Research of the Odessa Region Creative Industries: What we Learned from Communication with Key Players

IMPACT HUB ODESSA in partnership with public organizations “Chernivtsi business centre” and the Agency of innovation and technology transfer of the Republic of Moldova are implementing a project on the creative economy development, which is co-financed by the European Union.

The project is called Common Space for Creative and Cultural Industries and its main purposes are to initiate communication between the players in three regions and to raise the level of skills of the creative and cultural industries representatives (CCI from the English “creative and cultural industries”).

Before starting the training, we had conducted a large-scale sociological research on the base of IMPACT HUB ODESSA to understand what kind of knowledge the representatives of the creative industries of the Odessa Region lack. This is the main difference of our project from other CCI programs in Ukraine: our methodology and content are based on the actual needs of local players study.

We have conducted four focus groups with representatives of officially registered commercial projects, in whose teams two to ten people work. A total of 40 people took part in the group meetings, 10 in each group. They mainly work in the fields of “Culture and Art” and “Fashion”. We have also done 5 in-depth interviews with representatives of cultural and creative industries in the Odessa Region.During the group and individual interviews, the participants were asked how they defined the concepts of “creative economy” and “cultural and creative industry”, they were requested to express their opinion on the development of the most important cultural and creative industries in the Odessa Region, to name the main social problems of and obstacles to the development of the creative economy and to name the basic needs in competence/knowledge of the CCI Ukrainian players.

5 major conclusions that we received at the end of the study:

  • Development of cultural and creative industries in the Odessa Region has potential in various fields. The most developed today are design and gastronomy. They are much less developed outside the CCI regional centre than in Odessa;
  • The most important and promising areas of CCI in Odessa Region are event tourism and festivals organization without reference to the beach season, development of restaurant and bar culture, architecture and design, sports events, theatre, cinema, educational initiatives and farming;
  • The Internet, personal connections, recommendations, and participation in thematic events are most often used by representatives of creative industries for effective communication with customers and partners. Much less they are likely to turn to advertising and the media;
  • The main problems faced by the CCI representatives can be divided into external and internal ones, and the latter are not less numerous than the former ones. The leaders among the external obstacles are the lack of funding, government strategy and legislative framework. When speaking about internal problems, the survey participants most often mentioned poor knowledge of English, problems in assessing their intellectual property and creative work, and low labour efficiency;
  • The needs of the creative industries market players largely coincide with the solution of the above-mentioned problems. It is critically necessary to change the legislation and to build the state and local strategies for the development of CCI, financing the sphere is not less important. Representatives of creative industries should learn English themselves, take part in thematic events in Ukraine and abroad more often, gain business management skills, learn competent communication, copyright protection, finance involvement, marketing and advertising.

There are a lot of things to work with. And not only for us, within the project. We were surprised when after the focus groups the participants did not leave for an hour or an hour and a half taking an opportunity of insatiable communication with each other. It is inspiring.

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