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Entrepreneurship, Not-for-profit and Commercial


There seems to be a misunderstanding, an understandable one, that entrepreneurship automatically means the creation of for-profit, or commercial enterprises.  It can also mean the creation of not-for-profit ones.  The key question is, "are they sustainable?"  The reason for the misunderstanding is that so many not-for-profits are unsustainable.  They rely too heavily on contributed revenue.  My experience tells me that in each not-for-profit entity there is a discernible level of contributed revenue that can be estimated.  It generally comes … [Read more...]

Arts Entrepreneurship, Getting It All Wrong

It's been a long time since I've published a post here.  I've been writing a book on teaching arts entrepreneurship, and finding that completing it is like a dog chasing his tail:  just as I complete a section I come to understand the subject differently, so then need to revise.  My solution is the creation of a website (under construction) that will allow content to be shared, commented on and then edited (as appropriate).  Anyway, I had intended to stay quiet until the launch of this site, but I keep reading about schools of the arts adding … [Read more...]

Innovator, Entrepreneur, more –

Sent to me by Mark Pomerantz, Seattle U. and USASBE LIAISON newsletter editor, "Innovators are the dreamers: They create the prototypes, work out the kinks and then get bored, anxious to return to what they do best, which is inventing more prototypes. They are rarely concerned, ultimately, with the financial viability of what they do. Entrepreneurs are the builders: They turn prototypes into going concerns -- then they get bored. For them, financial viability is the single most important aspect of what they do." (Boschee & McClurg, 2003, … [Read more...]

Innovator, Entrepreneur?

Must one be an innovator to be an entrepreneur? I have always thought so, and Drucker, who asserted that the entrepreneur is an innovator, bolsters my belief. This being said, I recently read “Worthless, Impossible and Stupid” by Daniel Isenberg, in which he makes a case for the two being entirely separate qualities and functions. I’ve always taught entrepreneurship with extensive emphasis on innovation, spending at least 25% of class time on idea generation and formation. I plan to continue to do so, perhaps because I continue to believe … [Read more...]

Class Planning, Arts Entrepreneurship

I’m working on the final revision of the syllabus for my fall course in arts entrepreneurship at Purchase College (SUNY). Of interest are 2 aspects of this course planning. First, I will only teach in person (warm body in room) 5 times during the semester. I will teach the remaining classes either asynchronously or synchronously, the latter here using video technology (check out Zoom). I will also meet twice with each student one-on-one using Google +. Second, when at the University of Maryland this June for my National Orchestral … [Read more...]

Earned Revenue? Contributed Revenue?

I continue to be puzzled, or is it defensive about the question of whether contributed revenue can be considered sustainable, especially as opposed to earned revenue.  Perhaps because of my not-for-profit background, I see both types of revenue the result of sales (although we cloak the contributed revenue domain in flowery language and avoid sales language).  This puzzlement has become a problem, as I have come to know colleagues on the for-profit side of business development, who mostly discount contributed revenue as unsustainable, soft … [Read more...]

Entrepreneurship in Music and the Arts Redux I

Student teams made their final presentations last week.  They were evaluated according to the rubric previously published.  What I would like to do in this blog posting is to feature the winning plan.  I will include the team’s PowerPoint presentation, and a copy of the scoring rubric.  The name of the project is Will Power.  I’m confident that in publishing this it will not be copied, in that the expertise needed to carry out the plan is highly specialized.  Please be reminded that this was a one-credit class.  As such, I limited the … [Read more...]

Entrepreneurship in Music and the Arts Project Evaluation

My friend, Bob Ellis, a business school professor will be evaluating student projects next week. He has provided them (and me) with this rubric. Summary Clear communication of business concept Good understanding of "what business are we in?" Good understanding of key success factors Good understanding of financial aspects Complete analysis of concept feasibility Complete analysis of value proposition Market Analysis Clear identification of target segments Clear understanding of customer buying triggers Competitive … [Read more...]

Entrepreneurship in Music and Arts Student Projects

Here are all but one of the student projects - as promised. Sound for Spaces is a group of musicians and composers that specializes in creating sound installations, designed to aurally transform a space. These installations utilize space in unique ways, surrounding listeners with sound and musical texture. By performing these works in art galleries, Sound for Spaces helps create a unique experience for visitors, while simultaneously attracting new patrons. Installations can also be created to cater to specific needs, tying in directly with … [Read more...]

Entrepreneurship in Music and the Arts, Class Reporting

Within a day or two I will post students’ project ideas and an update on progress, but for this post I want to share some observations of the process over the past 2 weeks of classes. My first observation and perhaps pearl of wisdom comes from student teamwork. I have taught arts entrepreneurship a number of times, but have not formed students into project teams before. Previously I formed students into groups to critique each other’s ideas and business plans. The reason I decided to form students into project groups was twofold. For … [Read more...]

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