Building good habits when it comes to finance


It’s time to get serious about the finances in your creative business. The start of a new year is all about building good habits when it comes to finance. After all you wouldn’t start driving a car without first learning the basics about driving would you! Learning the basics for managing the finances in your Read the full article…

CreativeXPO – two day event exploring creative careers


CreativeXPO – FREE advice for all creative types 27th / 28th January 2014 @Rich Mix (35 – 47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, London, E1 6LA) In need of direction, inspiration, and a kick-start this New Year?  Looking to start or further a creative business but need advice? A budding artist? Or perhaps you want a Read the full article…

Special Offer: MyCake Toolkit for School for Creative Startups


We have a special offer at MyCake this month for businesses that are part of the School for Creative Startups community. New registrations to the MyCake bookkeeping and benchmarking toolkit will receive £10.00 off the cost of a 12 month subscription. If you are looking for simple and easy to use bookkeeping software for all Read the full article…

Commissioning opportunity for South East based artists: HOUSE 2014

Brighton and Hove’s annual visual arts event HOUSE 2014 are inviting applications for this year’s artist commissions. Hurry though there is one week left to apply, the deadline is Friday 17 January 2014. HOUSE 2014 have launched a commissioning opportunity in partnership with Lighthouse, Brighton Festival, Photoworks, The Regency Town House and University of Brighton. Read the full article…

Arts Council England open application process for NPOs


The next round of funding for National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) is open for applications. From now until 17 March 2014 the Arts Council England application process is accepting submissions from UK organisations for the next three years of funding streams for the period 2015 – 2018. In the announcement yesterday from ACE, Chief Executive Alan Read the full article…

Culture Benchmark Workshop: setting the baseline against which to compare progress of your Catalyst activities

The purpose of this half day workshop is to respond to the various enquiries that we have received about whether and how the data in the Culture Benchmark can be used to benchmark your current income generating activities against your peers. As you are probably aware the Culture Benchmark provides a mix of free and paid services to arts organisations to help them to use financial data to adapt their business model in response to the changes in arts funding. Benchmarking is something that works both at an individual organisational level and with clusters of organisations who have something in common.

In this afternoon event we will help you:

  • Structure your thinking about how you are leveraging both your tangible and intangible assets into new income streams
  • Work out what comparison groups would be most useful to you … by turnover range, geography, and by sector and types of activity
  • Understand how the data held in the Culture Benchmark can be used to set a baseline against which to compare your income development progress … not just as an organisation comparing progress against your own history but also by comparison to your peers and thus the ‘average’ and ‘best in class'
  • Work out what ‘best in class’ looks like for your type of organisation and mix of activities
  • Use benchmark data to set targets internally and communicate your successes to your stakeholders

The plan is that by the end of the session you will have:

  • Clarity on what comparisons are most useful to your organisation
  • Clarity on who to class as your peers within the context of this income development work
  • Thoughts on clusters of peers you might like to convene on an occasional basis to share experiences with
  • Understanding of how the Culture Benchmark could be used in your organisation (along with clarity on what’s available free vs. what is included in a subscription)

Event details: SOLD OUT**
Time: 2-5pm
Date: Wednesday 19 February 2014
Location: The Showroom, 63 Penfold St, London NW8

All recipients of ACE Catalyst funding are eligible to attend this free workshop but places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. To attend please book here on our eventbrite page

**please email to register your interest for a future seminar.

What is benchmarking anyway?
If the concept of benchmarking is new to you and you are wondering what it is and how it works you might find these free resources useful:


We are hosting a free half day workshop at the Showroom in London from 2-5pm on Wednesday February 19th for any (or all!) ACE Catalyst funded organisations to learn how to use benchmarking data to set a baseline against which to compare the progress of their Catalyst activities. Places are limited so please book here Read the full article…

EU Funding: New Creative Europe Opportunities


The European Commission has announced the first calls for the new Creative Europe programme. With a budget of EUR 1.46 billion between 2014 and 2020 – 9% more than current levels – the programme will provide a boost for the cultural and creative sectors, increasingly regarded as a major source of jobs and growth. Creative Read the full article…