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The Business of Creativity

An expert guide to starting and growing a business in the creative sector

By Michael Jacobsen

Paperback £16.99 / $29.99
eBook £14.99 / $17.99
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The Business of Creativity

An expert guide to starting and growing a business in the creative sector

By Michael Jacobsen

Jacket text

Would you like to earn a living following your creative passion and doing what you love every day? This book will show you how.

In The Business of Creativity, Michael Jacobsen draws on his rich experience of owning and operating global entertainment businesses to provide the practical guidance that creative start-ups need to get going.

His two key mantras are that each business needs a vision, mission and values, and that the route to success is to observe those who have been successful in your sector and to model their approach. As well as explaining exactly how to do this, he covers the business essentials that all creative entrepreneurs need to consider.

The creative sector is worth £36bn a year to the British economy; it is big business and the opportunity is there for entrepreneurs in creative industries to start up and build successful businesses. But bridging the gap between creativity and commerce can be difficult – some see a conflict between artistic integrity and a profit motive, and how exactly do you take your spare room creative enterprise to the next level?

In this book Jacobsen looks at:

– what foundations to put in place to get your business started
– how to set up and grow your business
– sources of funding and tips for organising business finances
– what angels and other investors will look for
– where to find support
– the psychology of business success.

There are also numerous case studies from successful creative businesses of all sizes and wisdom from high-profile businesspeople operating in the creative sector.

This straight-talking business guide is packed with actionable advice and essential tips to give you everything you need to start and grow your creative business.

About the author

Michael Jacobsen is an Australian-born entrepreneur and businessman, now based in Europe. He holds a Bachelor of Business Degree from UTS in Sydney, a financial Diploma from the Australian Securities Institute and is a former Justice of the Peace.

He is an entertainment producer, business consultant and business mentor to start ups and growth businesses, predominantly in the UK and European creative sector. He also sits on the board of the Australian Centre for Event Management, a Division of the University of Technology Sydney (

Michaels core businesses have historically been entertainment and finance. He has founded and co-founded numerous businesses, both small and large, across a variety of business sectors. In Australia, the UK and Europe he has mentored many start ups, small businesses and growth businesses, and guided them forward, helping to elevate their market position globally.

This work has included taking numerous companies to market, counselling companies on how to become investable and then assisting them in gaining finance, venture capital and private equity.

Michael was founding co-producer of Dirty Dancing - The Classic story on Stage (, which held its world premiere in Australia in 2004 and has since played in Holland, Canada, the USA, Germany and London’s West End. It set box office records in both Germany and London. He also co-founded Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand, and sat on the board of the development company and the arena itself for a number of years ( He was also executive chairman of the Capitol Theatre in Sydney for six years ( He has been involved in the promotion of concert tours by Elton John, Bruce Springsteen and Barbra Streisand.

Michael is passionate about education and in addition to his work as a business mentor, he lectures at universities in Sydney and London (University of Westminster), is a mentor at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy, has acted as a resident entrepreneur for the Start Up Britain campaign and is a mentor for the Doug Richard School for Creative Start Ups.


“Anyone contemplating a fresh business opportunity, or who is already involved in a successful enterprise, will benefit from reading this excellent 220-page paperback.”

– Business Money magazine

“Michael Jacobsen’s book is packed with practical advice and addresses – everything a creative sector entrepreneur needs to know to run and grow their business successfully. Highly recommended!”

– Luka Blackman-Gibbs, NACUE Create manager

“The Business of Creativity is a must-read for any aspiring creative or digital media entrepreneur. It is a practical resource encapsulating years of experience which I thoroughly recommend to you if you want to run a business in these sectors.”

– Jon Bradford, managing director, TechStars

“A great guide for anyone thinking about embarking on their entrepreneurial journey, the lessons and examples here are valuable to creative and non-creative propositions alike. If you’re considering starting a business, or if you’re already in the middle of doing it, you should read Michael Jacobsen’s book before you make your next decision!”

– Andrew Humphries, Founder, The Bakery London and UKTI Dealmaker

“With The Business of Creativity Michael has produced a brilliant overview of all of the issues around building a successful enterprise in the creative sectors. With practical resources, interesting case studies and real-life advice, this book should be a must read for creative, media and digital media entrepreneurs.”

– Ian Merricks, managing partner, White Horse Capital LLP

“Michael Jacobsen is a creative entrepreneur who has been there and done it. He knows what it takes to make it in this sector and in this insightful guide he draws on the benefit of his experience to point aspiring creatives in the right direction. I recommend it.”

– Doug Richard, founder, School for Creative Startups

“As a serial entrepreneur, Michael delivers a refreshingly creative and practical take on the essentials of starting and running a business.”

– Guy Rigby, entrepreneur, business enthusiast and author of ‘From Vision to Exit: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Building and Selling a Business’

“The market is saturated with books giving advice to prospective entrepreneurs whereas The Business of Creativity is probably unique in targeting the creative sector. I know Michael, his success speaks for itself, and his voice is so clearly heard throughout this book. Amazingly he has produced a working tool for creatives intending to build a business but equally cleverly his advice applies to all who want the inside know how on how this can be successfully achieved.”

– Michael Vine, Founder, Objective Productions and manager, Derren Brown

“Michael Jacobsen is a great entrepreneur and has made a substantial contribution to the British creative sector. The Business of Creativity shows his commitment to nurturing and mentoring entrepreneurs, and provides very valuable and wise counsel to those in the creative sector. Given the highly valuable experience and advice it combines, I thoroughly recommend it as essential reading and a must-have resource.”

– Eric Woollard White, board member, Peter Jones Foundation and founder, Thirty7 Productions

“This book is a must read for every creative industry entrepreneur, or any entrepreneur for that matter. Michael delivers several lifetimes worth of business experience in a very accessible, straight to the point way. Read and succeed.”

– Eric Woollard-White, entrepreneur, producer, investor and trustee of the Peter Jones Foundation

Media coverage

From Business Money :

From Broadway to publishing, Michael Jacobsen ? the Australian entrepreneur who brought Dirty Dancing to the West End stage ? is a highly prolific individual. Anyone expecting his book to be all taps and flounces could not be further from the truth. I believe that anyone contemplating a fresh business opportunity, or who is already… Read more »

Read More…

From Book launch, The British Library:

The official launch of Michael Jacobsen’s book at The British Library, July 18th 2013

Read More…


About the author

1. Curtain Up - Getting Started In Business
The Ingredients for Success
A Sound Footing for Your Business

2. How To Set Up Your Business
Vision, Mission and Values
General admin and tax (the boring stuff)
Choosing a Business Structure
Business Systems
Buying a Business
Starting a Creative Sector Business at Home

3. How To Grow Your Business
The Biggest Mistakes When Starting a Business
How to Write a Business Plan
Proof of Concept
Legal tips

4. Finance And Funding
Financial Ratios
Financial Statements
Day-to-Day Finance
Sources of Funding
Other Funding Channels for the Creative Sector
How to Pitch for and Raise Money
How to Take On an Investor and Manage Them

5. Where To Find Support

6. Psychological Mastery
Tips for Psychological Mastery
Fitness and Psychology

7. What To Do Next
Combining it with Your Job
Doing it from Your Spare Room
Making the Break - Going It Alone
What Do I Do and How Do I Do It?
Some Inspiration

8. Famous British Success Stories

9. Words Of Wisdom

Next Steps

Concluding Thoughts - How to Become a Professional Business Person Without Losing Your Creative Streak


Published: 24/06/2013
Edition: 1st
Pages: 230
Formats: paperback - ISBN 9781908003362
ebook - ISBN 9780857193216
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