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New Voices of Ireland Series 5

For 2017 the 5th edition of the New Voices of Ireland Series. Our selected theme for 2017 New Voices of Ireland is: “MIGRATION – FROM BURDENS TO OPPORTUNITIES”. Find out more from the series.

For Migrant, Experimental & Emerging Artists

Giving visibility & building sustainability

Creative Entrepreneurs Academy

Welcome aboard!

Want to know what the Creative & Artistic Entrepreneurs Academy is all about and how you can get involved?

Who We Are

The Centre for Creative Practices, CFCP, founded in September 2009, is led by an international team of Creative Managers who have worked together in Dublin since 2009. Together we have over 30 years combined experience of working in the cultural and creative sectors and 15 years combined experience of working with innovation and technology projects.

Having worked with 1,500 individual creatives from all over Ireland and with various Creative Organisations we have realised that the entire Cultural and Creative Sector is missing training in the basic business and entrepreneurial skills necessary to sustain careers.

Utilising our own experience of combined over 30 years of working in the Sector plus three years of entrepreneurial training programme provided for us by Arthur Guinness Fund and Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, plus our education in Creative Management we run the successful Creative Entrepreneurship Programme. The enthusiastic feedback from the programme has convinced us to develop to the service to include courses, online resources and mentoring opportunities to address this urgent need of helping the Sector to become more sustainable.


Monika Sapielak
CEO/ Founder


Centre For Creative Practices
The Old Milking Parlour
Ballymurrin Lower


Our one of its kind our Creative Entrepreneurs Training and mentoring programme has been delivered to in excess of 800 full time creatives, Micro enterprises, SME’s and 3rd level students over the past 4 years, all of whom were looking for individualised focus on the business side of their practice to support their sustainability and economic growth.

The training has been delivered through extended courses, 4 day Bootcamps and 1 – 2 day workshops which have included recent participants from film and set design.  From the first Creative Entrepreneurs Bootcamp 26 of the participants were invited by the New York Foundation for the Arts to hold a 4 month exhibition in New York.  The group included filmmakers, musicians, visual artists, graphic designers and performers.

We have been contracted to run a Creative Entrepreneurs Bootcamp as part of the Wertep International Theatre Festival in Poland in August 2016.

Our training courses cover Introductions to Creative Entrepreneurship, Start Your Own Creative Practice, Marketing for Creatives and a series of practical “How To” workshops on topics relevant to the creative sector such as finance, marketing and crowd-funding.

Parallel to this each semester we run a Creative Entrepreneurs Course for 3rd level students from Film, Digital Media, Photography and business related disciplines in Dublin. This is a project based course where students work together to produce a defined outcome.

We have also been invited to give training sessions to creative groups, such as ArtNet in Dun Laoghaire; organise and facilitate for the Arts Council of Ireland a day on Opportunities for Creatives to over 127 creatives with information provided by 26 organisations.

On the mentoring side we have provided and continue to provide mentoring to over 75 creatives and creative enterprises from animation professionals to film and documentary producers as well as creatives from a number of different spheres.  The mentoring has been on developing their business, career development, audience engagement, grant applications and identifying opportunities to show / present their work at various film festivals.

So far the training and mentoring has been conducted in Ireland, both North and South, England and Poland.

Five years of experience in delivering this cutting-edge Creative & Artistic Entrepreneurs Training allows us to combine in-depth knowledge of the Creative Sector – its specific needs, culture and expectations – with a good understanding of the requirements, standards and challenges for an effective Incubator & Accelerator type of training and support.

Our dedication to Creative Entrepreneurs Training is the result of having run a multidisciplinary arts venue in Dublin for five years where we worked with over 1,500 creatives of all disciplines, 200 creative and cultural organisations and hosted over 750 events from major to small in scale for over 16,000 audiences in total.

All of the Creative Freelancers and organisations (micro–SMES) we worked with were affected by one condition – not knowing how to make a sustainable living with their creative practice or programme. To better understand their needs and opportunities for the Creative Entrepreneurs education we designed and conducted a Needs Assessment Survey with 275 responders that informed the structure and the content of our Creative Entrepreneurs Training programme.

From this survey we have also learned that Creatives require an entrepreneurial education that is specifically developed for them and delivered in an environment and style that appeals to them and that they will not attend similar programmes in Management or Business Schools.

We also have been on the receivers’ end of Incubators and Accelerators services in Ireland for our recent Start-up, ArtConnected. Thanks to this we have not only gained first-hand knowledge of the structure of available programmes’, involved mentors and investors in Ireland but also realised that none of them is equipped to accommodate the specifics of the Creative Sector. There is very limited culture of private or public-private investment in the Creative Sector. It is a global problem that: “Creative businesses are also, in many cases, faced by a lack of ‘investor readiness’. This is where potential investors are reluctant to invest in creative propositions due, for example, to a combination of negative stereotyping, the absence of necessary sectoral knowledge, low levels of sector-focused investor expertise, and thus a perception that creative businesses are too risky.”[1]

We have worked with a number of organisations working in the Creative Sector such as RTÉ Television & Radio; Filmbase; Dublin Institute of Design; Irish Film Institute; National Audiovisual Institute, Poland; Dublin Theatre Festival; Dublin Film Festival; Dublin Writer’s Festival; Dublin Dance Festival and Dublin City Council; The Arts Council, numerous embassies; the Department of Rural Affairs and the Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.

