Scale Your Passion is helping Baltimore creatives turn ideas into businesses

Doing what you love and making a living don’t have to be mutually exclusive. That’s an idea at the heart of entrepreneurship. Yet, so often, a much-loved activity doesn’t start as a fully formed business. Creating a model that provides can be a journey.

With a virtual program coming up in December, the Baltimore Creatives Acceleration Network (BCAN) is looking to convene community and tools for the first, crucial steps.

BCAN is set to hold Scale Your Passion, a free, two-day program, on Dec. 2 and 3. Applications for the 40 program spots are open through November 1.

It’s among a growing group of Baltimore pre-accelerator programs, which describes resources for founders at the idea stage. It’s also a pilot for BCAN as it seeks to help creatives grow local businesses. Created as a citywide initiative, BCAN is seeking to create space to explore that transition point from idea to business. Creatives may not always see entrepreneurial resources as being designed for them, and Scale Your Passion also comes as many in the creative community are working to adjust and build anew given the pandemic’s prolonged shifts.

So BCAN is tapping the city’s creative community to help build. Entrepreneurs such as Mess in a Bottle owner Kalilah Wright are leading workshop sessions.

“Baltimore’s always been a place for newness, for creativity, and where creatives, especially Black creatives, could see reflections of themselves,” said BCAN program director and entrepreneur Sharayna Ashanti Christmas, who is curating the Scale Your Passion event and will also present.

The two days of programming includes workshops on team building, operations, branding, finance and legal.

The resources are designed to extend beyond two days. Participants will get paired up with an accountability partner from the BCAN team and community that can help to document and stay on top of goals, and receive a physical toolkit to serve as a guide.

Such resources to start can be especially useful to an economy at a time when new venture creation is especially important. There are lots of decision points to build along the way, but the first steps of sitting down and doing the work to figure out whether an idea is something that others need and tapping into a community can help others see what’s possible.


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