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

A free, self-directed learning series designed for creative professions 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 activity into a successful small business, the academy contains 11 tracks. Lessons range from developing an entrepreneurial spirit and accessing capital to finding clients, creating winning pitches and negotiating terms.

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

“The creative sector is a vital part of Washington’s economy, employing nearly 400,000 workers,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “As I travel across the state, I am continually impressed by the immense talent we have in Washington, from artisans and musicians at community festivals to those exploring their passion for craft brewing, dancing, coding, or writing. There is so much untapped potential in the creative industry.

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 the sector has the right resources, the trade is also recruiting a creative economy sector manager to oversee the development of an overarching strategic plan that will unlock new opportunities in the industry, particularly in rural and underserved areas of the state.

“Creatives are really good at bringing a new idea to life, but the inner workings of running a business and monetizing their work can be a little confusing,” said Robb Zerr, Senior Managing Director at The Bureau. 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 business.”

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