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Report: The challenges and opportunities facing the UK's creative businesses

04.07.2018

Report: The challenges and opportunities facing the UK’s creative businesses

As a member of the UK’s Creative Industries Council (CIC), CIM is pleased to announce the results of a joint research project by the CIC and BDRC with support from Creative England.

The research explores the challenges and opportunities of creative businesses as they look to grow and develop their business, focusing on their experiences of accessing finance to support their ambitions.

The UK’s creative industries are a global success story, contributing £92bn to the UK economy in 2016, accounting for an estimated 284,000 enterprises – almost one in eight of all UK firms – and almost 2m UK jobs. This research outlines the opportunity for creative businesses to contribute even further, with the right access to finance being a key factor in their future growth.

Key findings from the research include:

  • Creative businesses are ambitious with 75% planning to grow in the next 12 months, compared to half of SMEs overall (based on data from the SME Finance Monitor, see below*)
  • 80% of businesses demonstrated innovation in the last 3 years, compared to 46% of SMEs overall, with 75% developing a new product or service
  • Creative businesses show a significant reliance on informal sources of funding from friends and family, with 27% of businesses using this source as opposed to 9% of businesses generally
  • 61% are happy to use external finance to fuel business growth and development
  • 67% believe that financiers found their sector hard to understand, and only 15% felt that they had always been able to access the funding they needed
  • 67% of creative SMEs would welcome more information about preparing to attract external finance and 55% knew they needed to develop their management and financial skills in order to grow their business

    Insight and opinion:

    The report also features insight from the likes of Tim Davie CBE, Industry Co-Chair of the Creative Industries Council & Chief Executive of BBC Studios, who said:

    "This research makes an important contribution to the creative industries growth agenda. It shows we are a sector dominated by ambitious, innovative, international businesses with the potential to deliver even greater value for the UK.

    As we work to implement the Creative Industries Sector Deal, industry, government and the finance community must continue to work in partnership to make sure barriers to investment are removed so creative businesses and entrepreneurs across the country can reach their full potential.”

    The report also explains that creative businesses are often small and young, with 65% trading for 5 years or less, and half of those owning or running a creative business aged under 45, 29% of which are run by women. Creative businesses are less likely to plan than SMEs generally – only 38% had a business plan - but are keen to access advice and support.

    For more insight like this, why not join one of our Sector Interest Groups (SIGs), which are free of charge for CIM members. Just call +44 (0) 1628 427120.

    For more information:

    To download a copy of the full report, click here:

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