Turning creative pursuits into livelihoods: Washington Department of Commerce launches new Creatives Academy

Free, self-directed learning series tailored for creative occupations teaches essential skills to build a successful small business

OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington Department of Commerce has launched its new Creatives Academy, the third in a series of self-directed educational academies for small business owners. Designed to teach the essential skills needed to turn a creative pursuit into a successful small business, the academy contains 11 tracks. Lessons range from developing a business mindset and accessing capital to finding customers, creating winning pitches and negotiating terms.

The Creatives Academy lessons are available at MyStartup365.com. It joins two other academies on the state’s small business resource site, the Entrepreneur Academy and Restart Academy. A smaller series covers Mastering Financials. All of the training materials are free of charge and do not require registration.

“The creative sector is an essential part of Washington’s economy, employing nearly 400,000 workers,” said Lisa Brown, Commerce Director. “As I travel around the state, I am continually impressed with the tremendous talent we have in Washington, from artisans and musicians at community festivals to those exploring their passion for craft brewing, dance, coding or 3D printing. There is so much untapped potential in the creative sector.”

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are more than 250 specific creative occupations, including artists, performers, musicians, technicians, video game designers, 3D designers and modelers, projection mapping artists and sound designers. To ensure that the sector is appropriately resourced, Commerce is also hiring a Creative Economy sector lead to oversee development of a comprehensive strategic plan that will open new opportunities in the industry, especially in rural and underserved parts of the state.

“Creatives are really good at bringing a new idea to life, but the nuts and bolts of running a business and monetizing their work can be somewhat mystifying,” said Robb Zerr, Senior Managing Director at the Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness. “The Creatives Academy was designed from the ground up to lift that veil of mystery and teach the practical skills needed to own and operate a successful creative enterprise.”

Learn more about all of Commerce’s small business services and assistance programs.


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