Upholding the Mayor of London's creative industries initiative

We were thrilled to be invited to the Mayor of London's Creative Enterprise Zones: One Year On conference at London's City Hall on Monday - and so pleased it managed to go ahead before the nationwide isolation kicked itself up a notch. Huge thanks to the team for inviting us to spend the day among so many inspiring creatives!

Creative Enterprise Zones is a flagship initiative from the Mayor of London. The  programme  ensures  artists and creative businesses can put down roots in the city, bring benefits to local communities and drive creative jobs and growth.    The Zones have each been shaped in partnership with a consortium of local artists and creative entrepreneurs to meet their most critical needs.

Our Founder, Carolyn, was invited to be a speaker on the panel entitled How can Creative Enterprise Zones genuinely benefit creative businesses? The creative community thinks about business a little differently to people from other sectors, so this panel - and the subsequent workshop - explored the ways in which the creative industries can be supported at a local and city-wide level, and how challenges can be overcome.

The panel was chaired by Mark Sarfo Kantanka, founder of Cellar Door, an immersive events management company that implements creative experiences.

The panel:

Carolyn Dailey - our Founder & CEO

Bill Poler - Partnerships Director for Great West Creatives

Ndubuisi Uchea - Co-Founder, Word on the Curb

Melanie Eusebe - Founder of the Black British Business Awards

Some of the most valuable points to come out of the panel and workshops can be found below.

  • Money is empowering. It enables us to explore our creativity. That’s why funding creativity, and funding creative businesses is so important. Creatives shouldn’t be embarrassed about money or think it’s going to make them any less authentic if they receive it - by way of investment/grants - or earn it - through their own success.
  • We need to lose the fear that we’re going to be any less authentic if we accept funding/if we scale-up/if we work for a big corporation in order to provide us with the funds for our creativity. We need to do what's right for us and our business, and only we can decide what that is.
  • Don't be afraid to spend someone else's money before you spend yours - by this we mean, if you need to take a job in a large corporation to learn the ropes and make a few mistakes before going solo, do it. Don't gamble everything on your idea right away if you don't have the skills and experience to do so
  • More education, definition, and clarity is needed at school and university level about what creativity is, and what kinds of creative jobs there are out there. Creativity isn’t just about being an artist or musician. People should have an understanding about what it means to work in an advertising agency, or a digital design agency etc. They should be educated about the different kinds of professional outlets for their creativity, as should parents.
  • Creatives need to know their worth, and not be ashamed or embarrassed to charge for it. The current model of payment-on-delivery is affecting and hurting young creatives and their chances of succeeding. People need to be paid for the job they’re doing, and they need to know how much they deserve to be paid.
  • Skills and networking are key to any successful creative business founder. Every entrepreneur should know how to network, and should know basic business skills if they want to succeed.
  • Feeling a sense of community with likeminded creative business owners is extremely important for morale, confidence, drive and general mental wellbeing. Initiatives that connect creatives to one another are extremely important.