• Monday, July 15, 2024
businessday logo


How Creativity Pioneers Fund help grantees address problems in their communities

How Creativity Pioneers Fund help grantees address problems in their communities

Funding spaces where creativity can flourish has continued to play a key role in attempts to curb the menace of human trafficking in Africa and infuse hope in conflict-torn regions within the continent like Northern Nigeria.

Aiming to democratize creative skills so they are not just capabilities wielded by the lucky and the wealthy, the BIC Foundation and the Moleskine Foundation, together with a coalition of partners from various sectors awarded €5,000 grants to 54 small organizations worldwide that use creativity to catalyze social change.

From climate change to gender equality, from human rights to quality education and migration, Creativity Pioneers are confronting the world’s most pressing issues and is a boon of opportunity, networking, and visibility for its recipients.

Access to funding represents only a starting point for a larger collaboration system, towards a platform model where the BIC Foundation and its partners act as ecosystem builders.

The community of Creativity Pioneers provides the grantees with access to more funding, in-kind and know-how support, mentoring and learning opportunities, peer-to-peer exchange, and networking.

Read also: Nigerian creatives urged to collaborate to drive social change


Since its inception in 2021, The Creativity Pioneers Fund has awarded grants to 101 organizations crossing 40 countries. The 2023 edition received over 800 applications from 111 different countries. Italy was the country submitting more applications, followed by South Africa, Nigeria, the US, and Kenya.

After a selection process that lasted four months and involved experts, partners, and organizations from the past cohorts as evaluators, 54 new Creativity Pioneers were announced. Out of the recipients, 70 percent operate in large metropolitan areas, while the other 30 petcent are divided among medium, small cities, and rural areas.

Read also: Embracing Art Education in primary schools: Fostering creativity and critical thinking

Of this year’s Creativity Pioneers, 40 percent have an operating annual budget lower than EUR 50,000, including 9% below EUR 10,000 per year, highlighting how underfunded the creativity for the social change sector is.

One-third of the organizations were founded less than three years ago, confirming Creativity Pioneers Fund’s attention to new realities. They represent the diverse perspectives and experiences that the Fund wants to elevate.

The grantees range from countries across the seven continents, including Africa, where partners like Open Arts — an art collective in Kaduna, Nigeria is democratizing access to arts and cultural products in the north as well as pushing forth social change; and Slam Master, a partner in Gabon, is promoting capacity building and job creation among young people as well as establishing cooperation networks at local, regional, and international levels while reappropriating their cultural and artistic heritage.

Read also: Paul to showcase Nigeria’s creativity in Kenya with exhibition

Alison James, Executive Director of the BIC Foundation, said: “At the BIC Foundation, we strongly believe in the power of creativity as the driver of change and we want to create the most inspiring and innovative pool of creativity makers throughout our society and to support them to have impact on our world. As founding partners of the Creativity Pioneers Fund, we are taking our mission one step further, positively impacting underserved communities at a global scale, while building a community of pioneers that can connect and work better through collaboration.”

Adama Sanneh, CEO of Moleskine Foundation, commented: “In 2021, we had the vision to build a global movement of creative minds, thinkers, doers, and change-makers partnering with creative and cultural institutions, brands, cultural organizations, and the creative sector at large.

“Three years later over 20 visionary partners have joined the Creativity Pioneers Fund and we can’t be happier to see a growing interest in investing resources, skills, and imagination in the Creativity for Social Change field.”

The Creativity Pioneers Fund is supported by the Moleskine Foundation, BIC Corporate Foundation, PromozioniServizi, Cherry Bank, Fondazione Marcegaglia, Fondazione Oelle, Community Arts Lab by Porticus, Hawthornden Foundation, BASE, Fondazione con il Sud, Fondazione CRT, Open Society Foundation, The AD Store, MANE, Healthy Food Healthy Planet, DLV BBDO, EMLEX. Learning partners: Kaospilot, Aurora, Watson Institute, Social Enterprise Open Camp. Network Partners: British Council, European Cultural Foundation.