Arts Commission and the Indiana Small Business Development Center improve the economic resilience of more than 100 arts-based small businesses

INDIANA – The Indiana Arts Commission announced today that more than 100 Hoosier artists have participated in the annual On-Ramp Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator for artists and creative professionals through local partnerships statewide.

On-Ramp is a national award-winning program designed to educate artists and creative professionals in ten key areas of entrepreneurship and finance and to provide ongoing mentorship and development of arts-based small businesses. 

A recent study has shown alumni of the program have been more resilient as entrepreneurs compared to similar businesses across the nation. They have retained more of their savings in the midst of the pandemic and are actively managing and tracking expenses, identifying new allies and partners, and adjusting their business plans with more success than their peers.

The local partnerships were made possible with support from the Indiana Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Minerva Financial Arts, and the Indiana Arts Commission.

The six locally-based teams were led by: 

  • Carnegie Center for Art and History (New Albany)
  • Indiana University Arts and Humanities Council and the Center for Rural Engagement (Bloomington)
  • Marion Design Co. (Marion)
  • Pathfinder Services and the Huntington Arts and Entrepreneurial Center (Huntington)
  • South Shore Arts (Munster)
  • Tippecanoe Arts Federation (Greater Lafayette)
David Watkins, State Director of the Indiana SBDC

“Entrepreneurs and small businesses make communities throughout the state places that Hoosiers want to live, work, and visit,” said David Watkins, State Director of the Indiana SBDC. “The Indiana SBDC was proud to work with the Indiana Arts Commission to take the On-Ramp Accelerator statewide and help over 100 creative entrepreneurs develop critical business skills to make them more competitive in the marketplace.”

As the next step in the process, the entrepreneurs submitted proposals for a $2,000 fellowship to directly apply course lessons to their creative career and small business development.

Proposals will be reviewed by a panel of mentor creative entrepreneurs who will provide feedback based upon their individual and collective expertise. Panelists may identify areas of the proposed project that can be strengthened and better meet career development goals, in which case applicants will modify their proposal prior to receiving the award.

Panels will meet virtually during the week of October 18, 2021. Public notice of the meetings will be sent closer to that date.

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