British Council Creative Economy

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The Creative Economy team supports people around the world to shape and share a creative and prosperous future.

What we do

The British Council is at the forefront of championing the international creative economy. Our Creative Economy programme focuses on policy, research and advocacy, and on capacity building for creative professionals and policymakers. 

We build networks and support collaboration, for long-term impact, mutual benefit, and greater international understanding. 

By working with policymakers we support their work at a strategic level, ensuring the conditions are in place for creative individuals and organisations to grow, reach their potential and effect relevant, sustainable change. 

We work as a global team, with a Directorate in the UK focusing on strategic opportunities and relationship building with UK-based professionals. Our creative economy programme is driven by specialist colleagues in over 30 countries around the world, who draw on their own knowledge and networks to shape relevant activities and impactful partnerships. 

Why we do it

The cultural and creative industries (CCI) represent around three per cent of global GDP and 30 million jobs. The UN resolution announcing 2021 as the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development affirmed the rising role of the sector on the global stage. Built on the efforts of micro- and small businesses, the creative economy is an economy of ideas, and a serious and credible driver of economic growth. 

Globally, the creative economy is recognised as a source of innovation, economic growth, personal wellbeing and community cohesion, but harnessing their potential can be a challenge. Shifts in the global economy, technology and urbanisation are causing rising inequality alongside these new opportunities. 

Our work aims to aid the development of dynamic, diverse and future-facing creative economies, with long-term links to the UK. 

How we work

Our global creative economy programme contributes to more inclusive economic and social development and prosperity. In 2022/23 our programme is working in over 30 countries, creating stronger links with the UK in order to: 

  • Discover and share information and insight on creative sectors overseas, developing networks and creating new international opportunities for the UK.
  • Develop the capacity of creative professionals and policymakers to support sustainable creative sectors in their countries.  We do this through virtual and face-to-face training, creating forums where policymakers and practitioners can come together to develop ways to support the sector to flourish and by brokering connections where best practice can be shared across borders.  

We believe in the power of mutuality. We work in partnership with funders, governments, sector support organisations, research bodies, creative organisations, policy experts and creative practitioners themselves.  

Our work has led to long-term change at government level in many countries, for example, cultural industries and enterprise hubs being included in national strategies.   


Our website is regularly updated with opportunities. These are mainly designed for UK-based organisations and individuals who have an interest in the development of creative economies  

Access our toolkits, research and resources online.