In the face of the limited opportunities available for formal academic and vocational training in the arts in Gambia, this project sought primarily to address the acute shortage of entrepreneurial skills for practitioners in the various genres of the arts and creative practices, as well as the economic benefits potentially arising from such a development.
Currently thousands of youth – male, female, urban and rural – are engaged in artistic pursuits ranging from music, theatre, film, fashion, as well as new media, visual arts, applied arts and handicrafts, but are not reaping maximum economic benefit because of their limited understanding of the business-side of these activities.
The project also fell within the remit of the UNESCO Convention on Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage – 2003, which ensures inter- generational transmission of cultural activities and cultural actions in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It helped in Promoting the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (UNESCO Convention – 2005), that recognizes the rights of Parties to take measures to support the creation, production, distribution and access to diverse cultural goods and services. This was done in synergy with the 1980 UNESCO Recommendation of the Status of the Artists as well as gender equality to empower women as creators and producers of cultural goods and services. Resultantly the project therefore sought to empower youth and women in the arts and culture sector to be in the forefront of protecting and adding value to cultural expressions ranging from cultural goods and services to information communication technology (ICT).
Specifically, it had been carved to provide a basic training in a range of entrepreneurial skills, knowledge and business plans that will be of practical assistance to those seeking to enter or progress as self-employed entrepreneurs in the Creative Industry in a view to:
- Design a sustainable custom-built intensive training programme to meet creative sector business development needs in the Gambia.
- Initially recruit and train 25 new entrepreneurs in Creative Business Enterprises drawn from recognised genres of the arts in 8-10 intensive weeks.
- By delivering the programme enable these trainees to research, develop and plan a viable small creative business.
- Demonstrate viable delivery of economic empowerment of rural and urban women and youth engaged in the creative sector.
- To create evidence of how the current high rate of youth unemployment and migration might be ameliorated by encouraging and supporting Creative Business Entrepreneurship..
- To provide an insight into the potential contribution or economic impact of the Arts and Creative sector to our GDP, and the potential benefits of the introduction of Further and Higher Education initiatives in this sector.
- To pay special attention to potential links with conventional tourism, heritage tourism and eco-tourism.