British Council Creative Economy

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Find our toolkits, peer networks and links to the right support for your creative enterprise or practice. 


Intersections: Emerging creative trends across UK art and digital culture

Explore our new online resource - a series of conversations looking at the ideas and creative practices at the junctures of art and technology in the UK. 

New and Changing Dynamics: How the Global Creative Economy is Evolving 

Brand new for 2016, and intended as an updated companion to the 2010 'Introduction' (see below), this interactive guide explores how the global creative economy is evolving. Edited by John Newbigin, OBE, chair of Creative England and featuring a range of thought pieces from top  international contributors. 

Creative Hubs: Understanding the New Economy

A dynamic ecosystem of creative spaces and communities has developed over the last 10 years. This report has been commissioned to better understand their diverse value, processes and motivations and in doing so, analyse how best to support and stimulate the wider creative economy they are rooted in. 

Nesta Creative Enterprise Toolkit 2016 Edition

Nesta Creative Enterprise Toolkit 2016 Spanish Edition

Nesta Creative Enterprise Toolkit 2016 Ukrainian Edition

(Click to download: Book One, Book Two, Book Three, Book Four and Case Studies)

This updated version of Nesta's enterprise toolkit contains tried and tested methods for helping creative individuals set up a business and features a wealth of international case studies from the hundreds of small businesses worldwide who've participated in Nesta/British Coucnil workshops.


Introduction to the Creative Economy Guide by John Newbigin OBE 

Originally published in 2010, this is an excellent guide to the creative economy, its reach and impact.  Written by John Newbigin OBE. Available in downloadable PDF format in the following languages; English, Arabic, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Mapping the Creative Industries; available in English, Arabic, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian

In many places, very little is known about the creative industries' location and size, or what their needs might be. Mapping is designed to be a first step in addressing this. Mapping the Creative Industries: a Toolkit was developed by BOP Consulting, an independent research and strategy consultancy specialising in culture and the creative industries based in London.


Connecting Creative Communities 

A summary of the hubs research conducted in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. Beyond identifying and indexing creative hubs, the research intended to discover the challenges they face, the impact the make and the ways they operate.

Creative Hubs Mapping Taiwan

This report explores the development of the creative economy in Taiwan and offers recommendations and outlooks for its future.

Mapping Creative Hubs in Malaysia

A bird’s eye view of creative hubs across Malaysia - examining the definition of hubs, background, business models and structures. The report also features a growing directory of creative hubs and spaces in Malaysia.

Policy and Creative Hubs in Vietnam

An overview on the status of the cultural/creative industries and creative hubs, with an analysis of where they currently sit within the legal system.

Mapping of Creative Hubs in Vietnam

A look at the creative scene in Vietnam, including the impact hubs are having in a local context as well as what support is in place.

Innovative Peacebuilding in Syria
Innovative Peacebuilding in Syria Arabic Edition

A scoping study looking at the strategic use of technology to build peace in the Syrian context. The research presented in this report reviews the global context of the peacetech sector and examines current uses of technology in peacebuilding initiatives in the Syrian context.


Nesta's Creative Enterprise Toolkit; available in English, Arabic, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish and Vietnamese

These are creative and practical tools which simply, but critically, offer a useful framework for developing, testing and turning business ideas into tangible and long term enterprises. The British Council have been partnering with the UK's innovation agency Nesta to internationalise their Creative Enterprise programme and you can download in your preferred language for free here

To complement the toolkit you can also download Worksheets, Case Studies, and Tutor Notes here.

Creative Hubkit

A toolkit for those looking to set up a hub; a community-focused, co-working or cultural space. It is made up of best practice examples, helpful experiences and tried and tested approaches from some of the most successful hubs in the UK and Europe. Created in partnership with Creative Edinburgh and Creative Dundee.

Additional Creative Hubtkit for Vietnam is available here.

The Art of Hacking

Hacks are an opportunity to bring a variety of people together to seek new ways of collaborating, unravel challenges and create unique solutions. This guide includes the on models used Culture Shift, our global hack programme, and those used by organisations like CultureCodeCulture HackSnook and toolkit creators Future Everything.

IDEO Method Cards

Created by industry leading design firm IDEO these cards can help you to inspire creativity, to communicate with your team, or to turn a corner in your thinking. Available in physical, app and pdf formats.


Creative Connections: Playable City Lagos

Nesta evaluate the form and impact of Playable City Lagos, as advice to those taking the Playable City programme to other locations around the world. 


Want to connect with like minded peers in the creative industries? These network provide tools, support and virtual social space for communities and individuals.

open movement°

This network of hubs is a new global meeting place for those who want to create more open, collaborative and creative spaces around the world. Includes global mapping and resources for managers and founder.

The Maker Library Network

A British Council project that connects designers and makers internationally. A Maker Library is a creative space for making, showing and reading. Find your nearest here.


Innovation agency Innovate UK's online network for meeting, ideas sharing  and finding collaborative opportunities.  


The Creative Economy focuses on the co-creation of projects and does not directly provide grants or funding. Many of our partners and connected organisations can help you fund your existing ideas and projects.

Arts Council England

Arts Council England is the national development agency for the arts in England, distributing public money from the Government and the National Lottery. In partnership with the British Council, the Artists’ International Development Fund offers early stage development opportunities for individual freelance and self-employed artists and/or creative practitioners (including, for example: producers, curators, publishers, editors, translators, choreographers).

Creative England

England's national agency for the support of creative ideas, talent and businesses in film, TV, games and digital media.

Creative Scotland

Development body for the arts and creative industries in Scotland.

Innovate UK

Government body which provides funding and support tools to help businesses undertake technological research and development and innovate.


The Arts and Humanities Research Council provides funding and support to UK researchers in three programmes: advanced research; postgraduate research and training; and special funding for arts projects.

Creative industries – routes to finance

Produced by the ICAEW and the Creative Industries Federation this publication aims boost investment, financial know-how and professional advice in the UK’s creative sector.


The institutions and organisations below provide insights into the creative industies in the UK and abroad.


Nesta is an independent body with a mission to make the UK more innovative, including a number of useful reports and initiatives which work to understand why, and to find ways of helping creative businesses unleash their full innovative potential.
Recent publications:

D-CENT: Research on digital identity ecosystems (September, 2015)

Making Digital Work: Accessibility (August, 2015)

Young Digital Makers (March, 2015)

Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS)

National Department responsible for culture and sport in England, and some aspects of the media throughout the whole UK, such as broadcasting and internet. Publishes regular statistical updates on the size and economic impact of the UK's creative sector. Recent publications include:

Creative Industries: Focus on Employment (June, 2014)

Quantifying the social Impacts of Sports and Culture (April, 2014)

UK Trade & Investment

UKTI works with UK based businesses to ensure their success in international markets  - check their creative industries' strategy and programme here.

Creative Industries Council

Joint forum between the UK government and the creative industries' sector. The council focus on areas where there are barriers to growth facing the sector, such as access to finance, skills, export markets, regulation, intellectual property (IP) and infrastructure.
Read their latest strategy paper, Create UK (2014), and visit the new Creative Industries UK portal here.

UNESCO Creative Industries

Part of their Division of Thematic Programme for Diversity, Development and Dialogue, it seeks to support and promote the diversity of cultural expressions and the development of cultural and creative industries.
Read their 2013 Creative Economy report here.

UNCTAD Creative Economy Programme

The UN's pioneering creative economy programme, which helped promote the new concept, understand its reach and its economic development potential.

World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)

IP Awareness raising UN agency which regularly publishes country reports on the economic value of creativity.

Have we missed your organisation/initiative from this list? Let us know! @UK_CE