For creatives, particularly those of colour coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, starting a business can seem like an elusive dream. In most cases, you are not equipped with enough capital to start the business, or you don’t have any business knowledge to begin with. All you know (and are interested in knowing) is how to design, sew, sing, or whatever medium of art you use. Even attempting to research where to seek help from can be a burden because it’s like, where do you go? Where do you begin?
To the creatives with an entrepreneurial spirit, as well as those that just want to make a buck out of their respective hustles but don’t really know how to, we have compiled a list of 5 opportunities to upstart your creative business:
Emerging fashion designers will be pleased to know about AFI Fashion Week’s Fasttrack initiative. The initiative, according to their site, “identifies and invests in the best of the continent’s young designers, by providing them with direct access to mentorships, media exposure, and business acumen, through yearlong programmes that prepare them to navigate the fashion landscape.” The Cape Town edition of the event is taking place from 12-14 March, and entries are now available but it is not clear when exactly they close. And considering the fact that the event is taking place in a little over six weeks’ time, they should be closing soon.
Boiler Room x Ballantine’s True Music Fund
Boiler Room x Ballantine’s ongoing campaign to cement themselves in South African culture the way they have worldwide has culminated in them introducing the True Music Fund. This initiative is geared towards musicians, creatives, and/or event organisers that are trying to bring about a positive change in their communities through “events that celebrate [their] local music scene.” Financial backing, as well as mentorship from Boiler Room is granted to successful applicants.
Digital Lab Africa
Digital Lab Africa is a platform dedicated to incubating young creatives with innovative ideas. Their incubator program is geared towards an array of different fields within media and art: digital media, animation, immerse realities, video games, and music. The range of benefits intended for successful applicants are as vast as the number of documents one has to submit to be considered, but it is extremely worth it. Especially if traveling to France for mentorship is something that might pique your interest.
The National Youth Development Agency
We know that seeking help from the government is not the most desirable option to have, but hear us out. The NYDA, although not strictly designated for creatives like the other initiatives we’ve mentioned, it seems like it’s worth a try since it’s geared towards the South African youth. The programme grants successful applicants with financial and non-financial services (mentorship, consultancy services, etc)
- South African Creative Industries Incubator
The SACII is a creative hub that offers a variety of services within the creative sphere, and one of them is business incubation within various industries. Although there’s no mention of monetary benefits, what the initiative will give you as the incubatee is mentorship, bookkeeping services, access to production facilities, etc. – all resources that will be beneficial for any budding entrepreneur.