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April 5, 2018

How to be a better creative entrepreneur

The City of Adelaide has partnered with Business Models Inc. for The Business of Being Creative, a creative-focussed 90-day entrepreneurial incubator program.

  • Story: Johnny von Einem

When CityMag meets with Suhit Anantula, the Adelaide-based partner of Business Models Inc. (BMI), a strategy and innovation consultancy business with an international presence, it’s in the middle of a busy week spreading the good word about the benefits of entrepreneurial thinking.


Applications for The Business of Being Creative close on Wednesday, 11 April. For further information on the program, or if you’d like to apply, see here.

This Story was produced in collaboration with the City of Adelaide.

“I worked with Life Without Barriers, helping them with their next year’s strategy plan; then I worked with RAA, helping them with some social ventures inside their business, with their staff; and then there was Muhammad Yunus, which was with the City of Adelaide, so I was hosting a panel… So yeah, a whole range of things all plopped together in the same week,” he says.

Suhit has made a career of introducing entrepreneurial attitudes and ideas throughout communities who can most benefit from them, and his next venture, The Business of Being Creative, a 90-day incubator program run in collaboration with the City of Adelaide, aims to inject that knowledge into Adelaide’s creative community.

“A creative person, generally, starts with a specific skill, and a specific capability that they really want to showcase, or bring that to the world,” Suhit explains.

“They just think ‘I’ve got this amazing capability, I’ve got a product or a service I want to take into market. I’m going to create this amazing thing, and hopefully the world will buy it.’

“We want to enable these people to think beyond the capability, or the product, or the service, and say ‘How do you build a business model that will enable you to create value, but also capture value?’ and move it from a creative aspect of ‘I am this’ to ‘What value do I create?’”

This will be an important evolution for creatives to undergo, Suhit says, because of the way the global economy is trending, with developed economies leaning heavily on creative output as a point of difference.

“We really are going towards, especially as a developed economy, what we call the creative economy, where creativity is important – from design, arts, theatre, all of the traditional angles – but actually, creativity will be a significant part of every single business,” he says.

The Business of Being Creative will see 20 selected ideas, from individuals or groups, go through a 90-day workshop program, accompanied by mentors who come from associated industries or who have skills that may be useful in the development of the idea into a creative business. At the end of the process, four ideas will receive $2,500 in funds to help them commercialise.

“What we’re definitely looking for is someone who’s got creative skills – that is very a very broad range – but somebody who is interested to create or use entrepreneurship as a vehicle for their creativity to show up in the world and change the world,” Suhit says.

“If you’re ready to take the challenge, and ready to work hard on it, and ready to pursue this with all their passion, make some mistakes and learn from that, that would be the perfect candidate.”

The benefits for Adelaide more broadly, Lord Mayor Martin Haese says, is in building creative capital throughout the city, and creating a firmer network of creative entrepreneurs.

“I think Adelaide is perfectly positioned for this. We collaborate well, I think we’re known for that,” he says.

“There are lots of good people who have plenty of good ideas, but translating that into something which can be sustainably commercialised will require research; a good understanding, often, of technology; mentorship from people who’ve done it, or people who are doing it; networks; connections; [and] peer-to-peer sharing.”

Through The Business of Being Creative, it is the aim of both Suhit and the City of Adelaide that our city’s abundant creativity becomes one of the strongest pillars in our economy.

“We’re smart, green, livable, creative, so everything we do in this place is benchmarked against those four words of smart, green, livable, creative. This fits very well with a core pillar of our city council’s strategy,” Martin says.

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