‘Fit for the Future’: Cultural Industries Support

Cultural enterprises and arts organisations face new challenges – and new opportunities. David helps them to become more financially sustainable using smart business thinking which fits with their artistic mission, cultural objectives and values.

At a time when public sector funding is subject to cutbacks, cultural enterprises and arts organisations need to generate new revenue streams in order to reduce their reliance on grant funding and become more financially sustainable.

David works with cultural enterprises to help them generate new sources of income based on his own direct experience of managing enterprise and his work with cultural entrepreneurs around the world. New business models in the creative industries can be applied successfully to cultural enterprises. These include crowdsourcing, digitisation, strategic marketing, webcasting, co-opetition, licensing of intellectual property, crowdfunding, franchising, new product development and international business.

David was the lead consultant on a project with Culture Liverpool at Liverpool City Council to help arts organisations and cultural enterprises in the city to become more financially self-sustaining through enterprise development at a time of public sector cuts to grants for the arts.

David delivered a series of ‘Survive and Thrive’ seminars on cultural entrepreneurship and business development workshops on strategic growth and financial management as part of this project.

He was selected to design and deliver this ‘Fit for the Future’ project because of his understanding of cultural enterprise, his track record as a business adviser in the creative and cultural industries, and his international experience of working with arts and cultural organisations. See David’s Story.

David was able to draw on his own experience in the cultural industries as an entrepreneur and combine this with his experience of helping hundreds of cultural and creative entrepreneurs in more than 50 countries around the world.

David provided examples and ‘Ideas in Action‘ case studies about cultural enterprises that have successfully used business techniques that were consistent with their vision and values, to generate additional commercial income. For example, sculptor Steve Messam and his project ‘The Drop‘, plus several examples from other countries including Hong Kong, Brazil and Vietnam.

As well as the ‘Survive and Thrive’ seminars, David also delivered interactive training workshops including ‘Designing Your Creative Business‘ and ‘Creative Finance’. These highly-acclaimed workshops, which David has delivered in the UK and overseas, were tailored to the particular needs and circumstances of cultural enterprises.

“David worked pro-actively with Culture Liverpool to help make creative and cultural enterprises in the city region stronger as businesses and more economically resilient in the long term.
He understands the sector and is well respected in Liverpool because of his work in the city region over the years.
His ability to establish a rapport with creative and cultural entrepreneurs is second to none.
We’ve received excellent feedback from attendees at all of David’s sessions, his advice and workshops have proven to be stimulating, useful and gratefully received by our clients.”

Sean Durney
Culture Liverpool. Liverpool City Council

The ‘Fit for the Future’ project was evaluated as a great success and more than 50 cultural institutions, arts organisations and individual entrepreneurs benefited from the seminars and workshops delivered by David.

David also arranged for cultural institutions to be assisted by other business support projects in Liverpool, so that he was able to offer confidential one-to-one management consultancy advice to cultural enterprises in his capacity as a specialist business adviser serving creative and cultural enterprises in the UK and world-wide.

Through David’s initiatives, cultural enterprises were able to gain assistance from other projects in which he is involved, such as the Liverpool Creative Growth Initiative and the Merseyside Business Support Programme. Some cultural institutions will also be eligible for additional advice from David in his role as a Business Growth Coach for the GrowthAccelerator programme.

David also worked with Creative Lancashire on a project to help arts organisations become more entrepreneurial and financially sustainable at a time of cuts in grants from the Arts Council of England.

David spoke about the Fit for the Future project at a Culture and Creativity event in Ukraine to support the development of the creative and cultural industries  in Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Moldova.

David has helped cultural enterprises in a range of countries internationally and can work in partnership with government bodies, business support institutions and other agencies to design and deliver projects to help cultural enterprises become less dependent on public sector support and more able to achieve economic sustainability through a more entrepreneurial approach to leading and managing cultural enterprises.