Risky business

The creative industries are the UK’s ‘Cinderella sector’. While the economy is currently growing at a snail’s pace, there are very few conventional policy levers left for politicians to pull. One of the economic sectors with the greatest potential for growth is the creative industries – which include the music, fashion, video games, radio and TV production, and advertising industries.

But this success is put at risk by a combination of disinterest and misunderstanding. There is a persistent prejudice that the sector is inherently risky; that creative entrepreneurs are only in it due to their passion, not their business sense. This myth is dispelled in this pamphlet, which demonstrates that on average, creative enterprises are more likely to still be in existence after five years than other businesses. Their disadvantage is compounded by the Government’s myopia towards the sector. The system of SIC codes in economic reporting neglects the creative industries, leading to a lack of reliable information and sound policy for the sector.

Risky Business argues that a first step for government should be to develop a better understanding of the creative industries, through dedicating more civil servants to the sector and regularly publishing data on trends within it. This will help to encourage both appropriate policy and private sector investment, allowing the creative industries to realise their potential and make their maximum contribution to the UK’s economy.