The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) says the findings of the Jamaica Cultural & Creative Industries (CCI) mapping exercise provide a framework for a long-term growth strategy for the industries.
Undertaken in collaboration with the British High Commission, the research was conducted by an international consulting firm, Nordicity, which undertook fieldwork in Jamaica in January 2020.
The survey included more than 550 CCI stakeholders, including creative business owners, artists, freelancers and workers from across the country.
Speaking with the JIS News, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the JBDC, Harold Davis, said the agency believes these findings are crucial to furthering the development of the CCI locally.
“These results are extremely important, as the creative industry has suffered from a dearth of empirical data on the various industries within the CCI. Without having empirical data, it is difficult to develop policy and impactful programmes,” he explained.
According to the situational analysis of the survey, the most significant opportunity for achieving growth and increased revenues was identified by survey respondents as improving market development and sales (31 per cent of respondents).
Improving sector skills was considered the next most significant opportunity, including business skills, creative and technical skills, improving knowledge of intellectual property and copyright and digital skills.
Mr. Davis noted that the JBDC is now focused on the next steps following the data gleaned from the survey.
“This is the first phase of a complete mapping exercise which normally takes two or three years, so now we look ahead. Soon we will have another project that is supported by UNESCO, which will be an economic impact assessment within the industries of the CCI and, of course, working closely with STATIN to develop measures accounting for the growth and various initiatives within the CCI,” he explained.
He added that the economic impact assessment is an important step in accelerating progress within the industry.
“We don’t know the exact value of the sector to the economy and the number of persons employed. We have estimates but this makes it difficult to develop sustainable policies. We will now be drilling down further to see what the impact assessment is for the various industries, who is there, and what are the areas of potential growth,” Mr Davis said.
Consultations with respondents pointed to discoverability, digital skills and data as crucial development areas for the sector. The biggest priority was considered digital marketing and distribution, identified by nearly half of survey respondents (43 per cent), physical marketing and distribution (18 per cent), showcases (13 per cent), trade fairs (nine per cent), and exhibitions (seven per cent).
The JBDC is the Government’s premier business development agency, established in April 2001 to assist in the sustainable creation and development of MSMEs in Jamaica.