At the start: creative economy in Ivano-Frankivsk

The Creative Enterprise Program is a specialized business program implemented by the British Council in Ukraine in conjunction with the British Agency for Business Development and Technology Innovation Nesta and in partnership with PwC and creative hubs, communities in various Ukrainian cities. In Ivano-Frankivsk, the partner of the event was the platform "Teple Misto", which works with creative themes from last year. The training gathered 21 participants from all over Ukraine, who worked with their own business ideas during the February 27 — March 2. The multi-day work is designed to give creative entrepreneurs — a fairly new sector of the Ukrainian economy — relevant tools for turning a business idea, a startup, or a young business into a sustainable and powerful creative entrepreneurship.

The British Council has been implementing creative business in the cross-section of culture, technology, and business (creative business, digital innovations and creative hubs) for over 5 years in many countries around the world (from China to Latin America and South Africa). During this time its methodology has been well worked out, and thanks to it there were new workplaces. The program is aimed at spreading the UK's creative industry experience: it is a powerful component of the British economy (representing the IT industry and video game industry), which employs 1.8 million people and generates £ 84.1 billion annually. The global creative sector is around 3% of world GDP and covers almost 30 million people.

In Ukraine, the program is being implemented for the second year in a row. This year about 600 applications have already been submitted to it. Trainings were held in Kyiv, Dnipro, and Lviv. Seventy-three people were registered to participate in the event in Ivano-Frankivsk. In organizing, the organizers, according to Anna Karnauh, manager of the British Council's artistic program in Ukraine, were guided by criteria such as the candidate's belonging to one of the creative industries (design, publishing, cinema, advertising, fashion, music, dance, photography, digital media, creative spaces, crafts, etc.), experience in the industry up to three years or a clear vision of how to turn your idea into a profitable business, as well as, of course, compelling motivation.

— About creative entrepreneurship in Ukraine are beginning to talk more and more: there are many projects, different initiatives arise, in which there is a creative element, more and more of those who identify themselves as a creative entrepreneur. This area is the most innovative sector of the economy and important at different levels — personal, companies, the state, in the international context as part of the global economy. Creative entrepreneurship is the engine of the development of society, promotes better integration of man into society. The sector of creative industries makes Ukraine attractive — both for those who live here and for the world as a whole, because the creative product is interesting, opens the prospects for international cooperation, says Anna Karnaukh.

The basis of the training is a tutorial describing how to start your creative business, which was seen by the world seven years ago. Its author Katherine Dokerty, a professional facilitator and accredited Nesta trainer, worked with program participants in Ivano-Frankivsk. She has huge  experience in the relevant sphere: the founder of a number of profile structures (like Journey Associates), a coordinator of research projects on design thinking and creative entrepreneurship at Caledonian University of Glasgow, an expert on the European network of creative hubs, and others. As she explains, the creative entrepreneurship program enables beginners in their business to explore their business idea (check, specify, develop it), build a holistic plan - and "move ahead", and gain more experience - to look at and work out certain moments, look more critically.

There is a training on outline and research ideas. Analyzed its components and goals, there was designed a vision and mission, visualized values and modeled success. Also was tried to indicate what offers, creates / replaces, improves, restores business, and how it will affect the market, other industries, society. To work these seemingly global and somewhat abstract moments, which, however, is based on business, for some of the participants, in their words, proved to be quite informative and useful.

The second day of the training began with pitching: in one minute every participant had an interesting and accessible way to convey the most important thing - what benefits will the consumer or the customer receive due to his product or service, in what is their uniqueness and difference from competitive offers. Here, according to words Katherine Dokerty, should rely on the nature of the product or service, the specifics of the target audience. Then we  focused on multifaceted analysis of the audience and marketing tools and channels, which helps to understand what they think, feels and what the consumer expects (media, distribution, social networks, advertising, etc.).

Oleg Dunaevsky, "Studio of Mosaic of Oleg Dunaevsky", Ivano-Frankivsk:

"At the training, I could better understand the interconnection of different components of the business, to analyze my client and his motivation more deeply, to organize my thoughts about the target audience: it is not only wealthy clients who want to surround themselves with luxury or art, but also design-studies, construction companies, churches; "sarafan radio" is important when one person is ready to recommend this product to other persons. In my case, everything is not simple: a mosaic is an expensive product which needs a lot of time; it is difficult for me to form a team because, to master this business, it is necessary to study a long time - and there are no people who want  to study it (I studied in Italy, I have different techniques and I am ready to teach others). On the other hand, in Ukraine there are no competitors in my industry. At one time I was offered a job in Kazakhstan and Russia, but I want to develop my favorite business in my hometown - Ivano-Frankivsk".

