A new way of funding our creative economy

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The importance of culture, whose values are transmitted through creative endeavour, is of great significance at a time when our world is threatened by polarising discourse and fake news.

Impact investment is driving new ways of thinking for investors and businesses, shifting decision making away from just making money to also delivering improvement in lives and the planet. Transparency on the impact created by companies will soon resemble the transparency available to us, as consumers, employees and investors, on the profit companies make. This will shift our economies from creating environmental and social problems to delivering solutions to the great challenges we face.

To date, investments flowing into creative industry have been largely unnoticed, in part because they are categorised as community development, small business lending or microfinance, and in part because they have been relatively small. Innovative pay-for-success instruments like social impact bonds have not yet been implemented in the creative arts.

This report is valuable in focusing attention on new ways of funding our creative economy. Just as charitable service providers have been adjusting to the growing availability of impact investment to supplement the grants they raise, and businesses have begun to seek impact alongside profit, so too must our cultural
institutions and creative industries now engage in the global effort to achieve just and sustainable impact economies.

I very much hope that this collection of essays will stimulate new thinking about how we fund creativity and, in particular, the role that impact investment can play in helping our cultural institutions and our broader creative economy expand their influence and reach. Only then will they be able to play their essential role in creating the kind of world we want to live in.

Impact investing in the creative economy today