Organisational Sustainability & Business Skills Development Programme

Organisational Sustainability & Business Skills Development Programme

What: During 2018, Arts & Business Scotland, supported by Creative Scotland and Skills Development Scotland, are working with a group of cultural leaders from arts & heritage organisations, on a programme that stimulates enterprise & entrepreneurship.

Why: This programme is designed to embed enterprise and entrepreneurship within all aspects of organisational activities to develop sustainable creative business models for growth and sustainability and alleviate the financial pressures of a changing economic climate.

Who: Open to cultural and creative leaders from arts and heritage organisations across Scotland.  The programme is fully subscribed for this year.

Outcomes: Taking part in this programme, will enable participants to know how they can make their organisation more sustainable and actively initiate/lead change in their organisation.  It will enable organisations to be more effective in generating the resources to enable them to deliver their purpose.

Commitment: Participants are taking part in a 6-day programme to immerse themselves in what should and can change. This will consist of three sessions of two-day workshops (including overnight stay), where they will hear from inspirational speakers and learn about key issues and opportunities from business and cultural sector professionals who will share their expertise and experience. These sessions will be delivered at the A&BS offices in Edinburgh.

Learning content: Development areas covered include:

  • Context / Introduction / Group forming day – “An invitation to an alternative future” What does ‘sustainability’ look like?
  • Where does your funding come from?
  • Financial model alternatives
  • Social Enterprise – moving to a more ‘commercial set-up’
  • Governance / legal / organisational structure alternatives
  • Collaboration and/or “co-opetition”
  • Ethical and sustainable practice (Equalities, inclusion, diversity and environmental)
  • Employment alternatives
  • Devising and implementing a development plan

Application process: Interested parties were invited to submit an outline of the relevance of taking part in this development programme, including a brief description  of the challenges and opportunities that their organisations face, and the aspirations that they have for developing and implementing more progressive operational models that move from a subsidy to sustainability mindset. As noted above the programme is fully subscribed for this year.

Timeline (2018):

Monday 12 March
Deadline for submission of applications to the programme

Week commencing 2 April
Notification of successful applicants

Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 June
Delivery of first two-day workshop sessions

Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 September
Delivery of second two-day workshop sessions

Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 November
Delivery of third two-day workshop sessions

During March 2019
Follow-up evaluation on implementation of developed initiatives


£500 per person (+ VAT)
Cost includes overnight accommodation (one overnight stay per each two day session)

Bursaries are available to cover some travel from outwith the central belt.

Supported by