I had the pleasure of attending a unique networking event hosted by Liam Gooding. The event attendees included artists showcasing their work and business people. I was quite surprised to see that the artists congregated on one side of the room, and the entrepreneurs congregated on the other with very little integration.

I enjoyed speaking with the one artist who chatted to me at length, however I was a bit saddened by the artists / entrepreneur divide when we have so much in common. Artists are creators. True entrepreneurs are creators. Entrepreneurs create opportunities out of nothing as an artist ads beauty to a canvas or shape to stone. Entrepreneurs carve out business growth through pig-headed determination. Entrepreneurs create opportunities for themselves, create employment for others and create tax revenue to support our nation. Entrepreneurs have the vision to create business opportunities that most people don’t even see.
“In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.”    Michelangelo
Roy MacDonald, Aquarius7a was one of three speakers at the event. He talked about how he brought the concept of a London ‘Fusion Media Centre’ to Canterbury. My understanding is that a Fusion Media Centre is a place for ‘creatives’ to gather, work and sell their creations. There’s a gallery downstairs, but they’re putting a sound studio upstairs and workspaces for designers, you get the idea. I was struck that this is actually an old concept with a new commercial twist, however you never know what group of artists will become the Bloomsbury Group of the 21st Century. I believe there’s always potential for great things to happen when creative people pull their energy together.
In Roy’s presentation, I felt he was quite justified in proudly talking about how he launchedAquarius7a without any funding. I agree, as a bootstrap loving entrepreneur, I know exactly how it feels to create a business from nothing and with no investment or savings. What did disappoint me is that he assumed that because we’re ‘business people’ that we would think starting up a business without investment was a radical concept. The fact is that entrepreneurs throughout the country are starting up small businesses without any investment. For most of us, life is less Dragon’s Den and more Back Bedroom Den.
It is both in both the nature of the artist and the entrepreneur to have the vision to create.