Actor, Comedian and Cultural Specialist, Dahlia Harris has highlighted the lack of funding and loss of intellectual property rights as two of the main obstacles to the growth of the creative industries. Ms. Harris was a speaking at the Business Dialogue Forum: B.O.S.S Lady, an all-female event featuring a panel of Jamaican women entrepreneurs held recently at the UWI Regional Headquarters as part of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation’s (JBDC) Global Entrepreneurship Week celebrations (November 14 – 18, 2016).
Ms. Harris argued that there is tangible evidence that the creative and cultural industry makes money but they are not viewed as businesses in Jamaica.
“From my perspective, I see people who have the talent but they can’t get it moving because no money is coming in. I was reading over a document about the Orange Economy and they were comparing 30 years of Broadway and the top ten shows made 26 billion dollars. So we have the models that work, we have them everywhere, but there is a resistance in Jamaica to embrace that creative business model and I find that a lot of our businesswomen are involved in creative work. Christmas is coming and if you check the streets, you see doilies ‘til you weak! I drive downtown and see uniforms in stalls and that’s fashion. But how do we get people to understand that the natural talent that they have can be transferred as women into business and help them to earn? And for people who see them to understand that ‘Miss Zella’ can sew and if I give her some money to invest in sewing equipment, it’s going turn over at the end of the month and create more jobs,” she said.
Click to see complete JBDC Dialogue.