How are creative industries impacting the economy?

At the Center for Creative Economy, we define creative enterprises as companies and individuals that combine design, arts, and technology to create a product or service that gets created, made, and distributed into the economy. According to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis,  creative industries contribute $700 billion to the US Gross Domestic Product and $26 billion in revenues in North Carolina.

In fact, the creative economy is growing faster than any economic sector. Our Creative Startups cohorts are included in that increasing number of creative industry professionals that are revolutionizing education technology, print and digital design, creative R&D, software, fashion, film, music, and countless other fields that specialize integrating arts and innovation.

Hair Styling, Make up, and Prosthetics

Christal Schanes, Creative Startups alum and Founder of MEDwig, is changing the world of possibility for medical patients suffering from hair loss. Her career expertise in commercial and stage wig building, hairstyling, makeup, and prosthetics with UNC School of the Arts inspired a company in constructing high quality, custom, medical wigs. Her approach uses state-of-the-art materials that allow patients to have the look and security of natural hair while still allowing hair regrowth to occur.

Creative Tech

Another alum, Carrie Shaw, works at the intersection of health education and virtual reality storytelling. She is the CEO and founder Embodied Labs, a virtual reality platform for healthcare services workforce training. As a medical illustrator and health educator, Carrie developed an interest in the possibility of using virtual reality storytelling to convey the perspective of vulnerable patient populations. Embodied Labs now specializes in creating interactive VR programs that promote healthcare professionals to share expertise and value patient care.

Embodied Labs has just celebrated 1.5 years and currently have 13 academic institutions and 11 long term care & home health agencies using Embodied Labs for caregiver training and development.  For further context, the academic institutions that have signed with them are using Embodied Labs across MD, DO, PA, PT, social work, and nursing programs.  Here is an article by University of New England on how their medical students are using Embodied Labs.  All of these institutions have subscribed to their software to be used on VR hardware that they house in their sim centers, libraries, or centers for faculty teaching & learning.  It’s great to see the uses for VR-based training continue to grow!

These companies are only a couple of examples of how creatives are building the economy and community through the channel of creative industries. Creative Startups Winston-Salem shares in the vision of stimulating innovation and creativity by providing an environment in which creatives can grow in this rapidly expanding industry.

Need help tackling those difficult obstacles in your business?  

If you are a creative entrepreneur, check out Creative Startups’ high impact business accelerator. Join Creative Startups for an online info session on May 24th, and learn how to launch, grow, and scale your creative business.


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