Margaret Collins is the founding executive director of the Center for Creative Economy based in Winston-Salem. The center serves as a hub providing programs and resources for creative entrepreneurs and business owners. CCE is the southeastern host for the national Creative Startups Accelerator. This eight-week program offers training in business skill development for creative entrepreneurs. Creative Startups Winston-Salem invests $50,000 in seed-stage funding during each accelerator cycle.
What do you like best about your job?
I’m passionate about creative entrepreneurs and helping them launch, grow and accelerate their businesses. Our Creative Startups Winston Salem accelerator recently launched and is now accepting applications. Any creative business in N.C. and the Southeast can apply. We offer an 8-week high impact and engaging business skills development program. It’s exciting to meet the startups each year that are keen to get their enterprises up and running. We’ve worked with 20 companies and 36 entrepreneurs over the last two years, and they are all still in business!
What inspires you?
I have a mentor and a coach that I work with closely. They challenge me to think, plan and take steps to propel the center forward. I know I can ask them about anything, and it’s reassuring to know they are there for me. These relationships have deepened over the years and inspire me daily.
Who should we be paying attention to?
The creative leaders in your community. The movers and shakers in the creative economy are people in design, media, architecture, film, virtual and augmented reality and entertainment. These leaders help define a city and give it an edge. Trust in their instincts and support their vision. Your city will prosper!
What was your biggest challenge this week?
Juggling all the balls I have to keep in the air! This has been an intense week. The Center held a launch event for the Creative Startups Winston-Salem accelerator and its 2017 Impact Report, hosted a board meeting and began discussions for a new program. Our board member from Singapore was in town, resulting in a flurry of meetings to maximize her visit.
Favorite N.C. vacation spot?
The mountains are beautiful, invigorating and always leave me feeling refreshed. I’m headed to Asheville this weekend and can’t wait to smell the fresh spring air.