While Jordan isn’t lacking in creative talent, attracting investment for media and art business ventures is no easy task. In order to grow the Kingdom’s creative economy, an industry body is needed to fight its corner, said Ali al-Husry, chairman of the Endeavor Jordan entrepreneur support network.
“We need some kind of umbrella that will get all of this industry under one roof to see what are the needs, requirements, and challenges,” he told Venture on the sidelines of Endeavor’s Catalyzing Conversations event last month.
Al-Husry, who is also the director of Hikma Pharmaceuticals, believes that while there are a lot of initiatives to support creative projects, these are scattered and lack collective coordination. “We have a lot of great initiatives that are happening but they are haphazard and all over the place,” he said.
He also called on individuals and corporates to invest more in creative projects until the industry is able to stand on its own feet. “We need to have more of a concerted effort of funds being committed to this industry,” al-Husry said, adding that a hybrid approach to investment, which involves a philanthropic element, is required. “Some projects will be creating profits and returns for the investors, but other ventures will not have the capability of turning a profit. It needs support to hopefully get to a level where it’s sustainable.”
While it may still be too early to tell how it has done financially, al-Husry is hopeful that award-winning Jordanian film Theeb could be the one to open the door to greater investment. “This was one of the most successful ventures or films that have come out of the area,” he said. “I’m very hopeful that there will be some serious returns on investment, or at least a return of the money to investors, and that this will enable them and the whole industry to say that if you are going to produce a high quality film with the following ingredients you will be able to make money.”