Junior Achievement (JA) Kenya partnered with GEN Kenya, NIC Bank, and BLAZE by Safaricom to hold the maiden Creative Business Cup Africa Summit in Nairobi on 12th and 13th September, at the Strathmore University and Metta Nairobi. The two-day summit aimed to promote the creative economy by bringing together an extensive network of creative minds, government, policymakers, businesses, investors and academia to engage in discourse and spark action that will tap into the creative economy potential.
Founded by Rasmus Tscherning in Denmark in 2010, the Creative Business Cup is a global initiative for entrepreneurship and innovation. Its objective is to empower entrepreneurs in the creative industries, connect them to investors and global markets and strengthen their innovative capabilities to the benefit of industry and society.
The Summit featured regional leaders in the creative industries such as a prolific creative industries speaker David Parrish, LazyTown Founder Magnus Scheving, Funkidz CEO and Founder Wanjiru Waithaka, Youth Development Fund Chairman Ronald Osumba, and BLAZE mentors Abel Mutua and Caleb Karuga.
John Wali, Executive Director of Junior Achievement Kenya spoke at the event, “We are pleased to have partnered with Creative Business Cup to create a space where Kenya’s young creatives can network, secure investments for their businesses and exchange ideas,” he said.
As more youth around the world embrace unconventional careers in sectors such as performing and visual arts, heritage, printed, audiovisual and new media, design and creative services, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has defined the creative economy as an emerging concept dealing with the interface between creativity, culture, economics and technology in a contemporary world, which is dominated by images, sounds, texts and symbols.
Junior Achievement’s Mr. Wali added that Kenya envisions a future where the creative economy can contribute significantly to our economic growth. This is because it is not enough to acknowledge the existence of potential. “We need to harvest it for sustainable growth,” said John Wali.
Safaricom’s Director of Strategy and Innovation, Mr. Joseph Ogutu recognized that the creative economy could be the fuel that will power the engine of Kenya’s economic growth and reduce Kenya’s youth employment rate. Currently, the youth unemployment rate stands at an estimate of 26 percent. “By working together, we can identify and close the gaps, finance ideas, mentor young minds, influence policy-making and create the efficiencies needed to tap into this sector,” he said.
Globally, the creative economy is estimated to have created 30 million jobs, generated over 2.2 trillion USD in revenues. This is the number one source for the global digital economy. It has been identified as a potential driver of economic growth in developing economies, and a viable solution to some of Kenya’s most pressing issues, some of which the Kenyan government hopes to address through its Big Four Agenda.
Mr. Ogutu added that Safaricom is pleased to be supporting youth through platforms such as BLAZE. “Through these initiatives, Safaricom is investing in creative ideas and offering mentorship and networking opportunities that help young Kenyans create careers in media, the arts, design, among others,” said Mr. Ogutu.
The two-day event also included master classes in creativity, a boot camp and a pitching competition to select the winner for the Creative Business Cup who will represent the region at the Global Finals in Copenhagen, Denmark on 26th-27th November 2018.