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Ambassador urges creatives to develop business skills

Published: 
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Lilly Edgerton

Lilly Edgerton, Costa Rica’s Ambassador to T&T is advising those involved in the creative industry in T&T to be business savvy.

“Usually creative people are not good with numbers. So a business plan is like speaking Martian. Having them speak to a businessman is even worse. To keep track of the money and the invoices it is just very different. What is really sad is that they do not know how much their art is worth. It is very expensive as they do not consider the price in the international market and how much people are willing to pay for it,” she said.

Edgerton spoke on Sunday at a seminar on the creative sector, also known as the Orange Economy sponsored by the Inter American Development Bank (IDB) at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port-of-Spain.

At the same time she praised T&T’s creative artistes as being very talented with the potential to go internationally.

“It is mind blowing. In my experience working with the orange economy I can say that you might want to consider a few things. First, when people are creating the industry, how will a person support himself to really get their company going? It takes years. Even with traditional entrepreneurship, the person fails many times before it is profitable. So they need to think of support systems for that.”

She said people in the creative industries have to understand that the business and marketing aspect is different from the creative work they do.

“You paint or create music or do film making. So do you do that or invest time in selling? But you cannot multiply yourself and do both at the same time. There has to be another support system to market your service for all your products while you are creating. But you do not have the time or energy to do both.”