Creative Business Cup

A global competition that celebrates entrepreneurs who are making an impact in the creative industries by recognising and rewarding them. 


Creative Business Cup is a global network for innovative startups – an international competition that celebrates entrepreneurs in the creative industries by connecting them to investors and global markets, and strengthening their innovative capabilities to the benefit of industry and society.

Ten creative startups are selected from thousands of applicants around the country who apply in our online platform. The ten startups are then invited to the national competition where they go through a two day boot camp. They get a chance to pitch their businesses in front of a panel judges in this Dragon’s Den style pitch event, the winner then gets to represent South Africa in the global stage of Creative Business Cup.

Our South African winner in 2017 - Smir Design - featured in programmes like Top Billing and went on to showcase her products at the Creative Business Cup open market in Copenhagen. This year, again we are looking to give an opportunity to another creative start-up to compete in the global stage and be exposed to global markets.

Why Entrepreneurs from the Creative Industries?

Worldwide, the creative industries contribute significantly to growth and jobs – and to the development of new, innovative solutions to the challenges that companies and societies face. Also, traditional industries become more innovative and competitive when collaborating with creative companies or “creatives”.

South Africa’s Creative economy has contributed R90.5 billion directly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and accounted for over Five hundred thousand jobs in the 2013/2014 financial year - Department of Arts and Culture.


Any startup from the Creative Industries with a good business idea and a registered company is eligible to compete, as long as they uphold the rules and criteria specified. There are no specific requirements for the participating company in relation to age, turnover or number of employees.

Eligibility criteria:

·         have a registered South African Company

·         present a new and original business idea from the creative industries

·         have a business idea that has a strong market potential and will appeal to investors

·         be a good investment

·         be able to travel to Johannesburg for the 3 day National competition in September.

Finalists will spend two days refining their pitches, participating in a business skills boot camp delivered by experts and a gruelling workshop to prepare them for pitching to a panel of top flight judges.

They then do battle against each other for the chance to represent South Africa at GEW in Denmark where winners from more than 60 countries are pitted against one another.

The finalists also network with top creatives from around the world and are exposed to international investors and market opportunities.

Produced by Creative Enterprises Hub with support from Reed Exhibitions the event takes place from 6th - 8th of September at the Dome as part of the Small Business Expo.

For more information, visit the Creative Business Cup website