Kingston, Jamaica – Discussions surrounding Jamaica’s Cultural & Creative Industries (CCIs) are intensifying as stakeholders attempt to quantify the industry’s potential value, declaring Jamaica as a cultural powerhouse which influences global creative industries. To capitalise on the value of the nation’s creative outputs, experts from the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) steered the conversation to how creatives can profit from diversifying existing cultural creations during its recent Virtual Biz Zone session held under the theme: The Business of Beads.
Narrowing the discussion to the Jamaican craft industry, Nigerian Cultural Diplomat to Jamaica, Alao Luqman Omotayo, while presenting at the session said, “When it comes to the bead business, it is a very viable business and it is very lucrative, especially when you know the techniques and your target audience.”
Commenting on the beads manufactured by local producers, Alao urged artisans to develop more creative styles of bead work to widen profit margins, “Another thing is when you are making some of your beads, you have to be creative. Things are changing, fashion is changing, we are in the contemporary age, enhance your beads to fit the trends.”
He continued, “What I want to see is just more creativity. When it comes to bead work creativity means that producers be more diverse and contemporary. Do not be left behind. “
While displaying some of his own creations, the Edna Manley Jewellery Lecturer says based on the intricacy of the design, time invested, the techniques applied, as well as the type of materials incorporated in a design, producers can reap returns.
Luqman, through the Nigerian Technical Assistance Programme birthed under a partnership between the Nigerian High Commission and the Government of Jamaica, has trained several artisans at the JBDC in traditional bead making techniques like the Abujah connection and contemporary techniques to create highly sophisticated pieces.
JBDC continues to supports MSMEs in the CCI with trainings, programmes and technical assistance in keeping with its mission to drive entrepreneurial success and development in Jamaica. The agency’s latest CCI initiative is the “Validating Jamaica’s Cultural & Creative Industry through Economic Impact Assessments and National Statistical System (JAM NSS-CCI)” project which is funded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) through the International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD). The objectives of the project are:
- To develop a comprehensive profile of the Jamaican Cultural and Creative industries (CCIs) to guide cultural policy making.
- Measure the economic contribution of the CCIs.
- Identify recommendations and strategies for the development of key sectors.
Entrepreneurs can join the JBDC Virtual Biz Zone webinar on Zoom every other Tuesday at 10:00am. Visit www.jbdc.net for more information and to register for the upcoming session.