RIGHT BRAIN, LEFT BRAIN: “I’m the new prime minister. There’s been a coup, and we’ve sent David Cameron off to a small alpine town,” said Ed Vaizey, the British Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, addressing a crowd gathered at Number 10 Downing Street on Wednesday night.
The British prime minister is, of course, attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and Vaizey was hosting the launch party for the Creative Entrepreneurs Web site, which offers advice and resources aimed at helping creatives start — and sustain — their own businesses.
Creative Entrepreneurs was founded by Carolyn Dailey, the former managing director of Time Warner, and is backed by seed funding from The Arts Council in Britain. The site offers guidance on writing a business plan, raising money, finding work space, IP, going international and finding mentors.
Ambassadors for the initiative include Anya Hindmarch, Zaha Hadid, Jamal Edwards, founder of the urban music channel SB.TV, and Rohan Silva, cofounder of Second Home, a workspace for creative startups.
Guests included investors and a mix of creative and business figures from the media, retail, film, television and luxury goods industries. Alice Temperley, Guy Salter, Julia Peyton-Jones and Tania Fares were among those who attended.
Dailey called creativity “the next revolution, something that algorithms cannot replace,” and said so many creative people today “don’t even think about starting a business. How many people out there don’t even understand that it’s an option?”
Hindmarch said she had the privilege of coming from a family of entrepreneurs, “which makes you not scared of starting your own business. London is a real center of creativity, but often people don’t put the words ‘creativity’ and ‘business’ in the same sentence,” she said.
According to government statistics, Britain’s creative industries are its fastest-growing economic force, pumping almost 80 billion pounds, or $113 billion at current exchange, annually into the nation’s economy, and accounting for 6 percent of British jobs. The industry is also growing three times faster than any other sector.
Cameron said in a statement: “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,” he continued. “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.”