Creative Entrepreneurship: A Journey with Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Cause4

Rachael from Soundcastle blogs about our recent experiences taking part in the Guildhall Creative Entrepreneurs Programme 2014-15 and what we have learned along the way.

Soundcastle_team photo web higher resAs Soundcastle emerge from the Guildhall Creative Entrepreneurs programme  2014-15 it is with great thanks to both Guildhall and Cause4 that we reflect on the past year. We went into this course with a strong artistic vision for a company and the absolute drive to ensure the sustainable future of Soundcastle.

It was a wonderful, complex, thought-provoking journey and I am delighted to say that we have left the programme with a much stronger internal business model and vision of how we can grow. We were also the lucky winners of an award to support our work after pitching the business to an independent panel of entrepreneurs at Milton Court in July!

We have spent the past year developing our business alongside other inspiring Creative Entrepreneurs, including Cat Evison from Mosaic Music Education, Spencer Down from Docklands Sinfonia and Tara Franks from SoundsCreative Projects to name a few.

You can see details of all the companies involved on the Guildhall School website here:

http://www.gsmd.ac.uk/about_the_school/alumni/guildhall_creative_entrepreneurs/creative_entrepreneurs_14/

The course was a combination of lectures, debates, networking, action-learning groups, one-to-one support and events. It was both a challenge and an asset to be remodelling the company amidst such a vast range of businesses at different stages of their development. We shared successes and sticking points and pushed one another hard to develop our own unique vision and identity.

There were many enlightening moments on the programme and these are three key ideas that I’d like to share with any aspiring creative entrepreneur:

  • Share the impact of your work before anything else – grip people with the reason you do it, not your own personal agenda/ latest success/ business model!
  • Tell the world what you want to be known for and it will know you for that. You might have a portfolio of 10 different projects but find a theme and share, tweet, talk about it night and day.
  • Don’t keep secrets! Secrets don’t put you ahead of ‘competition’ – they isolate you. You’re a collaborator, an artist and a friend of your sector. Treat it with respect and joy and it will treat you with the same.

SEUK_socialenterprise_badge_2We would like, in particular, to thank Michelle Wright from Cause4 for being ever challenging and unquestioningly direct whilst maintaining a twinkle in her eye! Also the brilliant Helena Gaunt for her guidance and support and the wonderful Sian Brittain and Marina Papageorgiou for bringing such an inspiring community together.

We look forward to seeing how the Creative Entrepreneurs 2015-16 grow and will support this in any way we can.

Onwards!