The Sarawak Youth Creative Industry Fund (SYCIF) was launched in 2018 by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Sarawak to to empower and support Sarawakian youths to pursue careers and enhance their talents in the creative industry.
The fund, which also aims to revitalise the local creative industry and raise awareness about the industry’s contribution towards socio-economic development, offers grants to youths, whether as individuals, groups or organisations, who want to develop their artistic and creative talents in a variety of areas in the industry.
These include music, performing arts, as well as creativity and innovation in arts and design, film-making, animation, video games and many others.
Grants received from SYCIF will enable young Sarawakians to improve and add value to their arts and culture-based projects or programmes, which should benefit the local community especially their fellow youths.
Stories and experiences can be told through the lens of a Sarawakian talent, promoting local culture internationally as well.
Supporting local talent can result in accomplished startups emerging, such as Trifold, the first extended reality (XR) company in Sarawak and award winning multimedia studio CtrlD.
By investing in the creative industry through policies and funding, governments can positively influence the growth of the industry and create more demand among locals and even overseas.
The creative economy is one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the world economy and is also a highly transformative one in terms of income generation, job creation and export earnings.
According to the report ‘Cultural Times: the first global map of cultural and creative industries’ presented by UNESCO, the International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies (CISAC) and EY (formerly Ernst & Young), over 30 million jobs and US$2,250 billion are generated by the global cultural and creative industries (CCI) in 2013, making it one of the major drivers of the world economy.
The recent expansion of the creative industries is bolstered by the rapid advancements in technology and the rapid growth of the digital economy.
The convergence of media and the digital economy allows for easier production, distribution and consumption of cultural and creative products and services.
With more demand for creative products, youths can take advantage of this to express themselves, potentially find employment and entrepreneurship in their passion.
Young people should be encouraged and be fully prepared to take on risks and leadership roles when becoming an entrepreneur in the creative industry.
This can be achieved through the support of SYCIF that helps develop new opportunities and mitigates risks of becoming an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurship in the creative industry is highly important, as youths begin to move away from traditional employment and into self-employment.
It’s often difficult for youths to have the financial means to access the high cost of software and hardware necessary to operate in the CCI, which is among the reasons behind the set-up of SYCIF.
Breaking down the barriers of cost to make it possible for the development of new ideas from the younger generation is vital to provide them room to turn their ideas into reality.
In the aforementioned UNESCO report, CCI sectors typically employ more younger people at 19.1 percent compared to 18.6 percent in the rest of the economy.
Tapping into creative industries can present significant opportunities for transforming youthful energy into new ideas, organisation and a future vision for societies.
Read more: Understanding Cultural and Creative Industries
Photo from Ministry of Youth and Sports Sarawak.