The program, which covers the film, television, music, advertising, design, fashion and theater industries, was launched at an event on Wednesday at the U.K. Prime Minister’s residence in Downing Street, London, hosted by Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy. Among the TV and film executives there were Kenton Allen, chief of production company Big Talk, Left Bank Pictures’ boss Andy Harries, Philip Knatchbull of movie distribution and exhibition chain Curzon, and Nik Powell, head of the National Film and Television School.
At the heart of the initiative is a website that will act as a resource for creative people starting their own businesses, as well as a source of inspiration. The site provides information, for example, on writing a business plan, raising money, mentoring and promoting businesses.
The website also contains the inspirational stories of successful young entrepreneurs, such as Jamal Edwards, founder of the YouTube youth culture and urban music channel SB.TV. Edwards, who attended the Downing Street event, acts as an ambassador for the Creative Entrepreneurs program. The site also has interviews with industry experts, such as investors, lawyers and productivity gurus.
The creative industries generate £76.9 billion ($110 billion) a year for the U.K. economy, which represents 5% of the total, according to figures released by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport last year. The sector accounted for 1.71 million jobs, equal to 5.6% of all U.K. jobs, and had a growth rate of 9.9%, three times that of the wider U.K. economy.
In a statement, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron gave his backing for the Creative Entrepreneurs initiative. “Britain has huge creative clout around the world. From Asia to America, they’re dancing to our music, watching our films and wearing our designers’ latest creations. With all this talent, it’s no wonder that our creative industries form the fastest growing part of the economy — and are growing faster than any other sector.
“I want us to build on that. And that means backing the best entrepreneurship in the sector, providing a focal point for the start-up support and resources creative people need. Creative Entrepreneurs does just that — and its website is the first of its kind. I hope this, alongside the other measures we are taking to boost businesses, will help make one of this country’s great success stories go from strength to strength.”
Creative Entrepreneurs is backed by seed funding from The Arts Council, the U.K. public funding body for the arts.