A new scheme has been launched to boost Britain's creative industries which, according to Prime Minister David Cameron, have become a driving force of the UK economy.
Launching the Creative Entrepreneurs scheme, which aims to raise investment and attract new customers, Mr Cameron said the creative economy was growing three times faster than any other sector and now generates £80 billion a year.
"Britain has huge creative clout around the world," Mr Cameron said. "From Asia to America, they're dancing to our music, watching our films and wearing our designers' latest creations.
"I want us to build on that. And that means backing the best entrepreneurship in the sector, providing a focal point for the start-up support and resources creative people need.
"Creative Entrepreneurs does just that – and its website is the first of its kind. I hope this, alongside the other measures we are taking to boost businesses, will help make one of this country's great success stories go from strength to strength."
The new website is aimed at helping creative start-ups in anything from theatre, performing arts and television to design, music and fashion. Described as a "searchable business tool", it includes advice on such things as writing business plans and raising money, as well as information on key organisations and networks.
It also offers advice on law, accounting and tax, plus contributions from industry experts and investors.
"The website brings together and organises, in one place for the first time, the business resources, advice and inspiration people need to get their creative ideas off the ground," according to the scheme's organisers, who have received start-up money from the Arts Council.
Ed Vaizey, minister for culture and the digital economy who hosted the launch of Creative Entrepreneurs in Downing Street, said, "The government is working hard to foster the right environment for businesses to thrive, and this industry-led initiative will provide a valuable tool in helping our creative start-ups to not just find their feet, but to hit the ground running.
"By providing resources, advice and inspiration, Creative Entrepreneurs will enable new British businesses to chart their own creative futures."
The Daily Telegraph reported, "The launch of the new scheme follows a report from BOP Consulting in partnership with the Creative Industries Federation, which warned that the UK's status as a global cultural leader was at risk because of the rising cost of arts education and falling public investment.
"The study analysed how the UK compared with France, Germany and Italy (representing the European Union nations), Brazil, Korea and the US, and found that while the UK ranks number one for the value of exports of creative goods per capita – generating $361 (£248) per capita – the government's investment in public culture is just $77 (£52) per head, placing the UK in fifth position, below France, Germany, Korea and Italy.
"The arts are also less of a priority in the UK education system compared with Italy and Germany, it found."
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