Steppes In figures # 1: creative industries

last updated on February 13, 2015

Creative_industries is a range of economic activities which are concerned with the generation or exploitation of knowledge and information. They may variously also be referred to as the cultural industries (especially in Europe) or the creative economy (Howkins 2001).

Innovation framework for the creative industries
Innovation framework for the creative industries

Howkins’ creative economy comprises advertising, architecture, art, crafts, design, fashion, film, music, performing arts, publishing, R&D, software, toys and games, TV and radio, and video games (Howkins 2001). Yet so far Howkins has not been internationally recognized.

The creative industries have been seen to become increasingly important to economic well-being, proponents suggesting that “human creativity is the ultimate economic resource,” (Florida 2002).      

According to the UN Creative Economy Report 2010, usage of the term “creative industries” varies among countries. It is of relatively recent origin, emerging in Australia in 1994 with the launching of the report, Creative Nation. It gained wider exposure in 1997, when policymakers at the United Kingdom’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport set up the Creative Industries Task Force. It is noteworthy that the designation “creative industries” that has developed since then has broadened the scope of cultural industries beyond the arts and has marked a shift in approach to potential commercial activities that until recently were regarded purely or predominantly in non-economic terms.


 1. The UK has the largest creative industry in the EU, accounting for 6.2% in 2007 of the UK Gross Value Added. Creative exports reached ca. ₤16.6 bn (€ 18.8) in 2007, 4.5% of all exports in that year. From Apr 2010 issue of Monocle .

2. Singapore’s creative industries are getting S$978.2m this year and Hong Kong is setting aside HK$21.6bn (€1.97bn) for a new cultural district.

3. São Paulo Fashion Week (SPFW) is the largest fashion event, not just in Brazil but in Latin America. It generates significant profit. Now in its 15th year as part of the city’s official calendar, SPFW brings makes around €1.3bn in turnover.

Its value isn’t just pecuniary though, SPFW has become the perfect “soft power” exponent – a creative economy driver for the capital that improves the self-esteem of its population while at the same time polishing visiting foreigners’ impressions of the metropolis.

Of the €6.2m that SPFW costs, €1.1m is provided by the government, which understands the added benefit to the city as a whole if the event attracts more influential global industry leaders in the city, brings more money and new business opportunities and not only in the fashion and textile industries but tourism too.

UK's National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts NESTA Model of Creative Economy Sectors
UK’s National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts NESTA Model of Creative Economy Sectors


‘T-Shirts and Suits: A Guide to the Business of Creativity’, a free downloadable book written by business adviser, trainer and creative industries consultant David Parrish. (pdf)


Any idea how much African nations spend on the development of creative industries? South Africa? Nigeria? Zimbabwe?                                                                                      


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