The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) has pledged its commitment to providing interventions to support the growth of the cultural and creative sector known as the orange economy.
Speaking with JIS News, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the JBDC, Harold Davis, said that the recently published findings of the Jamaica Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) mapping exercise will better inform the entity’s efforts to serve the sector.
“The work that we do as a business development organisation will only get us to a certain point and no more. The mapping enables us to connect the dots, connect the supply side, strengthen creatives and give them the opportunity to connect the demand cycle through marketable opportunities, branding and intellectual solutions,” he pointed out.
The mapping exercise, which involved collaboration with the British Council, was done to define the size and impact of the CCI sector and develop recommendations on how to support its continued growth.
The objective was to provide empirical data to allow for robust policy decisions, create substantive programmes of assistance, and value and measure the contribution of the creative industries to gross domestic product (GDP), employment and wealth creation.
Industries surveyed were music, literature and publishing, design, visual arts, gifts and crafts, film, television, digital media, advertising and marketing, theatre, dance and performing arts, fashion, culinary/gastronomy, museums, galleries and libraries, festivals, fairs and feasts.
Mr. Davis told JIS News that the provision of data through the exercise is a crucial step in advancing the CCIs.
“Our job is to ensure that persons conduct business to the best of their ability and potential. Without a clear mapping of the industries and sustainable programmes, then it is going to be making our job far more difficult. So this helps… the [creatives]… and helps us to create better businesses within the creative economy,” he pointed out.
Mr. Davis told JIS News that the JBDC will be sharing the findings of the mapping exercise with creative professionals across the country.
“This exercise is for the industry; it is not only for policymakers or technical personnel but is for the industry to understand where we are. We are going to make a concerted effort to publicise it. It will be on our website, the British Council’s website and we also have plans to distribute it electronically. It will be on all our social media platforms,” he indicated.
Mr. Davis said it is important for persons within the orange economy to take ownership for the progress of the industry, noting that “ownership starts with recognising what is there and understanding what is going on in our industry”.
“I encourage persons to read and understand what is happening, so when you ask for intervention, it is within a particular context of knowledge, as you know exactly what is going on,” he stressed.
The mapping exercise was conducted in early 2020 by international consulting firm Nordicity and involved more than 550 CCI stakeholders.