Pittsburgh – October 5, 2021 – Creative entrepreneurs can now access small business consulting services and critical financial resources through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts’ Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator program, administered by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council for applicants in Allegheny, Beaver, Greene, and Washington counties. This program offers $500 to $2,000 in support of creative entrepreneurs starting a business or currently operating a micro-business in creative fields such as marketing, architecture, visual arts, crafts, design, film and media, digital games, music, entertainment, and publishing.
The Arts Council will begin accepting applications on October 11, which will be accepted on a rolling basis. Funding decisions will be made on a quarterly basis, with the first deadline on November 1.
“The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts is looking to support creative entrepreneurs as part of the pathway to recovery and opportunity in our rapidly changing economic environment,” shares Arts Council grants and membership manager, Shaqui Scott. “Creative entrepreneurs are leaders in building identity, economic opportunities, and highlighting how their communities are great places to work and live. At the Arts Council, we are grateful to help emerging creative leaders develop their business plans and connect them with a meaningful funding opportunity.”
Applicants are required to receive consultation services by a local small business development organization, known as referral coordinators. Referral coordinators include Bridgeway Capital, Chatham University, and the University of Pittsburgh. Consultation services will be provided at no cost to prospective applicants. Upon an approved business plan and referral, applicants can submit their application to the Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator via the Arts Council. Fifty-one percent of available funds are reserved for Black, indigenous, or persons of color (BIPOC), or individuals who live in communities identified as low-income by the Small Business Administration’s low-income communities map.
The Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator program at the Arts Council aligns well with other collaborative efforts in the region to fund artists’ businesses goals. In 2020, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts partnered with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) Bridgeway and Community First Fund to launch the Creative Business Loan Fund. This loan fund may provide more catalytic capital to augment the Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator program grant when appropriate.
“We are thrilled to work with the Arts Council on this opportunity to get accessible capital and business skill building into the creative economy,” stated Katie Johnson, Associate Director of Bridgeway’s Creative Business Accelerator.
“We’ve deployed over $5 million in loans, grants, and services to creatives in the last five years, and we have the business planning programming ready to help them access this new resource from the Arts Council.”
To learn more about the Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator program and application guidelines, visit the Arts Council’s website at pittsburghartscouncil.org/programs/grants/creative-entrepreneur-accelerator.