The creative industries are a huge deal – and growing. It’s the second biggest contributor to the UK economy after banking, and growing 3 times faster than the economy as a whole. They employ over 2 million people and generate over £100 billion for the UK economy. So, on paper, the future is bright.
That’s why it’s also surprising there isn’t more concrete, joined up backing for creative businesses. Despite the massive commercial importance of the sector, I suspect they’re seen as a little less ‘serious’ than other industries.
And so far, there hasn’t really been a go-to hub for ambitious entrepreneurs in the creative industries. (Compare this to the tech startup scene, which is bursting with platforms, investment, and resources for someone seeking to build the next billion-dollar company.)
After a 20-year career in film, TV and journalism (at Time Warner, home to HBO, CNN and Warner Bros), I ran into this exact problem as I set up my own creative business. I knew I had gaps in my knowledge, but so few of the ‘default’ resources really applied to a business in the sector. I thought “Why should this be so complicated?” And so, realising how many others in this booming industry must be facing the same struggle, I decided to try and put things right.
There’s still huge, untapped potential in the creative sector and I wanted to tackle this head-on. Think of all the creatively talented people who aren’t going into creative careers – for myriad reasons. Then there are all the people who are in the creative sector but aren’t setting up businesses. And then there are those who have set up creative businesses but they’re going it alone and struggling – they aren’t sure how to grow or scale. All of these creative people need our support. And that’s how Creative Entrepreneurs was born.
At its heart, Creative Entrepreneurs is bringing together talent across art, design, illustration, film, TV, music and the performing arts – anyone who sells products of their imagination and has the drive to turn that into a business. But I want to support all types of businesses: the passion projects, the proudly ‘keep it small’ types to those who want to be the next big thing.
The power of the passion economy is that it can support all kinds of enterprises.
So, that’s why, right now at Creative Entrepreneurs we’re building a first-of-its-kind community for creatives, from the aspiring up-and-comers to the seasoned entrepreneurial leaders. By creating a diverse network of creatives who are all following their passions and turning their ideas into creative businesses, we want to help create a movement that will inspire others to join in. Because role models are powerful. By making entrepreneurial creatives more visible and accessible, other people see what’s possible and will begin to imagine it for themselves.
If you’d like to be a part of it, we’d be thrilled to have you join: get involved.