Over the past two years, the economic crises spurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic leading to significant breakdowns in numerous small businesses, including those within the creative and cultural industry. However, this outbreak has also highlighted the importance of ‘culture’ and its role in promoting individual welfare, social resilience, and economic development. This premise has led to the cultural and creative industry becoming more notable in those times. Nevertheless, these businesses remain poorly supported overall.

The Arab Region is well known for its rich cultural heritage, strongly reflected amongst the young population through various fields, from craft, fashion, and visual art to digital media. The forum aims to build an enabling environment to strengthen small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the cultural and creative industries by creating a digital marketplace for opportunities, networking, and capacity building.

The forum will bring together selected participants, including twenty regional SMEs, ten Jordanian SMEs, ten regional business enablers, and ten Jordanian business enablers within the creative and cultural sectors, to discuss their needs in incorporating the basis of a digital marketplace CIMAR (Creative Industries Marketplace for the Arab Region) to build back a more robust systematic approach after the pandemic.

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Theme and Structure

The Creative Industries Forum 2023’s theme is “Unleashing Arab Creativity”, the starting point for building a digital marketplace for the cultural and creative industries in the Arab region, entitled CIMAR – Creative Industries Marketplace for the Arab Region.

The forum will begin with an inspirational panel that showcases inspiring creative businesses from the Arab region, followed by mapping the main challenges faced by SMEs within the creative industries and the practical interventions needed to strengthen these businesses' access to opportunities through a regional marketplace.

Accordingly, a proposal of CIMAR will be presented on the second day to receive input from attendees. Based on the discussions and workshops made, attendees will be divided into groups to form an outline for building CIMAR.

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