We have given papers and presentations on Creative Entrepreneurship and the Role of Entrepreneurship in arts and culture in Ireland and the UK to creatives, academics and organisations.

Finally, we have also worked with Local Government, Local Enterprise Offices, Local Arts Offices, Arts Organisations and Venues, Universities, Businesses and Community Groups throughout Ireland, auditing and engaging the artistic and creative community within specific geographic regions. We worked on advising and designing sustainable projects that utilise art and creativity as the main driver to effect sustainable economic and social change within the specific region and beyond – i.e. The Shannon Creative Development REDZ Project.

The experience we have gained with the Creative Entrepreneurs Training Programme @ CFCP and as Start-Up Founders has greatly informed our decisions on how we planned and structured the training, networking and other supports that aims to activate the creative and economic potential of the creative Start-ups and SMEs in the South East region, to stimulate its further economic development and connect the region to the global economy.

Looking into the future we also see an enormous opportunity to develop the first Incubator / Accelerator programme for the Creative Sector to Ireland, and one of very few globally. Ireland could not only become a global leader and provider of best practices in training and support for Creative Entrepreneurs but also it could become a case study for stimulating regional growth through activation and harvesting of untapped opportunities created through integrating the Creative Sector into the regional main stream economy thanks to a visionary investment in their entrepreneurial education, growth and business development.

The Team

Monika Sapielak

CEO ArtConnected & Founder of CFCP

Award-winning Artistic Director, Curator, Arts Manager, Producer, Social Entrepreneur and CEO with 25 years of work experience in the Arts.
Special interests include: Interculturalism, Participatory Arts, Multidisciplinary Arts Programmes, Transnational Artistic Programmes and Collaborations, Artistic Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Arts Sector.
Strongly dedicated to developing and presenting artistic programmes that are inclusive, socially engaged, supporting integration of migrant, experimental and emerging artists as well increasing participation of disadvantaged members of society.

Ian Oliver

Head of Creative Entrepreneurship, CFCP

Ian has over 15 years’ senior management and entrepreneurial experience in the Arts, creative and technology Sectors and 4 years’ experience working with Local Government, Local Enterprise Offices, Local Arts Offices, Arts Organisations and Venues, Universities, Businesses and Community Groups throughout Ireland, auditing and engaging the artistic and creative community within specific geographic regions.

Currently Ian is working on advising and designing sustainable projects that utilise art and creativity as the main driver to effect sustainable economic and social change.  He also teaches and mentors artistic and creative entrepreneurship training to adult learners and undergraduate students.

Key Notes / Presentations


Bratislava, Slovak Government – Paper on the Role of Entrepreneurship in the Creative Sector – Conference: Developing Talent & Opportunities
Bratislava, Slovak Government – Paper on Connecting Creative Talent and Opportunities – Conference: Developing Talent & Opportunities
San Sebastian, EC Commission – Paper and Panel member on Creative Entrepreneurship – EC University Business Forum
Trinity College, Dublin – Paper on the Role of Entrepreneurship in the Creative Sector
DIT, Dublin – Paper on the Role of Entrepreneurship in the Creative Sector
Pécs, Hungary – Paper on the Role of Entrepreneurship in the Creative Sector – Conference to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the opening of faculty of music and applied arts


Southampton, Solent University – Paper about the need for Creative Entrepreneurship Training for Cultural Practitioners;


UCD – Irish Arts Policy Conference;
Cork – Mid-summer Festival – Sharing Resources in the Arts;


PICAS, Belfast – New Forms of Interculturalism;
UCD – Arts Leaders talk to MA in Arts Policy and Management students; Dublin;


UCD – Arts Leaders talk to MA in Arts Policy and Management students; Dublin;


UCD – Arts Leaders talk to MA in Arts Policy and Management students; Dublin;


Cork, National Sculpture Factory – “Do you speak art?”

Recent Articles / Papers

Sustainability in the Cultural & Creative Sector

We feel that a sustainable cultural and creative sector produces more good news stories, which in turn leads to increased engagement, greater public awareness of their importance and greater public funding. One of the ways we can achieve this is through education of creatives, professionals and organisations.

Innovation in the Cultural & Creative Sector

At CFCP we are always looking at innovative ways technology can improve the lives of Creatives and the Cultural & Creative sector. Our first project is a new an innovative online platform, ArtConnected, which will make collaboration, engagement and discovery a lot easier and enhance creative practices.

Leading Intercultural Creative Practices

The Centre for Creative Practices (CFCP) is the first intercultural Creative Organisation in Ireland and in Europe leading and shaping culturally diverse arts practice. CFCP is dedicated to integrating, promoting and mentoring migrant and local niche creatives. We also have access to and engage with a diverse range of minority ethnic and cultural communities.

Advocacy & Research

At CFCP we provide research backed data to help discover what a sustainable Cultural and Creative Sector needs.  The only way that we can advocate for change is to find out about the needs of all working in the CCI sector and make sure that the findings are put into practice.