Three Tips to Unleash the Creative Entrepreneurs in Your Community
Alice Loy Shares Three Tips to Unleash Your Community Creatives
By Alice Loy
The creative economy is huge. And growing. It generates close to $3 trillion in economic output annually. That’s more than the global telecommunications industry. What’s more, creative economy revenues are expanding 8-12% annually, varying by country. In the USA, the creative economy grew straight through the Great Recession, as opposed to all other sectors. Growth will continue as a global middle class rises, expanding demand for entertainment, digital media, and original content and experiences. Consider this: Cirque du Soleil was founded by two street performers who grew it into a global phenomenon and sold it for $1.5 billion to investment firm TPG in 2015. Lynda.com, acquired by LinkedIn in 2015, was started by Lynda Weinman, a graphic designer turned educator. Fashionistas, filmmakers, and foodies are launching creative companies that drive value for investors, and create high-wage jobs.
However, the creative economy is a sleeping giant because leaders and investors, community and economic developers have mostly left the creative economy on the sidelines, its full potential sitting dormant. Many leaders think only of “the arts” when they hear the word creative. However, today’s creative companies are anchored in technologies and digital innovations. Take for example Embodied Labs, a VR film company whose films help medical providers understand patient experiences, reducing costs and improving health outcomes. Or Beacon Hill VR, a software firm with artists and gamers on staff who create and bring to life animated AR characters. We suspect leaders overlook the creative economy because they are unfamiliar with its numbers.
Creative entrepreneurs are market disruptors building a better and more inclusive future. The innovators behind creative companies are designers, coders, gamers, musicians, and engineers. Akin to tech founders, creative founders are driven by a desire to disrupt a market. Unlike many tech founders, most creative entrepreneurs are also inspired by social outcomes such as engaging disenfranchised communities, providing a living wage, and building culturally connected communities. The creative economy is being built by visionaries who strengthen regional identity, increase livelihoods, and build connected communities.
So how can you unleash the creative entrepreneurs and talent in your community? Here are three tips to get you started:
Alice Loy is CEO and Co-Founder of Creative Startups and author of Creative Economy Entrepreneurs, From Start Up to Success: How Entrepreneurs in the Creative Industries are Transforming the Global Economy. For more information, please visit, www.creativestartups.org. Connect with Alice on Twitter (@aliceloy)