THE SOCREATIVE SUMMIT

THE SOCREATIVE SUMMIT

The SoCreative hub summit came at a time of growing conversations around hubs being important economic contributors worldwide. Even more timely, in light of the Hub Issue Series, which had set in motion a few weeks prior in Zimbabwe.

Source: Hivos Southern Africa

The goal of the Summit, organised by Hivos, British Council and DICE (Developing Inclusive and Creative Economies) was to connect creative and social economies and drive the development of versatile and resilient hubs in Southern Africa.

The Summit held from the 14th to 16th of March in Johannesburg, South Africa brought together more than 100 innovators, visionaries, start-ups, SMMEs, hub managers and hub users together to discuss the potential opportunities for entrepreneurial partnerships and growth between the two economies.

Around the globe, more and more entrepreneurial (young) women and men see creative entrepreneurship as a serious option for social and economic opportunities. Various stakeholders and players including policymakers, see the impact and importance of an active and supported creative industry but don’t know where to start or what to do. Through various programs and activities, Hivos and its partners aimed to create awareness on the massive opportunities that social and creative entrepreneurs can bring in regards to social and economic empowerment.

In her opening remarks, Hivos Regional Director for Southern Africa, Tanja Lubbers articulated the background to why Hivos is interested and motivated to support social and creative entrepreneurship.

“If we look globally, we see four important things to stimulate the creative industry’s performance as a whole:

  • Conducive governance and conducive policies to create and facilitate space for people to innovate.
  • Artist associations uniting to fight together for the common agenda as well as sharing stories of success to learn from each other.
  • Hubs and spaces are important to facilitate and lift up the industry.
  • Sustainability of hubs is not always what it should be and they are mostly donor-dependent and that’s why as Hivos we have an entrepreneurship program.

During the deliberations at the hub summit, the importance of hubs for entrepreneurship was universally acknowledged.  Kate Gardner from DICE, emphasized that “Unlike more old-fashioned accelerators, incubators or training programs, hubs offer a peer-driven way of providing the community, business support, and networks that entrepreneurs most need.”

Activities such as this hub summit are part of Hivos’ broader strategy of supporting the Southern African Entrepreneurship Ecosystem, as hubs can play a vital role in incubating creative activities. Hivos has linked its activities on supporting the creation of critical content and creative spaces with its broader entrepreneurship support program. This includes all key elements that have a role to play, such as CSOs, NGOs, businesses, financial institutions, crowdfunding initiatives, investors, research institutes and government entities.

Key points:

  • Hubs need to connect more and learn from one another for the benefit of the overall ecosystem.
  • Social entrepreneurship agenda and creative hubs are complementary and need each other to scale and create bigger impact.
  • To host another similar hub summit in the region informed by the narratives of the Johannesburg hub summit.
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