Back row left to right: Alana Brooks (Independent Visual Artist and Architect), Jamilia Alexander De Bique (Uppoint Technologies), Darren Carter (CDB), Tameka Lee (CDB), Stephen Sandiford (CDB), Front row left to right: L. O'Rielly Lewis (CDB), Lisa Harding (CDB), Therese Turner-Jones (CDB), Kimon Baptiste (Kimmysticlo Designs), Suzanne King (CDB), Karene Ramsay (CDB), Allyson Francis (CDB)

CDB Relaunches Cultural & Creative Industries Fund

The Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) Cultural and Creative Industries Fund (CIIF) was officially re-introduced to its regional clients as a re-engineered facility on April 10, 2024, at the Bank’s Barbados, Headquarters. The fund originally capitalised in 2017 with USD 2.6 million, was replenished with USD1.8 million in 2023, to support the orange economy of 19 Caribbean countries, all members of CDB.

The programme has been reorganised building on lessons from the pilot phase. This investment will provide flexible grant funds and technical support through a suite of products shaped by the needs of Caribbean creatives. The support package is intended to actualise potential in film, animation and gaming, fashion and contemporary design, festivals and carnivals, and music and the visual arts. The Bank will aid creatives from conceptualisation to implementation of CIIF financed initiatives to improve effectiveness, building on recommendations from its pilot.

CDB’s Acting Vice President (Operations) Mrs Therese Turner Jones, who spoke at the launch event stated that CIIF was a component in the organisation’s arsenal to build out the creative capacity of the region. Mrs Turner-Jones indicated that CDB, through CIIF, intends to “strengthen the enabling environment through coordination and collaboration, improve access to funding, continue capacity building, close gaps in research and increase awareness, and protect and leverage intellectual property rights.” She also said that any effort to activate sustained actions toward development and resilience for the Caribbean must consider the intersections of culture and the creative economy at socio-economic levels. Highlighting that the relationship between economic resilience and the creative economy is undisputed because of its crucial role in preserving cultural heritage and promoting social inclusion.

While showcasing many successes of the initial three-year pilot and the potential for the next phase of the fund, the Acting Head Private Sector Division at the Bank, Ms Lisa Harding, confirmed that “CIIF will continue to celebrate artistic expression, storytelling, cultural production and preservation while celebrating our diverse cultural identities traditions and practices.” She also underscored the significance of the creative economy in promoting social inclusion.

According to CIIF Coordinator, Ms Malene Joseph the fund’s re-launch signals CDB’s intention to deepen collaboration with the diverse spectrum of clients involved in the Caribbean’s creative entrepreneurial space, recognising the sector’s potential to contribute to the Region’s economy and future. CIIF has been extended for three years in response to current needs and sustained challenges faced by those in the orange economy.

About CDB

The Caribbean Development Bank is a regional financial institution established in 1970 for the purpose of contributing to the harmonious economic growth and development of its Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs). In addition to the 19 BMCs, CDB’s membership includes four regional, non-borrowing members (Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela) and five non-regional, non-borrowing members (Canada, China, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom). CDB’s total assets as at December 31, 2023, stood at US$3.43 billion (bn). These include US$2.03 bn of Ordinary Capital Resources and US$1.40 bn of Special Funds Resources. The Bank is rated Aa1 Stable by Moody’s, AA+ Stable by Standard & Poor’s and AA+ Stable by Fitch Ratings.