Program At-A-Glance

Through an application process, 15 creative businesses are selected for an intensive yet supportive 12-week program. Eligible creative businesses are entrepreneurs who are actively making and selling products in the market (either wholesale or directly to customers) with a minimum of one year of operations.

ErieMade participants will:

  • Develop an actionable business plan that positions business owners to access capital (through grants and loans), hire, and make the leap into commercial production or retail space.
  • Learn from experts on topics such as legal considerations, business finances, and successful marketing strategies.
  • Connect to peer creative business owners who share struggles, goals, and opportunities to collaborate.

3 Main Program Elements

Entrepreneurship Curriculum:

The ErieMade cohort will meet at the 1020 Collective space in downtown Erie for 8 learning sessions consisting of an innovative and cutting-edge creative entrepreneurship curriculum. Sessions will include guidance from successful creative entrepreneurs, content experts on topics such as marketing and legal matters, and group activities to encourage growing and learning together as a cohort.

Business Coaching:

ErieMade provides the opportunity for one-on-one mentoring from the program facilitator, who is an experienced business advisor with expertise in leadership, market research, business strategy, and more. Program participants are also encouraged to meet with the program facilitator during ErieMade “study weeks” which includes a two-hour session held at the 1020 Collective where participants can drop in and discuss the curriculum content.

Connections and Networks:

The 15 participants in the ErieMade cohort will develop valuable relationships with peer entrepreneurs, support resources, mentors, and more. The cohort will also receive a free one-year membership to 1020 Collective, where entrepreneurs are encouraged to co-work, collaborate and stay tapped into Erie’s dynamic creative community.

In partnership with Bridgeway’s Creative Business Accelerator, ErieMade will be facilitated by Amanda Duncan, a community builder and business consultant based out of Erie, Pennsylvania. Throughout her career, she has supported entrepreneurs, small businesses, and nonprofits with strategic and operational guidance. As the current Community Leader of Radius CoWork, a community of over 170 freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners, she has played a significant role in fostering an environment of growth and collaboration. She is also the owner of Chiara Consulting, a business consulting firm, where she partners with entrepreneurs and business owners to streamline their operations, increase productivity, and achieve their goals more efficiently.

About Amanda Duncan

ErieMade features a new collaboration between Bridgeway Capital’s Creative Business Accelerator and 1020 Collective, a graduate of the 2022 ErieMade Business Academy. 1020 Collective is an art and event space located in the heart of downtown Erie, Pennsylvania, that includes multiple galleries, a multi-purpose event space, a unique state-of-the-art recording studio, a cafe, and a store. The ErieMade program sessions will be held at 1020, and program participants will receive a free, one-year membership to access 1020 resources and spaces.



  • Identifies as an artist, maker, designer, craftsperson, and/or small-batch manufacturer (please visit the PA Council on the Arts for samples of creative business types that would likely realize the most success from ErieMade)
  • Aspires to become a full-time creative business owner
  • At least one year of business operations
  • Has access to technology, including a computer and internet
  • Located in Erie County
  • Willing to complete pre and post-program surveys


  • BIPOC, women, and/or veteran-owned creative businesses, and/or
  • Creative businesses living and/or operating in low to moderate-income areas
  • Having demonstrated goals to realize social and economic impact, including hiring, activating main street commercial spaces, and growing visibility for Erie-based businesses

Program Benefits and Goals

Phase One: The ErieMade Intensive

  • 15 participants
  • 8 cohort learning sessions (two hours each) held at 1020 Collective
  • Additional weeks in between learning sessions for Cohort members to gather at 1020 Collective to study or meet (making this an 11-week program in total)
  • One-on-one coaching
  • Complete pre-business assessment surveys
  • Participants graduate with an actionable business plan
  • Culminates in final “pitch” event and celebration

Phase Two: Implement the Plan

  • After the 11-week program, participants receive six months of ongoing support to put their plan into action
  • Three sessions of one-on-one coaching for each participant after the program to stay on track as
  • Complete post-business assessment surveys at six months
  • $500 in services (legal, marketing, etc.) to achieve business plan goals
  • Participants with business plans will be eligible to apply for Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator grants of up to $2,000 from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and patient and flexible loan capital from Bridgeway Capital. Eligibility to apply does not guarantee access to funds.
  • Participants are encouraged to participate in the Erie Maker Market through 1020 Collective, with the goal of generating sales and providing visibility for participating businesses

Session Dates

Wednesday Evenings From 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

May 17 – July 26, 2023

1020 Collective, 1020 Holland St, Erie, PA 16501


ErieMade sessions will be held in person at 1020 Collective on Wednesday evenings from May 17 through July 26, 2023. Participants are expected to attend all eight two-hour learning sessions, with optional study sessions available during “study weeks,” and complete assignments outside of classroom time. On average, ErieMade requires 5-8 hours weekly to participate. This challenging and exciting program culminates in a graduation event celebrating participants’ hard work and accomplishments.

Session Topics

The Entrepreneurial Mindset & Setting Goals

  • Program overview & expectations
  • The entrepreneurial mindset
  • Developing Goals
  • Visioning

Mission & Values/Defining Your Products and Customers

  • Defining your “why”
  • Evaluating your products and services
  • Identifying your target market
  • Building Customer Personas

Branding & Marketing

  • Marketing 101
  • Reaching Customers
  • Branding & Style Guides

Marketing & Sales Channels

  • Marketing 201
  • Sales Channels & Sales Funnels
  • Choosing the right channel for you

Legal & Operational Considerations

  • Entity formation
  • Contracts
  • Key Partners, advisors, and technology for creative businesses
  • Business Best Practices

Basic Finances & Taxes

  • Assessing your financial needs
  • Understanding budgeting and forecasting
  • Cash flow management
  • Introduction to financial statements and financial management

Funding Your Business & The Pitch

  • Understanding funding sources
  • Grant opportunities
  • Preparing for opportunities
  • Perfecting your pitch

Presentations & Graduation

  • ErieMade participants, facilitators, and mentors gather at 1020 Collective to share and celebrate growth
  • Friends and family are invited to attend
  • Participants share their presentations
  • Time to mix and mingle, enjoying the successful completion of ErieMade.

The Creative Business Accelerator (CBA)

The CBA helps creative businesses grow their businesses in ways that support equitable economic development. Questions? Contact us to start a conversation.

Contact Us