OECS Competitive Business Unit applauds new Entertainment Support Agency: ‘Skreativez’

OECS Competitive Business Unit applauds new Entertainment Support Agency: ‘Skreativez’

The Kittitian initiative will provide much-needed development services to persons involved in the entertainment industry

Friday, September 15, 2017 — A group of passionate entrepreneurs in Saint Kitts and Nevis have begun laying the groundwork on an initiative that aims to improve the subregion’s entertainment industry through education and collaboration with the assistance of the OECS Competitive Business Unit.

Skreativez, launched on August 20, 2017, will provide a range of services to persons involved in the industry – from merchandising to copyright and trademark law.

The launch, held in the form of an Industry Mixer, created an open atmosphere where key stakeholders within the entertainment industry and up-and-coming artistes and musicians had an opportunity to discuss the potential of the project with the Skreativez team: Vernalderine Francis, Chevaughn Richardon, Grace Richardson, Brandon Rawlins and Azem Bailey.

Skreativez hopes to serve as a lynchpin in a new era of music development within the creative industry in Saint Kitts, and at a time when the industry badly needs leadership and a cadre of dedicated professionals to support its further development.

The newly formed agency seeks to adopt two distinct roles:

  1. Firstly, Skreativez will act as a service organisation:
    1. offering services in production, marketing and business development utilising the skills and experiences of its members as well as bringing in outside support to work with potential clients and artistes in need of such services;
    2. helping with arrangements for artiste development on the island as well as accessing technical support and other resources to work with artistes and music industry professionals.
  2. Secondly, the agency hopes that it can stimulate the formation of a music association which will be membership-based to encourage collaboration among artistes and to provide a voice for the music and entertainment industry.  

Mr. Sobers Esprit, Business Development Officer specialising in the Creative Industries at the OECS Competitive Business Unit has been working with the group to guide them on the process to the launch and to help in building a solid organisation.

"This initiative is part of the CBU’s effort to continue working with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the targeted sub-sectors of goods and services across OECS Member States."

"The CBU intends to provide mentorship, guidance on organisational development and support to strengthen the on-going work of the sub region’s SMEs in those sectors," commented Sobers.

Sobers said the continuity of the CBU’s support is geared at ensuring the work carried out during the implementation process of the 10th EDF Regional Integration for Trade in the OECS can be sustained through the utilisation of internal resources within the targeted SMEs.

"The CBU wholeheartedly welcomes the effort by this group of enthusiastic, visionary and passionate music entrepreneurs to help grow the music and entertainment business on Saint Kitts.

“We see this as the kind of work that artistes and entrepreneurs across the OECS must begin to undertake in order for us to see real, sustained development within the region’s creative sector.

“We salute the work of Skreativez and encourage its members to stay the course on the journey to helping grow and develop the music industry in Saint Kitts and the region,” added Sobers.

Founding member, Mr. Azem Bailey, served as Master of Ceremonies at the agency’s soft launch and moderated discussions on state of the entertainment industry in Saint Kitts-Nevis and the sub region.

“The dialogue was lively and there was agreement that much work needs to be done to improve the status of the entertainment industry in Saint Kitts and Nevis.”

“Legislation needs to be amended, practitioners need to work on improving brands and users need to pay the required licenses,” said Bailey.

The group’s passion for the creative industry can be discerned from their active engagement in initiatives such as the Saint Kitts and Nevis Association for the Performing Arts (SKNAPA), which was founded by the Skreativez team; the Regional Song Writers Camp held in Dominica in 2014; and the Specialty Caribbean Expo held in St. Lucia in March 2017. 

Key stakeholders and sponsors in attendance were Mr. Mahesh Nariani, Owner of Sun Island Clothes and Sun Island Hi Tech Graphics; Ms. Jihan Williams, Head of the Intellectual Property Office; Mr. Javier Cordero, Owner of Don Carlos Cafe; and Messrs. Jason and Orren Joseph of askblunty.com, an online educational platform.

Skreativez Launch: Industry Mixer
Skreativez Launch: Industry Mixer
Skreativez Launch: Industry Mixer
Skreativez Launch: Industry Mixer