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One of the challenges that business people in the creative industries face is companies – and the public – who don’t take them seriously. Whether they are performers, designers, musicians, artists … people don’t respect their profession the way they do an accountant or an electrician.

‘Many creatives also don’t see themselves as business people who make a valuable contribution to the economy and to society – and who should be respected and paid as well as people in other professions,’ said national co-ordinator, Mvuyo Ngqulana.

Creative Business Cup is a Global Entrepreneurship Network competition that not only recognises but celebrates entrepreneurs in the arts. The South African event showcases our considerable local creative talent and helps correct people’s view of the creative industries.

Over the past six years, the international competition has grown to become a marquee event of the Global Entrepreneurship Week where national winners from over 60 countries fight a pitching battle to be recognised as the best in the world champion.

At the end of August, South African finalists spend three days at the Small Business Expo participating in a wide-ranging business skills boot camp delivered by experts, and refining their pitches in a gruelling workshop to prepare them for pitching to a panel of top flight judges.

They then do battle against each other Dragon’s Den style, for the chance to represent South Africa at the global finals in Denmark where winners from more than 60 countries are pitted against one another.

All finalists have access to a free legal advice session and the free use of an online accounting programme written specifically for South African SMMEs. A business development programme at a national incubator has been arranged for the competitors.

Whether in South Africa or at the finals in Copenhagen, the contest connects creative start-ups to investors and markets, and strengthens their innovative capabilities to the benefit of industry and society.

‘This year, we are focussing on the design disciplines. From 2018, we will extend the scope to include all the creative arts and the competition will be open nationwide,’ he concluded.

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