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Artists add creative twist to entrepreneurship

By Hallie Busta

Robin Monique Rios has been an artist since childhood, but only in recent years has her penchant for art become the basis of several profitable ventures.

From an 11,000-square-foot space at the Zhou B Art Center in Bridgeport, Rios runs 4Art Inc., a gallery featuring her work and that of nine other artists. But the location is also home to Rios’ other business ventures, including website and graphic design services and art framing. “I know this is where I’m supposed to be,” she said. “I know that with every fiber of my being.”

Tips for launching an arts business

Launching an arts-based venture requires planning, producing and selling. SmallBusinessChicago asked Joe Roberts, professor of arts entrepreneurship at Columbia College in Chicago, and Barrett Baebler, director of entrepreneurship and nonprofit management at Webster University in St. Louis, to provide tips for artists on running sustainable business ventures.

Financial constraints spurred buy-out of local tech company

Facing a software overhaul that would cost him nearly $1 million, Chicago-based Geckotech founder Josh Robbins looked to a longtime competitor and strategic partner for help. Robbins sold the business he started seven years ago to M5 Networks, a larger player in New York last year, seeing the buyout as an opportunity to leverage his […]

News Digest: China visit, conventions, health care and more

Staying on top of  the news can be a time-consuming task. SmallBusinessChicago has scoured various news outlets to bring you current summaries of business stories with local relevance: Chinese state visit includes Chicago trade forum. Chinese President Hu Jintao touched down in Washington, D.C. Tuesday afternoon on an official state visit that includes a stop in Chicago later this […]

What does it take for a successful startup? Serial entrepreneur Mike Rhodes shares six strategies

Speaking before the Business Network Chicago’s Entrepreneur Group Tuesday evening, SYNC Technology Center founder Mike Rhodes shared six strategies for success: passion, professionalism, willingness to connect, acceptance of change, persistence and having business goals that help others. Perhaps most importantly, businesses need to be flexible enough to change. “There’s nothing wrong with regrouping and revamping […]

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