Creative England Launches Creative Nation to Champion SMEs across England

Ed Vaizey MP, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, today announces Creative Nation – Creative England’s new programme to challenge the very best small creative and digital businesses across England to go beyond the £76.9bn they already contribute to within the UK’s economy* by developing innovative creative and digital solutions for businesses across other economic sectors.   

Announced during the annual 'Creative England Live 2016: Catalyse' event held at Google’s London headquarters, the minister’s announcement will be accompanied by a call to action for a new corporate partner to join forces with Creative England and match its £250,000 pledge to find and invest in the country’s most entrepreneurial creative disruptors.    

Creative England has extensive organisational experience of helping small creative and digital businesses succeed. In recent years it has started to help them access the commercial funding and expertise of some of the world’s largest companies, including through ground-breaking new partnership models with global brands Microsoft, The Walt Disney Company, Playstation, BBC, Channel 4 and Entertainment One.    

In return for their support, large corporates have in the past gained from Creative England programmes in endless ways. Having become successful with a specific model and grown to encompass many more people in bigger structures, these companies prize the raw, unconstrained thinking and abilities small, young creative and digital businesses can bring to them.   

Other announcements made today during Catalyse include the Creative England CE 50 report – 50 top creative businesses Creative England is helping on their path to bigger things – Pixel Toys will feature, which has gained funding and support through a programme with Microsoft and which was chosen to demonstrate the gaming opportunities of Apple’s 3D touch technology at the launch of the iPhone 6s.   

Caroline Norbury MBE, CEO at Creative England, said: “Creative England invests in and works with hundreds of small creative businesses all over the country and I’ve been continually impressed and inspired by people I’ve met who are using cutting-edge technology, creativity and innovation to address a whole array of diverse market needs – in everything from healthcare to retail, insurance, education and hospitality.

“As digital technology becomes increasingly important to a range of industry sectors, more big brands are starting to wise up to the immense benefits of outsourcing innovation by collaborating with small creative disruptors. Creative Nation is our way of celebrating and showcasing just how powerful     creative business can be when it comes to cross-industry collaboration and developing products that extend well beyond the creative industries themselves”.

Ed Vaizey MP, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, said: “Government is already helping to create the right environment for UK businesses to continue to grow, so I am delighted to launch the new Creative Nation programme bringing large organisations and smaller companies together. It will encourage big businesses from across the UK to explore the boundless possibilities for growth and innovation that the UK's many small, but exceptionally talented, creative businesses can offer."  

The potential Creative Nation partner could be medium or large private sector organisations and will work with Creative England to develop the Creative Nation brief. Creative England will then launch a national call for submissions from small creative and digital businesses later this year.

To apply

If you are interested in being a partner in our Creative Nation initiative, please email Johanna Bolhoven.

  • CE Live 2016