The UK’s creative industries are a global success story, contributing £92bn to the UK economy in 2016, accounting for an estimated 284,400 enterprises – almost one in eight of all UK firms – and almost 2m UK jobs.
The Access to Finance report found that despite this, creative businesses can struggle to source funding, with 27% of businesses relying on informal sources of funding from friends and family, opposed to 9% of businesses generally.
“Britain’s creative industries are an economic and cultural powerhouse and it’s vital they can access the finance to allow them to grow and compete on the global stage.
“Through our modern Industrial Strategy we are creating investment and trade opportunities to boost the number of businesses exporting so more people can enjoy our world-class artistic and cultural output.”
Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries
Despite this, creative businesses prove to be ambitious, with 73% planning to grow in the next 12 months, compared to half of SMEs overall.
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.
“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.”
Tim Davie CBE, Industry Co-Chair of the Creative Industries Council & Chief Executive of BBC Studios
“This report confirms what experience has taught those of us working day to day in support of creative business across the country – that businesses in our sector are undercapitalised. Perhaps most powerfully, it demonstrates that creative businesses have something that no amount of support services can seek to instil – ambition.
“Industry, government and the financial sector need to work together better to make sure those ambitious businesses have the right skills to attract the right investment to support their ambitions for growth, and in doing so the UK’s ambitions for growth in creative clusters up and down the UK.”
Caroline Norbury MBE, Chair of the Finance for Growth Group, Creative Industries Council & Chief Executive, Creative England