Research: Creative businesses rely on connectivity for inspiration

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Half of small businesses in the creative industry say technology helps them compete with larger organisations – and levels the playing field in a fiercely competitive industry – according to findings by Vodafone.

The research, which surveyed 500 creative industry small businesses in the UK, revealed that 40 per cent produce their best ideas and work ‘on-the-go’ and 38 per cent now share most of their creative ideas and work digitally rather than in person, pointing to a sector increasingly relying on connectivity to drive productivity. Reliable connectivity (41 per cent) and faster internet speeds (40 per cent) were highlighted as key to unlocking creativity.

Technology is set to play a crucial role as creative sectors further embrace digital transformation; with fashion businesses in particular forecasting technology will transform the sector in the next five years (60 per cent).

However, whilst 73 per cent believe technology brings positive change, 42 per cent feel the sector lags behind others in adoption and usage of new technologies.

Anne Sheehan, Vodafone UK Enterprise Director, commented: “It’s hugely encouraging to see that smaller businesses in the creative industries are increasingly competitive, due in part to technology. They rely on tech in many ways – to communicate ideas, to seek inspiration and to enable flexible working. But they tell us they are not IT experts and need help to gain maximum benefit – which is where trusted technology partners can play a role.

The research was unveiled at Vodafone’s first Business Heroes event held in London. The breakfast event, designed to inspire small businesses in the creative industries, was hosted by Stemettes Founder and CEO Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon and featured a panel discussion with Vodafone UK Business Director, Anne Sheehan and Apple UK’s Head of Enterprise Matt Key. Special guest Jamal Edwards, entrepreneur, author and SBTV Founder, discussed the correlation between creativity and entrepreneurship.

Sheehan continued: “We’ve created the Vodafone Business Heroes Sessions to celebrate the small businesses who are so vital to the UK and the economy. It’s our ambition to be a digital partner that small businesses and creative industry customers can rely on. We’re making life simpler for them with tailored propositions – including the best connectivity and 5G in more places, unlimited data tariffs, a market-leading roaming proposition, superfast fibre broadband and Business Add-Ons and Cloud Services such as insurance, device support, Office 365 and G-Suite. We remove constraints so our customers can ‘be unlimited’ and focus on creating a great business.”

Edwards added: “The Vodafone Business Heroes Sessions are a fantastic forum to discuss the role technology plays in developing the small business sector in the UK. Digital connectivity is transforming the world; it feels like anything is possible. There should be no limits on what businesses – and particularly creative businesses – can achieve. I’m delighted to be here to share my story and I hope to inspire others to ‘be unlimited’ and achieve their ambitions.”


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