Business Acumen for Artists - Overview


The Business Acumen for Artists (BAA) short course at the GSB teaches the basics of business so that creative professionals can elevate their art and develop a sustainable business.

The course runs once a week in the evenings over 13 weeks and delegates are further supported by six months of mentoring. As the course unfolds, delegates will gain key business skills from how to manage their finances to negotiating decisively when pitching a product and pricing an idea. This is a profound and practical investment for artists and creative professionals who will emerge more confident about their creative aspirations and be much better equipped to work creatively without being as vulnerable to exploitation.

This is not a theory-based course - it works with each creative to hone and develop their offering into something which can be shipped and sold by the end of the programme. The course will culminate in a formal pitch of the idea that you have developed and concretised into a viable business offering on the programme.

Applicants are encouraged to have a specific artistic goal to be achieved by the end of the programme.

Is this course for me?

Are you a singer, actor, designer, director, photographer, poet, jeweller, ceramicist or illustrator? Any freelance creative who is in the process of establishing a career in the field of music, digital media, visual arts, theatre, film or literature would benefit from this short business course for artists, which also affords the opportunity to network with other creative professionals.

Key take-outs

  • Become fluent in the language of business.
  • Learn to manage your finances to market yourself more effectively.
  • Understand how to price a product or service.
  • Be able to negotiate decisively when pitching your product and pricing your work.
  • Translate your work into a viable product or service.
  • Explore your own leadership and negotiation style.
  • Create and finalise a business plan.
  • Understand budgeting, cash flow, freelance tax and other money matters.
  • Project manage your work more effectively.
  • Network and learn from other creative professionals.
  • Explore web-based strategies for personal branding and convergence.
  • Monetise your offering online.
  • Develop a marketing strategy on a shoestring.
  • Develop a sales and prospecting mindset.
  • Apply new skills through journaling and reflection.
  • Build a community of practice.

Course information

The BAA executive short course runs in Cape Town on the GSB campus. For more information please contact our Executive Education department at the UCT Graduate School of Business on 0860 UCT GSB or email

TBC for 2019

Application deadline:
TBC for 2019  

Tuition fee:
TBC for 2019


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