TAGUIG – The creative economy makes up 3 percent of the world’s GDP and employs 29.5 billion people (CISAC, 2015). It makes up $12.5 billion or 7.34 percent of the Philippines’ GDP from copyright0-based industries such as design and visual arts, literature, music, theatre, film, the media, photography, software, and advertising services (IPOPHIL, 2014).

With the creative landscape of the Philippines relying on more hubs every day, it is more important than ever that our leaders get the training and support they need to make their organizations more sustainable, impact-led, and valued by stakeholders.

This can happen through the Creative Innovators Programme, a project of the British Council and Department of Trade and Industry through the Design Center of the Philippines and Philippine Trade and Training Center (PTTC), in partnership with Apl.de.Ap Foundation and Thames International.

“We believe in our research that strongly indicates that creative hubs make a huge difference to the communities in which they operate and they serve as an enormous catalyst for change in the creative industry. They’re a catalyst for growth so we felt that by supporting creative hub managers and therefore supporting creative hubs, this can make a huge contribution to the Philippine creative industries. We hope that we can build network into the UK and connect the creative industries in the UK to the creative industries to the Philippines,” says British Council Director Nick Thomas.

The program will drive the synergy between creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship for social impact. It aims to contribute to more sustainable and impact-led creative hubs that can better support the Philippines’ creative industries, thereby creating more inclusive cities and communities.

For Apl.de.Ap, musician, and Founder of Apl.de.Ap Foundation, this program will provide more opportunities for the present and future creative leaders. “I am an advocate because I am the direct beneficiary of the creative industries. And there are so many creative Filipinos but there are little opportunities.”

The program helps build the next generation of creative community leaders in the country through the Creative Innovators Fellowship, a one-year Fellowship for creative hub managers including individuals who facilitate creative hubs (co-working spaces, maker spaces, fab labs, design studios, artist-run spaces, and organizations, etc.), producers, art managers, creative directors, designers, property managers, business owners, and artists, among others.

British Council Head of Art and Creative Industries Malaya del Rosario opines, “Our program is very much informed on creative hubs all over the world mostly in the UK and Southeast Asia, and the research found that creative hubs are crucial parts of the creative economy but at the same time, the creative hub managers lack business management skills to be able to make their creative hubs thrive and be sustainable. They lack networks that would allow them to grow and strengthen their organizations and support other creative entrepreneurs and artists, so this program hopes to respond to those challenges.”

For interested creative community leaders who are interested to apply in the Creative Innovators Programme, please visit https://www.britishcouncil.ph/programmes/arts/creative-industries/innovators-fellowship.