Start your own creative business with the tools, training, and support that Spaceworks Tacoma can bring to your idea. Since 2010 Spaceworks has helped over 100 entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses.
One of the programs Spaceworks offers, called Creative Enterprise Tier I, helps individuals or teams to develop business plans for for-profit or non-profit businesses and organizations with focus on creative or innovative approaches.
As the application deadline nears, we would like to answer some common questions about the program:
How does the program prepare me to build a better business?
Creative Enterprise Tier I consists of 14 classes that include market research, legal issues, accounting and financials, visual merchandising, branding and marketing, and more. The participants are partnered with coaches to strategically build their individual business plans.
At the end of the program each business pitches their plan to a panel of experts at Fish Tank, to receive feedback and get a first chance to publicly present their brilliant ideas.
Is this only for startups?
No, this program is designed to help you build a strong business plan no matter how long you’ve been in business. Some of the participants have been in business for several years, and some of them are just starting. What’s most important is that you have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish and we’ll help you develop it further.
Is there a cost to participate?
After being accepted to the program, participants pay a program fee on a sliding scale of $50-200 determined based on household income of the main applicant. The fee is charged per business application, not per individual comprising the team. There is no application fee.
Do I need to look for physical space in order to participate?
Creative Enterprise Tier I helps you to develop the business plan that works for your creative needs and the needs of your customer base. Many of our participants sell through online marketplaces, farmer’s markets or community events, or develop wholesale contracts. Some participants find commercial spaces to lease on their own and learn more about the ins and outs of the process in our classes and with coaches. You will develop the strongest plan to suit your business while in our training program.
Does Spaceworks provide spaces to businesses in the Creative Enterprise Tier I program?
No. Spaceworks helps entrepreneurs to identify the right space for their businesses and consults on lease negotiations. Spaceworks works with property owners of vacant buildings who are looking to activate their spaces. Not all available spaces are the right match for our clients and many of our clients find spaces on their own.
What other resources are available to small businesses and entrepreneurs in addition to the Spaceworks program?
We encourage you to use as many resources and programs as you think will benefit you and your business. There are great resources for entrepreneurs available in Tacoma and Washington State, you can see our list on the resources page.
What if my business is only an idea and I don’t have any photos to submit with my application?
That is not a problem. We love seeing your creative ideas, even if they haven’t been implemented yet. Our Creative Enterprise Tier I program can help turn your ideas and dreams into a sustainable business plan. You can submit mockups, sketches, relevant past experiences and inspiration images. Anything that helps to clearly communicate your vision to the selection panel.
What kind of businesses have been accepted to the Creative Enterprise program?
Examples of creative enterprises:
- Retail space for hand-made items (i.e. jewelry, fashion, art, etc.) – example: Stocklist Goods
- Services (i.e. art or dance classes, design advice, etc.) – example: Sound Movement Arts Center
- Merchandising a creative product – example: Grit City Grindhouse
- Art Curators – example: The Cultureshock Collective
- Creative home-based businesses testing their product in a retail environment – example: The T-shirt Men Company
- Office space (individual or co-working) for creative business, for example: digital media company or photographer with a digital darkroom – example: Pointline
For a full list of past participants please see our Creative Enterprise page.
We have created an application checklist for you to print out and get organized. The Application Deadline is June 29th, at 9am in the morning.