No more planning, let’s start a business!

As much as we value strategic planning there is a reason why that old bromide about reports gathering dust on the shelf exists. SPOTLIGHT is a new way to turn cultural strategies into action by turning cultural opportunities into businesses.

What does SPOTLIGHT do?

  • Brings together a community’s cultural and business leaders to identify opportunities that can be commercialized within the next 12 months.
  • Identifies new enterprises that increase tourist visitations and new business ventures
  • Identifies practical actions that can be completed in the next 12 months
  • Identifies actions not more strategies or plans
  • Breaks down the silo between commercial and cultural operators

How does SPOTLIGHT work?

SPOTLIGHT is two phase program that starts with an immersive and intensive three-day community event. We bring a team of experts in culture, business development, tourism, operations, and marketing to work with the community. It’s a full slate of events that brings the community’s cultural, business, and tourism entrepreneurs together to identify the top 10 cultural opportunities that will generate new revenue for the community.

To be considered, the cultural opportunity needs to be:

  1. Commercial — It must create employment and businesses… it must draw people into the community who spend money.
  2. Authentic – It must use the area’s natural, cultural and historic resources without needing major new capital or infrastructure.
  3. Sustainable – The opportunity must not degrade the natural and historic resources of the area and in fact should contribute to their protection.
  4. Educational – The new enterprises should enlighten users and give them further insight into the history and ecology of the area and an appreciation of the unique sense of place.
  5. Experiential – The opportunity should involve visitors and users in an experience that engages them with the area and the activity.

The second phase of the program is to work with entrepreneurs to commercialize the opportunities. First up is a community-wide communications program to attract potential entrepreneurs to take on the opportunities. We work with those people or groups that come forward to launch their new venture through boot camps to solidify their ideas, develop business plans, and form relationships; Dragons’ Dens to identify funding; and over the long term, a program of mentoring, coaching, and training. 12 months on, new businesses and jobs!

Who are the program’s collaborators?

SPOTLIGHT projects are a collaboration of local governments, tourism organizations, arts, culture, and heritage organizations, business associations, and local entrepreneurial services.




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