Establishing a creative sector in Suriname is ambitious and requires both good ideas and perseverance. The leapfrog is feasible. Let me show you why I believe in it so passionately.
The combination of financial and social returns on investment.
By establishing a creative sector in Suriname, we free two birds with one key. First, we are providing the Surinamese youth with a unique opportunity to participate in the creative industry, which is growing as a result of new opportunities brought about by the Internet. Secondly, we are developing a sector which will soon allow the country to compete with others in the Caribbean. In a few years, the Surinamese creative sector will become financially self-sufficient enough to grow on its own in the future.
The seamless cooperation between entrepreneurs, investors and development organizations.
Under this new approach, the business community and development organizations will work in close concert with each other. They will not operate at opposite ends of the spectrum, as has sometimes been the case in the past, but will cooperate together, showing understanding for each other’s objectives and maintaining a constructive business relationship. Investors make informed judgments about risk and return on investment and a social investment deserves the same considerations regarding social and financial return. Doing this honestly creates a recipe for success.
Local youthful ambitions.
The Surinamese youth have great ambition but are hampered by a combination of geographical barriers, limited educational opportunities and cultural boundaries. We will remove these obstacles and invest in training – not only in professional education – but also in social skills, setting the stage for entrepreneurship and a proactive attitude to grow in the target group.
A long lasting transformation.
Well-meant initiatives often produce fantastic results, but these can quickly wither when the attention of investors or initiators diminishes. The development of a creative sector is not a temporary phenomenon, but a sustainable transformation of an industry. Every decision made along the way will address the stability and growth of the process as a whole.
The foundation is in place.
Already, a number of tools, such as a web development training program and company consisting of a few dozen employees, are in place, proving that there is a future in the idea of a creative sector in Suriname. Moreover, a number of established parties have lent their support to these initial activities. In addition to ICCO, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is participating and has guaranteed that the target group will receive training; FabLab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is providing the requisite high-tech facilities, and we are already assured of various TV programs to be shot in the new studios. Also, practically speaking, the land for the Campus has already been purchased, guaranteeing a conductive environment for the leapfrog.
A strong local network.
Experience shows that managing from a distance often leads to disappointment. For this reason, we have deliberately chosen to join forces with a local Surinamese partner. We prefer to work with local entrepreneurs who are capable of quickly resolving day-to-day issues and who are assertive and effective without guidance from local government or other organizations in the field.