By Matthew, director, Detroit Creative Corridor Center
In November of 2012, the Aspen Institute and the PNB-NAPEO Algeria Local Chapter invited the Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3) to take its business acceleration program on the road for Global Entrepreneurship Week 2012. The scope of work, falling under DC3's recently launched “Creative Industries Academy” module, involved developing and facilitating a 2-day program that shared business development best practices with a small cohort of creative industry entrepreneurs and leaders in Algiers, Algeria.
DC3 leadership worked closely with leadership from the PNB-NAPEO Algeria Local Chapter and program managers from the Aspen Institute to ensure the curriculum it developed achieved the following objectives: (a) share strategic planning concepts and applicable case studies reinforcing those concepts, (b) provide 1-1 business development counseling and coaching, and (c) develop and reinforce peer-to-peer support networks between participants. Once the curriculum was complete, DC3 leadership travelled to Algiers, Algeria to facilitate the program.
Over the course of two days, fifteen creative industry entrepreneurs and leaders from Algeria discussed concepts ranging from visioning, S.W.O.T. analysis, objective setting, metrics, and tracking to client development, client management, and client support in lecture and discussion style settings. Individualized strategic counsel was offered by DC3 leadership and, more importantly, by fellow creative practitioners during group workshops. Topics surrounding the business climate in Algeria, the importance of developing international relationships, and the role benchmarking plays in helping inform market identification strategies were addressed in strategically placed free-form discussions and, more importantly, over amazingly delicious Algerian pastries, home-cooked couscous and robust coffee.
DC3 leadership also spoke at the Global Entrepreneurship Week – Algeria opening conference and facilitated client development/management workshops in partnership with various corporate entities headquartered in Algiers.
The team at the DC3 looks forward to continuing to develop the relationships made while engaging in this work and related work falling under the PNB-NAPEO "Creative Cultural" module. Future projects discussed include entrepreneurial exchanges between the leadership of the creative sector businesses enrolled in the DC3’s Creative Ventures program and leadership from creative sector businesses in Algiers, facilitated asset mapping activities focused on developing stronger creative clusters and markets in Algiers, coordinating joint exhibition opportunities for creative practitioners in Algiers and Detroit, and joint venture opportunities between Detroit-based and Algiers-based businesses.