Cultural Entrepreneurship Program results in successful creative businesses
The Orangeville & Area Small Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC) launched a new training and mentorship pilot program for entrepreneurs in the arts and culture sector this year. The Cultural Entrepreneurship Program, a partnership of the Town of Orangeville and the Province of Ontario, was established to assist local entrepreneurs in starting or expanding a business in the creative sector.
Response to this initiative was positive and the SBEC accepted a total of 21 participants to the program. Each participant was matched with a volunteer mentor, 17 business training and mentor sessions were delivered, and 16 participants submitted detailed business plans. All entrepreneurs involved in the program were able to benefit from the exceptional training and mentorship provided, and each was able to improve their skills and enhance their business.
“The talent in this community is impressive,” says Gary Brown, President of the Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival and one of the program mentors. “Learning to run an artist or artisan studio like a business requires a whole new level of skill and many in the creative sector find that challenging.”
Up to the challenge are several entrepreneurs whose new or expanding businesses have benefitted from the Cultural Entrepreneurship program. Training included such business essentials as writing an effective business plan, financial cashflow forecasting, human resource management and social media marketing.
The program also included an opportunity to submit a business plan for consideration for a grant made possible by the Province of Ontario. The plans were reviewed by a jury and 10 were selected to receive the grant. The funding will be instrumental in helping entrepreneurs bring their businesses to the next level of operation. A reception was held on June 28th where the following entrepreneurs received their grant: Sharyn Ayliffe, Sharyn Ayliffe Creative; Carrole Blakeman, Copper Fox Designs; Frederic Chartier, Freddy’s Crepes and More; Beckie Morris, R&S Creative; RaDeana Montgomery, RAM Media and Video Production; Jennifer Osborn, All Sorts Acres; Ann Randeraad, Ann Randeraad Pottery; Mag Ruffman/Daniel Hunter, Ruffman Entertainment; CJ Shelton, Dancing Moon Designs; and Leisa Way, Way to Go Productions.
Councillor Sylvia Bradley, Chair of the Arts and Culture Committee, was on hand to congratulate all the participants for their hard work and commitment.