Creative Entrepreneurs takes a glimpse into entrepreneurial innovation in the performing arts

The performing arts are only for individual performers who live from gig to gig, correct? That’s what the media would have you believe, but that vision could not be more outdated. In fact, the performing arts sector is a leader in entrepreneurship.

Case in point: global performing arts powerhouse the Guildhall School of Music and Drama launched its own incubator in 2013. Called 'Guildhall Creative Entrepreneurs', this pioneering new programme helps peple in the performing arts launch their own enterprises. And they've already had a big impact. Since launch, they have supported the creation of over 30 businesses ranging from new performing arts ensembles to production companies to online music platforms.

Theatre Entrepreneur Rosemary Squire Comperes the Evening

The Entrepreneurs Backstage at the Milton Court Theatre before the Pitching Starts
Each year the incubator hosts an awards ceremony featuring a shortlist of the most promising new projects incubated throughout the year, giving its entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their businesses to a distinguished panel of arts and cultural leaders, with seed funding the prize.

This year’s event was hosted by theatre entrepreneur Rosemary Squire OBE in the Barbican Guildhall School Milton Court Theatre on Wednesday 28 June. Judging the pitches were Creative Entrepreneurs Founder Carolyn Dailey, theatre legend and producer Sir Howard Panter and EY Partner Joanna Santinon.

Judges Carolyn Dailey, Founder of Creative Entrepreneurs, and Theatre Legend Sir Howard Panter

Actor Simon Cowell Introduces the Performance during the Judge's Voting Session

Four businesses from this year’s Creative Entrepreneurs cohort pitched on the evening for monetary awards totalling £8000: Alexandra Dariescu for Alexandra Dariescu Productions Ltd, Becky Chalmers for Real Voices, Katy Bignold for East London Music Therapy, and Emily Berrington for Actorsnet.

Huge congratulations all and to the winners: forward-thinking community choirs Real Voices, who secured £5000 in funding, and actor support and community website Actorsnet, who secured £3000 in funding.

The Winning Pitch from Real Voices Choir Community Startup