Kelly Hoppen MBE, founder of Kelly Hoppen Interiors and the new Dragon, on how to fuel economic growth
The creative industries are incredibly important to the future of the UK. They are worth more than £36 billion a year to this country, according to government figures. They contribute some £70,000 per minute towards our economy. Industry figures show that £1 in every £10 of UK exports is generated by the creative industries. To secure Britain’s future, we must support the creative industries.
We are lucky to have some of the world’s best creative talent within our shores. Our fashion designers are some of the most well-respected, our digital talent breaks boundaries and our designers and artists continue to innovate.
A British luxury brand is worth its weight in gold within the emerging economies of China, India and South America. Fashion is where the value of our creative industries is truly demonstrated in the current market. British brands are capitalising on these regions’ love of all things British by opening stores there, offering e-commerce and targeted marketing, and as a result detailing record profits within these regions.
Supporting creative businesses
Design contributes so much to the culture of Britain. If you think about the 60’s, you instantly think of Mary Quant dresses, Vidal Sassoon’s famous hairstyles, David Bailey photographing The Beatles. All of these people formed our creative industry at the time. They made the time visually and culturally memorable.
But our creative industries still face some major challenges that need to be confronted.
Copyright is a huge issue. It is something that businesses, as well as government, are pulling together to try and tackle. We must endeavor to find new ways to tackle the problems of copyright, and I would welcome initiatives to do so.
We must make sure that, as a nation, we are supporting growth among creative enterprises. Finance for any business is difficult to raise in today’s economic climate. There are, though, some good support initiatives I encourage entrepreneurs to explore.
It is worth looking into grant funding. Young entrepreneurs may be eligible for a grant from the Prince’s Trust, for example. The over-50s can look into support from the Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise.
We must ensure the creative industries continue their exporting prowess to enable our economy to grow in the long term. UK Trade & Investment does an excellent job advising companies how to ready themselves to export. They really are a great resource both for knowledge and contacts. Creative businesses need ambition, and looking to overseas markets for expansion is a great way to achieve growth.
There will still always be challenges that any young creative entrepreneur or designer needs to overcome. To secure their own future, they must learn how to forge their own pathways to success. My advice to creatives looking to grow their businesses is to continue to seek inspiration in everything, to believe in yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. The most creative minds are often not the most business-savvy. Know what your own strengths are and get help with things that you are not so good at.
The government has some great support initiatives for those looking to expand their businesses. But as a nation, we mustn’t overlook the importance of the creative industries, and must make sure we work hard to find new ways to support their growth.
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