Republic of Bashkortostan
May 24-26, 2024
Creators in Business: Future of Creative Industries Discussed at Zauralye-2024 Investment Sabantuy
The participants of the Future of the Region's Creative Industries Session argued with the popular Soviet saying “Support talents, mediocrity will make its own way” during the Zauralye-2024 Investment Sabantuy. For several hours, entrepreneurs, representatives of public and private companies, public authorities and cultural, art and tourism figures searched for growth points that would allow the region's creative industry to break through federal and international barriers.

“The creative industry of the Republic of Bashkortostan is represented by a range of ten sectors, ranging from IT technologies to the film industry. To illustrate, over 34,700 individuals are employed in the region's creative sector, spread across 17,500 enterprises. The choice of the place for discussion, the Zauralye Investment Sabantuy, was deliberate. It's noteworthy that cities and towns like Sibay, Ufa, and Mezhgorye are recognized as some of the most innovative municipalities in Bashkortostan,” noted Oleg Dyachenko, the moderator and Vice President of Business Union of Experts in Intellectual Support of Business.

The session participants delved into a broad spectrum of topics, ranging from identifying areas for growth to addressing the challenges hindering the rapid development of the creative industries in the Republic. The consensus among participants was that the most accessible and lucrative path for entrepreneurs, regardless of age or experience, lies in creative ventures such as organizing events, forums, tourism businesses, book publishing, advertising and video content, as well as gastronomy. The idea often proves to be the most valuable asset in business. However, the challenge lies in effectively monetizing it to ensure mutual satisfaction and longevity.

“The region certainly needs a creative solution. It is the establishment of a unified umbrella brand that can be recognized and embraced both domestically and internationally.
For instance, the brand “Pchelka” (Bee) serves as a symbol of quality and trust. As a specific example, the Republic could consider establishing a honey museum as a global tourist attraction,” suggested Yunir Aminev, Head of A. Abdrazakov Bashkortostan Film Studio.

The participants of the Zauralye-2024 Investment Sabantuy agreed on three fundamental aspects that could give an impetus to the development of creative industries as a profitable sector of the regional economy. These include: support for marketing and advertising of the territory at the state level, creation of conducive conditions for the industry in each municipality, and establishment of creative standards and training programs for future personnel in the creative industry with an entrepreneurial orientation starting from school.

“My dream is for Bashkortostan to resonate like a gastronomic symphony on a global scale. You may have heard about our Gastro Terra project, which is grounded in our cultural heritage and local cuisine, and already involves dozens of restaurants in the region. However, this project will reach new heights when the education sector joins in. Any efforts to promote the creative industry will receive a boost if Ufa and Bashkortostan become regular hosts of vibrant major events,” said Mikhail Kumpan, a renowned restaurateur and entrepreneur.

“The creative industry itself is still relatively new. its lack of formal institutionalization, such as an association to represent its interests, slows down its development. Without a recognized body to engage with the government in determining support measures and allocation, progress is impeded.

“Entrepreneurs will stay in the region if they are motivated and have favorable conditions for business development. This also includes potential tax measures and fostering a conducive environment for business implementation in cities. However, the Republic still needs a unified brand,” said Andrey Starikov, CEO of the Fund for Implementation of Infrastructure and Social Projects of the Republic of Bashkortostan.

“Following the example of small but well-known western and eastern cities - the capital of watchmakers, the capital of chocolate, the capital of weddings - every city in Bashkortostan is capable of forming an attractive brand around itself, recognizable at the federal level. The creative industry can and should attract people to the Republic as a science city, as a place of sports tourism, intellectual tourism - the points of growth are not yet occupied and are available,” said Yaroslava Feoktistova, Chief Television Director of BST Channel.

The absence of a unified information infrastructure in the industry, perhaps not just a regional free brand book, media bank, or content factory accessible to every participant in creative industries, was highlighted by nearly half of the speakers during the session. There was less discussion about the need for direct budgetary, financial, and credit support, as the industry operates within a market framework. However, the desire for information, advertising, and marketing support was unanimous.

“Do you know why large-scale show business of federal and global significance rarely emerges and flourishes in the republic? It's because there isn't a centralized media machine that, as planned, could focus and produce two stars annually, which would already become a national brand,” noted artist Alik Garayev.

“Our mutual task, based on your expert diagnosis, willingness to invest in addressing industry issues, suggestions, and ideas, is to formulate a kind of roadmap for the region's creative individuals and seek the support of the state. After all, the potential of Bashkortostan's creative industry is enormous; the Republic currently ranks 9th in terms of the contribution of creative industries to the GRP (4.5%) in the Russian Federation, whereas the leader of the rating, Moscow, is already nearing 19%. So, your proposals to align the industry with business standards or to introduce the criterion of aesthetic value into the federal procurement law to highlight creative projects are highly valuable and appropriate,” summarized Oleg Dyachenko, marking the conclusion of the initial stage of identifying growth points.

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