, and organizations supporting the creative community, including LABattoir, a laboratory of applied creativity in the refurbished building of the old slaughterhouse in the western district of the city, established by the Municipality of Thessaloniki.

This is a pivotal time to support creative and cultural entrepreneurs, as they help drive local and regional culture and economy.

Read the research paper to find out how the future of this Hub might look like: Research Paper Thessaloniki / Greece