As you’re probably all too aware, it can be a challenge to find funding as an entrepreneur or creative practitioner in the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) – even if you have a compelling project.
In Cash and Culture, a radio programme curated by Catherine Morel, course director of the MSc in Management and Entrepreneurship in the Creative Economy at Audencia Business School, Morel discusses crowdfunding as a way cultural entrepreneurs can enlist the help of their communities to support small-scale projects. For more insight into the trend, Morel spoke with singer Rosina Bullen of budding London jazz band Blue 7, which used rewards-based crowdfunding to subsidise a tour throughout France.
“We set up a Kiss Kiss Bank Bank funding scheme for it,” Bullen explains, referring to a popular crowdfunding platform. “We had various rewards for different sums of money…some would be like, a CD, and others would be to come to a rehearsal, or free tickets to a gig, depending on how much people wanted to sponsor us.”
Crowdfunding ended up being the right choice for this band. “We managed to come out on top, which was quite rare for a band just starting out,” Bullen says. The tour ended up being an important step for the group, who gained new fans, increased sales of their EP and promoted their forthcoming album.
The concept is a popular one, with sites like Kickstarter, Patreon, Indiegogo, Bandcamp and Commeon offering other avenues for creative people of all kinds to raise funds and reward their sponsors. Even well-known musicians have chosen crowdfunding as a way to achieve their vision without the compromise sometimes required by a major label or studio, as reported in The Guardian.
Yet crowdfunding is not a cure-all, and it doesn’t work out for the majority of people who attempt it. A 2016 report found that 69-89% of projects don’t reach their target goals. Why might this be?
Running a successful crowdfunding campaign requires the knowledge and practice of specific project management tools. For example, before starting a crowdfunding campaign, you should perform a marketing audit of your start-up brand and build an exhaustive database.
Audencia’s MSc in Management and Entrepreneurship in the Creative Economy is a brand new programme that is run in association with the Glasgow School of Art to help entrepreneurs across a vast range of creative disciplines build the branding, marketing, design and management skills necessary to promote and support creative work (whether it’s their own or the work of others).
Joining a small and diverse group of like-minded creative practitioners at Audencia, students in the programme will hear from professionals from various CCIs about the best ways to look for funds (business sponsorship, venture capital, grants, crowdfunding, commissioning, etc.). Leading professors in the fields of management and design will also provide students with tools that they will then apply to their collective in-course start-up project. Mentors and coaches will help them along the way.
Like many other culture-defining trends, crowdfunding began humbly; it took several years for the then-musician Perry Chen to find the right team and launch Kickstarter.
At Audencia, our goal is to support students in cultivating and developing ideas like Kickstarter, which is why we encourage applicants to our MSc in Management and Entrepreneurship in the Creative Economy to apply for our Napkin Sketch Scholarship. This scholarship rewards those with innovative ideas for new products, services or experiences in the creative economy.
For more information on the programme, scholarship and application process, check out our programme page.
© Photo: ipopba