Creative industries in the SME arena - IW Capital

Our partners IW Capital share their perspective on the importance of having a non-executive-director as party of your SME business



As London Fashion Week draws to a close, creative industries have come into sharp focus in the public eye. One in eight UK businesses fall within the creative industry category, collectively responsible for generating £92 billion to the UK economy. Within the UK, 81% of creative businesses reported that they aim to grow over the next three years. This sector is one of the fastest growing in the UK and presents a wide range of fantastic opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors to help drive forward our private sector.

The economic contribution of these businesses has a greater impact than the UK’s automotive, aerospace, life sciences and oil and gas industries combined! This is what helps to make the creative industry the fastest growing pillar of the UK economy. Supporting this entrepreneurial spirit and growth is a key part of fostering a resilient and globally facing economy based upon the skill, talent and ideas that can be found throughout the UK.

The sector comprises businesses from nine creative industries, one of which is fashion and design. This industry makes up a large portion of the UK creative economy, contributing £66billon a year and employing over half a million people alone. A major strength of the UK fashion industry is the strong link between designers and retailers. The trends and innovations at the highest end find their way onto the British high street, creating a multi-billion-pound industry.

Another huge part of this creative powerhouse comes from film and television, already a $3billion a year business – bigger than the pharmaceuticals industry now in the UK in terms of employment and revenue generated. Britain has become one of the world’s key movie centres and has become a destination of choice for Hollywood, with major studios making long-term commitments to the UK, including the Star Wars franchise and Marvel’s Avengers movies.

Creative enterprises often face additional challenges to secure the investment that they require as finance routes such as EIS may not be the first port-of-call for many scaling creative companies. These businesses, much like those that are technology-based, also find it more difficult to find funding due to a lack of asset-backing. IP rich companies often use alternative finance routes such as EIS. Here at IW Capital, we help to provide this to firms with huge potential to grow and scale.

IW Capital are looking for Non-Executive Directors who are interested in investment opportunities; to consider on a deal-by-deal basis new portfolio companies who are looking for investment. They cater for both capital growth and more secure income-generating investment opportunities. Moreover, IWC allow investors to specifically handpick individual companies through the portfolio model approach and become involved if appropriate. They are looking for experienced investors who will assist their SMEs in growing and transforming into successful, profitable companies. If you are interested in finding out more about these opportunities, please get in contact with IW Capital to see how we can help you.

It is undeniable that the growth in this sector has been significant; between 2010 and 2016 the economic contribution of the creative industries grew by over 44%. This growth is hugely encouraging and reflects the confidence that entrepreneurs and businesses have in the UK as a great place to do business, now and in the years ahead. With the help of Non-Executive Directors and the investment community, the UK’s creative industries are set to have a bright future.

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