The creative economy has been defined as an artist’s use of creativity for increasing the value of an idea. According to The Policy Circle, the creative economy contributes just over 6.1% to global gross domestic product (GDP), averaging between 2% and 7% of national GDPs around the world.
According to UN estimates, the creative economy industries generate annual revenues of over $2 trillion and account for nearly 50 million jobs worldwide. About half of these workers are women, and these industries employ more people ages 15-29 than any other sector.
Television and the visual arts make up the largest industries of the creative economy in terms of revenue, while visual arts and music are the largest industries in terms of employment.
In Kenya, there has been tremendous growth in this space. The Music, Film, and other Creative arts industries have become key contributors to the Country’s economy. This, however, has come with its own fair share of challenges.
According to William “Wamae” Mwangi, an Actor, the Industry bares a couple of shortcomings. Key among them is the lack of proper structures in the industry, lack of institutional and government support, and lack of law enforcement around royalties and Intellectual property.
These sentiments were also highlighted by Roy Gitahi, CEO and Founder of Art at Work Limited, during an exclusive interview with Sharp Daily. According to Roy, working in isolation and lack of structure is an impediment to maximizing on the commercial benefits of any form of art.
He advises that artists should work on getting their companies registered as Limited Liability Companies. This way, the intellectual property rights will be held by the company. When the company owns the IP rights to the content, the owners stand to benefit from revenue generated via online platforms, broadcasts, and screening. Subsequently, the registered companies shall be able to sell shares and the investors will eventually get dividends from the generated revenue.
“We are now separating the creative talent from the business, many entities in the creative sector are business names. We are in the process of registering MSMEs as limited liability companies through this, the intellectual property will now be held by the company making it easy for people to sell shares within the company allowing investors to get dividends based on the revenue being created by that particular IP”
There is also a need for education about the creative economy for investors, the government, and artists. This space remains largely unexplored and misunderstood.
Investors require to know where their money goes in, what it is going to do, where the market is and how they are going to get a return on their investment.
The government needs to understand where they can plug in and the structures they can create to facilitate the growth of the creative economy. Since people are motivated to invest where they can see success, artists need to learn how to create a vibrant industry that draws attention to their craft. Artists are also encouraged to work on their financial management. They should think of the future when the star drops, and invest wisely.
Email your news TIPS to firstname.lastname@example.org