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Scotland's Cultural Enterprise Office share their incredible expertise

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by Startacus Admin

As you know July is our Glasgow startup month - an entire month when we take a good hard look at this marvellous city and all the people, places and events that make it the great startup place that it is!Cultural Enterprise Office

What we have been hearing in particular from all the lovely people we have featured so far is that within Glasgow itself, and indeed Scotland generally, there is an incredibly rich, diverse and comprehensive support network in place to help those who are starting their own business.  

One organisation which is surely setting the standard for provision of such support is the Cultural Enterprise Office (CEO).  

Based in Glasgow, but serving the whole of Scotland, CEO is the country's foremost business support and development service for creative micro businesses and cultural practitioners.

Ardent supporters of all things cultural and everything enterprise, we simply had to pick their expert brains during our Glasgow Startup month.Their answers to our questions make essential reading for anyone involved in creative industries in Scotland or indeed anyone starting a business there.

Firstly are there any aspects of starting a business which creative entrepreneurs perhaps tend to struggle with?

It can be different for different people whether they are working individually or collaboratively.

Creative entrepreneurs at times can struggle with using business language to promote their products and services. As their work is personal, they can find it hard to detach themselves from their work and can see it as selling their soul. They need to realise they aren’t the business, they are the personality.

We are Scotland’s specialist business support and development service and we support creative entrepreneurs to work through challenges like this in our Regional Advice sessionsStarting Out workshops and with guides such as Defining Your Work.

Definition of success can be different in the creative industries as it is not always financially or income generation based; for a non-profit company it could be related to performance or profile.

From the perspective of starting a business, how do you think that Glasgow measures up against other UK cities such as Belfast, Bristol and Manchester (our next featured city)?Glasgow Startup

There is a lot of support in Glasgow and the conditions are very favourable, especially in the creative sector. You have national agencies like Business Gateway and programmes like Starter for 6 which we run available in the city, plus Glasgow based organisations such as Entrepreneurial Spark. The support structure augments to create the conditions that support new entrepreneurs. Glasgow is still a really easy city to live in with areas where you can rent or buy flats for a reasonable price and afford another bedroom when you can dwell and dream. Then there are lots of reasonably priced offices as well as new emerging hubs like Wasps Studios South Block where our main office is based.

The environment in this city is shaped by its music, its vibrant educational institutions, the visual arts scene as well as other creative endeavours. Glasgow has particular qualities. What other city would be so wounded when its Art School went on fire? You have to support new businesses and work with the characteristics of the city. There is a devil may care attitude here and for younger people starting out as it is a very cheap place to start. Lots of businesses start in Glasgow because they want to stay here and we have other businesses where creative entrepreneurs are returning from places like London because they were disappointed with their life there and bring back what they have learned here.

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Published on: 29th July 2014

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