The internet’s preeminent annual awards programme announced the winners and honourees of the 15th Annual Shorty Awards in 148 categories, including brands, agencies, non-profits and independent creators. Additionally, a new $100,000 fund for creators was announced in partnership with Wave, the one-stop money management solution for small business owners.
The winners and honourees of this year’s Shorty Awards include brands such as Northrop Grumman, W Hotels, OMD USA, Paramount, FCB, dentsu, Nickelodeon, NFL, Smile Train, Whalar, Day One Agency, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, Observatory, Jay Shetty, Crooked Media, Expedia, Fiverr, and more.
The Elevate Creatives Fund is aimed at providing a financial boost to creators looking to grow sustainable businesses. The initial fund of $100,000 will be distributed among five recipients – selected based on the merit of their work, creative aspirations and contribution to their communities.
Recipients will also receive personalised bookkeeping and accounting coaching from Wave’s in-house experts. Applications are open between now and 15 September on the Shorty Awards’ website. The recipients will be announced in November 2023.
“The Creator Economy is booming, but creators have needs that aren’t being met. They don’t necessarily have traditional cash flow and may rely on multiple revenue streams to earn a living, making it challenging to turn their digital talent into a sustainable business,” says Zahir Khoja, CEO, Wave. “Creative entrepreneurship is the economic engine of small business, and we’re thrilled to launch a fund that will directly enable more of these businesses to start, survive , and thrive.”
Since its inception in 2008, the Shorty Awards have evolved with the internet, from the birth of social media to the proliferation of digital content, to the emergence of Web 3.0 and the exponential growth of the creator economy, defined by the US Chamber of Commerce as a group who make money directly from their audience, consisting of consumers, entrepreneurs that cater to their audience, advertisers, and companies that market to artistic entrepreneurs. Digital talent has spawned a new era of entrepreneurship, and creators have become the fastest-growing type of small business.
“We are living in one of the best moments in history for creatives, with the democratisation of media and an increasingly decentralised creative workforce enabled by technology.” said Junmian Sun, managing director of the Shorty Awards. “We are excited to have Wave as a partner in our collective efforts to foster a stronger and more equitable creative workforce. This initiative calls attention to the people and other metrics beyond the $104bn market size of the creator economy, to ensure not only the speed but more importantly, the health and sustainability of the growth.”
Eligible applicants to the fund include creators who produce commercial, editorial, and/or fine-art digital content, such as social media or blog posts, podcasts, videos, short films, etc and freelance creatives or independent consultants such as designers, copywriters, and producers who provide creative services. The applications will be judged by a panel of experts from the Real Time Academy, based on the following criteria: the originality and creativity of the current and recent work; the quality, engagement, and effectiveness of the recent work; their entrepreneurial ambitions; and how they utilise their creative platforms and influence to create a positive impact.
See all winners here.