Despite overwhelming evidence for the importance of the arts in our lives, funding is being cut, which leads to a scaling down of arts activities, lower numbers of events and fewer jobs. It has thus become increasingly important for creative people to earn their living by setting up and running their own businesses, sustainably and with diverse income streams. 

Artists are often concerned with the creative side of their life, the content. When it comes to dealing with management issues, legal, finance and marketing, they may lack much needed knowledge and simply give up on providing wider community access to their art. Often artists take on paid full-time employment irrelevant to the arts, only able to devote themselves to arts in their spare time. This leads to emotional discomfort and limits creativity.

The significance of my research lies in understanding key motivations and the ways to overcome barriers to become a successful entrepreneur in the arts sector as well as identifying essential skills and knowledge required to support the development of the entrepreneurial spirit in the arts sector. This issue will become a focal point for opening up discussion and learning about best practice, professional development, and ways in which the arts sector can best be supported and nurtured to grow a new generation of creative entrepreneurs.

Findings of the research will add yet another dimension to existing entrepreneurship theory, putting theory into the creative economy context. It is expected that this work will lay the foundations for the author to develop a university module to teach at BA level to arts majors across the UK. 


elena%20shampanova%20photoElena is an international arts management professional with a diverse education background in cross-cultural communication, PR and marketing for non-profits, and arts management. She’s been working as an Arts Project Manager and later Head Marketing and Communications for British Council Russia since 2003, where she’s developed an insight into the cultural industries in Russia and the UK, together with a diverse network of arts professionals in both countries. Her interests lie in creative industries and their contribution to local economies, community arts projects, arts provision for children and young people. With MA degrees in Communication and Arts Management, Elena founded Art for All company in 2014, to provide business management and coaching services for creative people and organisations, and offering Arts Awards to children and young people.

Her clients include :

Her supervisor is Dr. Simone Wesner, and Elena’s email is: