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Growing the Creative Economy

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The creative economy has been identified as a crucial economic sector for artistic and cultural expression and a source of income, employment and livelihoods. However, participation in this sector is often limited by lack of basic business skills, networks, infrastructure and resources. The Kasi Creative Propeller aims to address these issues while fostering an inclusive creative economy in Diepsloot. The Kasi Creative Propeller will be implemented over a 10-month period in 2019.

Like most townships, Diepsloot is culturally rich but economically disadvantaged, characterised by high unemployment, poverty and inequality. Entrepreneurship is a key to solving these problems. The creative economy is a logical sector for entrepreneurship especially for youth, given their creative culture, knowledge and talents coupled with their familiarity with media and technology.  Establishing and sustaining a successful creative enterprise is constrained by a host of challenges ranging from basic business fundamentals to access to technology, finance and markets. In addition, township-based creative industries tend to be fragmented and dependent on grants, limiting the cohesion and sustainability of the sector. 

The Kasi Creatives Propeller is aimed at individuals and emerging and small businesses in the creative industries, which includes film, photography, graphic and web design, drawing/art, music, creative writing, animation and digital skills. It provides a solution to the everyday challenges faced by township artists that limit their ability to access and unlock economic, social and artistic value from South Africa’s growing creative economy.

We currently have 78 people signed up for various elements of this initiative. The Kasi Creative Propeller (like all our programmes) is aligned with the 6 Sustainable Development Goals we aim to impact:

Mechanisms to monetise and distribute content are imperative to unlocking value in the township economy, and mainstreaming arts and culture within it.  The  project addresses this problem through creative collaboration and social enterprise. This type of approach ensures that community artists (who are too often the target of failed training programmes) do not work in silos and are truly empowered to secure a livelihood based on their talents, creativity and passion for the arts.

2019 will also see the launch of the pilot phase of an online media platform that will help our creative entrepreneurs to market their skills and creative talents. A content production lab has been set up in the upstairs front container of the eHUB. A multi-purpose studio is in the pipeline.

“The creative economy is one of the most dynamic sectors of the global economy with a powerful transformative force for socio-economic development. The creative economy deals with the interface between economy, culture, technology, and social aspects. Having creativity as the main driver, the sector is concentrated around products and services bearing creative content, cultural value and market objectives. Creative goods and services are resilient products relying on ideas, knowledge, skills and the ability to seize new opportunities.” (United Nations Institute for Training and Research – UNITAR)