The Guildhall School of Music & Drama supports new cohort of seven businesses on Creative Entrepreneurs scheme

The Guildhall School of Music & Drama, together with social enterprise Cause4, has announced its first cohort of creative entrepreneurs to be supported to set-up their own businesses or social enterprises and develop their entrepreneurship skills through its Creative Entrepreneurs scheme.

Participants will follow an intensive 12-month programme of training and individual support, with training provided in vision development, business planning, marketing, sales and funding, as well as mentoring, coaching and business plan development.

Said Professor Helena Gaunt: ‘This year marks an important step forward as we open Creative Entrepreneurs to a wider group of participants, thereby creating step-change in support for new businesses in the performing arts. This scheme is an essential part of the Guildhall School’s commitment to empowering artists to make their own futures and to make a difference.’

Added Michelle Wright, CEO of Cause4: ‘Creative entrepreneurs bring amazing skills, perseverance and inspiration to their business ideas. What we’re able to do through this course is to link those skills with business knowledge, strategy and a network tailored to each business. We’re confident that the new group of Creative Entrepreneurs have the imagination to develop some exciting and meaningful new cultural organisations.’

Wright is an alumna and fellow of the Guildhall School (studying violin there from 1995-1999) and founded Cause4 in 2009.

The seven creative businesses are:
Benedict Lloyd Hughes – to develop Ensemble in partnership with Emily Berrington
Celine Hispiche – to develop Literary Salon
Joanna Procter – to develop Reve(a)l Productions
Kate Hayes – to develop Accord
Katy Bignold – to develop East London Music Therapy
Mark Llewelyn-Evans – to develop ABC of Opera
Becky Chalmers – to develop Real Voices

Successes from past years have included Song in the City, a charity that programmes classical concerts around inventive and challenging themes; Drum Works, a music education programme that confronts disengagement within schools, and is currently reaching over 400 young people every week; and Lyribox, which provides digital learning tools to those learning classical vocal repertoire. From 2016, the scheme is now open to applicants from across the creative industries as well as Guildhall alumni and staff; applicants were assessed on the basis of the strength of the business concept, its readiness for development and the artistic quality of the venture.