Research on creative landscape in Belarus
Creative Belarus team has made an infographics based on stats that we have collected during Creative Enterprise Belarus programme. Margo Lazarenkova shares the key points of the study.

Marge Lazarenkova
Cultural and creative industries play important role in the economy of any country: this sector creates new jobs, breathes life into abandoned spaces and unused resources, attracts tourists, and hence the money to the city budget. As an example, we can recall the leading country in the field of creative economy, which is the United Kingdom. There the market volume of the creative sector account for £92 billion of Gross Value Added and 3.04 million jobs.

Unfortunately, belarusian Ministry of Statistics does not distinguish сreative industries as a separate sector, so the quantitative and qualitative data on the development of creative economy in our country reminds us a belarusian legend about a fern flower, which all have heard of, but never seen.
In this situation, any data is a precious resource. That is why, when together with British Council we were launching Сreative Enterprise program and received 157 applications from belarusian creative entrepreneurs, out first thought that came into our minds was: "This moment has come! Finally we have relevant source of information describing actual creative business in our country! We can make at least something with it" Of course, this analytical study is just a first attempt to give a broad overview of the belarusian creative landscape. We must understand, that we are dealing with big assumptions: this study was based on applications targeted only for Minsk and Brest audience, also the quantity of applications is relevantly small for making statistical generalization - only 157 questionnaires. Nevertheless, we were happy to get even this layer of information for the first-step analysis of belarusian creative landscape.
Typical creative business «made in Belarus»

As a result of our research we designed an infographics, which shows some of the characteristics of creative business in Belarus. Typical belarusian creative entrepreneur - is, first of all, a girl. Secondly, she works in a small team of 2 - 4 fellows. The majority of creative businesses are developing without partners yet, and about half of the respondents are still in the idea stage.

The dynamics of the creative sector can be seen by the year of foundation of the analyzed projects: since 2012 we see almost exponential growth, which reached its peak in 2017, when the majority of the creative businesses were brought to life from our applications base. In 2018, we expect further growth due to the fact that modern technologies make it possible to start a business in the creative industries rather quickly and without large material investments, as well as work at the beginning not only on the Belarusian market, but also on the global (eg, through such platforms like The development of local legal infrastructure also contributes to the process: the status of an individual entrepreneur can be obtained in Belarus in just one day.
Education is king

There is also quite interesting statistics on the split of creative industries by sector, which are developing in Belarus. As you know, creative industries comprize around 13 spheres of activity where creativity is the main resource of production. This is design, crafts, music, films, fashion, architecture, games and IT, etc.

In the UK, for example, the leading creative sectors by the market size and the number of jobs are IT, software and games; films and television and advertising. In Belarus, it turned out that among our applications base of beginning creative businesses the most popular areas are education, design and arts & art market. As they say, god bless Gallery Y, which comprises all these three areas and began to spread this trend in our local space since in 2009.
At the crossroads

By the way, a common characteristic for the majority of the projects is that they are created at the intersection of several sectors, such as education and design, events and gastronomy and etc. Mixing something from one sphere and something from another we are creating already a new product or service, with which we enter the market to test the demand, define our target audience and find our niche. On the infographics below we depicted intersections of various creative spheres, which gave birth to the projects that have applied for the Creative Enterprise program. We hope that this intersectoral crossroads will inspire you for your own creative mix.
The study was made by: Alexandra Khadeka, Alexander Starodetko, Margarita Lazarenkova. Data collection period: December-February 2018.

We express our gratitude to British Council Ukraine for the opportunity to develop educational program for creative entrepreneurs «Creative Enterprise» in Belarus.
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