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Creative Economy: Stakeholders Underscore Factors Hindering Creative Industry Growth

L R Director Enterprise Development and Promotion Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency SMEDAN Monday Ewans Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer Providus Bank Deoye Ojuroye and Director Enterprise Development Centre EDC Nneka Okekearu during the Enterprise Development Centre EDC Creative Economy Summit in Lagos recently

Creative industry experts have underlined major issues affecting the growth of the creative sector in Nigeria to include piracy, lack of appreciation of intellectual property rights, lack of access to finance, poor distribution channels, low quality standards, lack of monetization of content and product, lack of equipment, lack of skills as well as lack of reliable data.

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These assertions were made during the 2023 Creative Nigeria Summit held recently at Radisson Blu Victoria Island Lagos theme; “Investing in Nigeria’s Creative Ecosystem: Unlocking Jobs and Economic Growth. The event was presented by GEN Nigeria in partnership with the Enterprise Development Centre- Pan- Atlantic University.

The keynote speaker was Mr. Charles Odii represented by Director, Enterprise Development and Promotion, SMEDAN, Monday Ewans and other speakers include Joshua Adedeji, Country Lead, Global Alliance African, Dr. Kings Jack, Regional Manager, Bank of Industry, Eme Bassey, Fashion Partnerships & Business Development Specialist, Centre for African Fashion Education and Technology (CAFET), Iniobong Okon Obinna-Onunkwo, Founder, Little Weavers and Queen Uwabuofu, Creative Director, The Clovekids International.

Declaring the event open, Director, Enterprise Development Centre (EDC), Nneka Okekearu said that the opportunities that exist in the creative sector and its contribution to wealth and job creation as well as gross domestic product (GDP) cannot be overemphasized.

“We have to be well placed to tap these opportunities that are present in media, entertainment, beauty and lifestyle, visual art as well as tourism and hospitality because according to report , the creative industry in Nigeria contributed $1.8 billion to Nigeria’s GDP in 2020.”

Delivering its keynote, Ewans, said, “While the creative industry does have its positives, Nigeria does not have strong laws to protect the piracy of material without the consent of the creator.”

He said Nigeria’s creative industry is thriving however, the ability to sustain certain aspects of the industry falls short due to weak infrastructure. “Nigeria lacks amenities like steady power within the country to effectively grow the creative sector optimally,” he added.

On the role of government, Ewans said, “The government can facilitate startup or business support grants/loans, to entrepreneurs in the creative industry under a prescribed criterion.”

However, he said that “It is important at this point to acknowledge the fact that the Federal Government had launched a $618,000, 000fund early this year under the digital and creative enterprises, adding that “it is also important to ensure that all eligible entrepreneurs under this programme have unhindered access to the fund in ore to achieve the desired objectives.”

Adedeji who spoke on leveraging tech in a creative space said to address technology deficiency in creative industry people must be able to embrace tech wholesomely. He advised the government to relook at the educational curriculum in order to introduce people to technology early.

“People are afraid of Artificial Intelligence but AI won’t take anyone’s job. Some jobs will disappear and new ones will emerge. We also need to relook our educational system because we need to work a balance of learning and practical in schools,” he added.

The summit endeavors to unite industry experts, innovators, policymakers, and entrepreneurs in strategic conversations aimed at propelling Nigeria’s creative sector, fostering economic advancement, and creating abundant employment prospects.

The summit facilitated dynamic discussions and interactive sessions encompassing examining creativity’s role in economic development, nurturing collaboration and partnerships in creative ventures, harnessing technology and innovation in the creative sphere, empowering diversity and inclusivity in creative industries and embracing sustainable practices and predicting future trends in creative entrepreneurship.

Furthermore, the summit also served as a nexus for fostering collaborations and forging vital connections among stakeholders, igniting innovation and driving growth within the creative realm.

On the same day, startups such as Dan Dauda General Enterprise, Helenz Footwear, Getwell Innovation, Glitterand Event, MMS Health Kid among others pitched for the National Finals of the Creative Business Cup Nigeria. This globally recognized competition empowers entrepreneurs across creative industries, spanning design, gaming, music, film, content production, architecture, and beyond. These industries, abundant in potential, often lack the essential business expertise necessary to elevate their concepts.

The Creative Business Cup endeavors to empower creative entrepreneurs by connecting them with investors, global markets, and enhancing their innovative capacities, thereby advancing both the industry and society.

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