One of these days was devoted to planning and modeling business perspectives. "Scattered" it into parts and processes, allocated functions and roles, did SWOT-analysis in order to understand our initial positions, challenges and the logic of further actions. It is also important to share tasks and responsibilities. Finally, several days of reflection have tried to bring together the canvas of business models.

At the final day we localized the topic of creative entrepreneurship, introducing it into the Ukrainian context. Participants had an opportunity to learn about the legal and tax characteristics of doing business. This was helped by PwC Ukraine consulting and consulting specialists as a training partner. An overview of the legal aspects of business registration in Ukraine, current issues of labor law for those present were made by Olga Melnichenko, a lawyer at the PwC Legal Law Firm. The tax session was held by the younger manager of the tax and legal services department of PwC Ukraine, Julia Kareta.

Mykola Shkvarok, Brendari Graphic Design Studio, Ivano-Frankivsk:

— I have a few impressions from the training. I did not hear anything fundamentally new and specific for creative business: material, marketing base - these are the same as for any business, maybe the feature is that it is a bit more complicated for creative entrepreneurs as creative people, to systematize all the nuances. The SWOT-analysis we have done once again drew attention to the external factors that influence our business: in the graphic design industry in Ukraine, the market is unstable, while in the world it is uncovered and there is a great need for design, so I think our studio is worth it. To go into a wider context, more competitive environment, it remains only to understand what the price segment is. And on the last day, the most interesting things for me were the legal aspects of doing business related to intellectual property. Training is also an opportunity to get acquainted with new people, and several business contacts have appeared.

For some of the participants the training allowed to be taught, others to reinforce or reconsider certain aspects, or to understand gaps in their business activities, to take a closer look at their clients and find points of interaction with them. At the same time, it is a good platform for communication, which allows you to look at your own business "with other people's eyes" and, as it happens, even launch joint projects. In the frame of the program there also take a place a meeting with creative entrepreneurs Lyubtse Chernikova (Chernikova) and Yaroslav Shkriblyakom (Umbra Design Studio). They talked how to start without starting capital, how to invest a lot in their business, how not to be afraid and how to learn from failures. During the excursion to the open shop-store Bukvica, the participants of the training had the opportunity to look at the example of a successful creative business (leather goods manufacturing, silk-screen printing, etc.), and with Yarema Stizik (workshop "Special interiors", the school "Mezhikfakturen"). It was creative and fun strolling through the "Bastion" gallery, where they visited the most interesting interiors.

Maria Marchenko, agency "A Tempo", Kyiv:

— I have experience in organizing and holding artistic events based on classical musical art, but also with the involvement of other components, in particular visual. These few days gave me an understanding that in my large-scale business, which requires a lot of resources, time, the involvement of a large number of people, it is necessary to raise the financial component. And for this purpose, I need to transform and strategize my approach to business. An important combination is creativity and pragmatism: on the one hand, the administrative component takes a lot of effort and time, and on the other hand, the result of our work is a complex, emotional product; living matter, which must maintain a unique creative spirit from the first advertising post all the way to the concert or performances. I think if you think strategically, work a lot and purposefully — you can succeed.

Catherine Dockerty summarizes:

— All have been actively involved in the process: discussions have contributed to the generation of ideas, and discussions within groups and between the parties have helped each other. An entrepreneur, therefore, who starts a startup, it is important to be able to perceive criticism and direct it to improve internal activity. We must remember that none of us knows absolutely everything - and we learn each other. And, of course, think about the client: without him there is no business. I have not yet had time to exchange experience with my colleagues who trained in other cities (I also worked in Lviv), but in general, in the context of creative entrepreneurship, I see a lot of interesting ideas in Ukraine, which if they give them some support and they are oriented towards the client, will work. I'm curious about what they will grow in after five years.

For the 12 best graduates of the program from across Ukraine planned public pitching in Kyiv. Meanwhile, the British Council is certain that this training is not the last joint event with the "Teple Misto".

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