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Building a Business Base for Creative Entrepreneurs

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This story appears in the November 2011 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
Special Report

State of the Creative Nation
Creative arts entrepreneurs are building new businesses while reinvigorating cities and towns across the country. We checked around to see who's creating what, and how this growing creative class contributes to economies small and large.

In the drizzly Pacific Northwest, Andy Fife is a rainmaker for the region's thriving arts community. Through Shunpike, a Seattle-based arts organization, he has helped nurture more than 2,500 creative enterprises across Washington, providing a solid financial foundation for the region's most prominent entrepreneurial artists.

So what's his big secret? "We mostly focus on writing a business plan, creating a marketing plan, securing funding, establishing lines of credit," Fife says. "That, itself, could be considered innovative in the art world, where most people aren't trained in the business fundamentals."

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