Creative England is a mission-led, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting the growth of the creative industries. It seeks to uncover, nurture and realise creative talent and help small creative businesses grow.
Creative England’s pioneering investment programme aims to address the recognised market failure in creative business’ ability to access the investment they need. It provides loans, equity investment, mentoring and connections to new markets tailored to the individual needs of creative businesses with an ambition to grow.
Creative England has engaged The Good Economy to provide a range of impact assessment and strategy consultancy services. In 2017, Creative England commissioned us to carry out an independent assessment of the performance of its investment programme and its impact. The investment programme was analysed at both the portfolio level and the business level for the period 2012 to 2017, using data from 350 investee businesses.
The Good Economy also carried out a client survey to gather user feedback on the experience of the investment process and benefits of Creative England investment. Our independent Impact Report concluded Creative England was successfully delivering on its objective of enabling creative businesses to access finance. We are now carrying out an evaluation of Creative England’s investment readiness support programme for screen-based businesses.
We also advised Creative England on its strategy to scale-up their investment activity. This resulted in the spin-out of the investment programme into a separate investment subsidiary company and the successful fund raising of a £10 million loan from Triodos Bank to scale-up Creative England’s investment activity in creative businesses, particularly in areas outside of London and the South East.
Working with Sarah and The Good Economy has been a great experience. The insight they have provided is now a key part of our developing plans to scale up our investment programme.
Since 2012, Creative England has invested over £20m into more than 350 creative businesses across the country, investing an average of £4m per year during 2012-2017. Our key findings included:
• Creative England understands the needs of SMEs, particularly those in the creative sector.
• Creative England has experienced high demand and has deployed capital efficiently and effectively
• Creative England is backing creative businesses that help to deliver inclusive growth, particularly in regions of the country that need it most
• Creative England’s investee businesses are achieving long-term sustainability and have better survival rates than the creative sector as a whole
• Creative England’s funding helps businesses to mobilise private, commercial investment.
Our independent Impact Report demonstrated that Creative England is successfully delivering on its objective of filling the access to finance gap for creative businesses.
We also provided feedback and insight to further improve Creative England’s investment operations and support their scale-up plans.