Creativity in the age of Coronavirus – the impact upon and resilience of the UK’s Creative Economy

We are living in unprecedented times as the Coronavirus impacts most economies around the world. The “lock-down” of these economies will have a profound and long-lasting impact on the economy of the UK and on the Creative Economy. But we are reassured by the strength and resilience of businesses in the Creative Economy.

I have been investing in Venture Capital for over 20 years through several cycles of boom, bust and recovery – including the rise and fall of the “Dot-com” era, followed by the 9-11 recession and the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. All of these impacted venture capital backed companies and the Creative Economy, but each time I saw agile and resilient venture capital backed companies return stronger and become increasingly important to the UK’s wider economy and future prosperity.

We have seen companies in the Creative Economy bounce back more quickly and even more strongly than almost any other sector. At times, these companies have even proved more resilient than the UK economy as a whole.

Following the Global Financial Crisis of 2008/09, the UK economy declined 6%, its steepest decline since the 1930s Great Depression. While the Creative Economy was also hit hard, figures from the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) show that the creative sector rebounded much faster than the economy as a whole. Year on year, it became an increasingly dominant part of the UK economy, employing more people and contributing significantly to the nation’s recovery.

Creative industries outgrew the wider economy after the 2008/9 recession

The sector employs over 3 million people, and this is projected to grow to more than 4 million in the next decade. I am confident that the Creative Economy will emerge from this period just as strongly as we have seen it do before. Creative industry businesses are being affected primarily by the measures in place to combat Covid-19, such as social distancing. As these restrictions are safely eased, the Creative Economy will be poised to spring back to life and to meet the needs of a nation hungry for arts, music, and culture. The sector remains strong and resilient. It will endure and prosper.

What will drive this recovery?

I strongly believe the UK Creative Economy is uniquely positioned to recover from the impact of Covid-19. We continue to see massive global demand for audio & visual content, driven by the ubiquity of the English language and the inherent creativity within the fabric of our culture. This cannot be replicated elsewhere. The entrepreneurialism of the UK’s Creative Economy founders means that we will continue to see new companies formed, new ideas supported, and growth will return.

Despite this positive outlook, the here and now is undoubtedly going to be difficult for many businesses in the sector. At Edge, we stand with the entrepreneurs of our Creative Economy and applaud your strength, perseverance and resilience at this challenging time. 

Edge prides itself on being purpose-driven business, our purpose is to Solve Problems.  Improve Lives.  Advance the World.

We believe Britain’s creative economy is a huge success story that gives this country a competitive edge in the global marketplace. We are committed to supporting creativity, and all the technologies within the creative ecosystem, to help Great British creativity not only to survive this crisis, but to prosper and grow rapidly once we make it through to the other side.

Edge has the funds available to invest now. Apart from supporting our existing portfolio of highly-regarded Creative Economy businesses, we are also looking to invest in new exciting businesses which have the vision to emerge from the immediate hardship to prosper and grow. Edge’s financial and intellectual capital can help these companies to cement the UK’s reputation as a global leader in creativity. We remain absolutely open for business. 

If you have a Creative Economy business and you’re looking for investment to deliver on your purpose then please contact me at dfisher@edge.uk.com

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