Advantage Creative

Managing Director John Holmes

Expert areas

Business development; business strategies for growth; fundraising strategies; access to commercial funding and crowdfunding; identifying, accessing and developing new markets; team development and growth.


John’s qualifications include a BA (Hons) in English Language & Literature, a Distinction in the Kingston MBA, and a post-graduate Certificate in Mentoring. He is a Visiting Research Fellow at Staffordshire University and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA).

Current business support activities

John works with our partners on the design and delivery of our creative industries incubator and accelerator programmes. This includes the current Maker Bootcamp project for young creative entrepreneurs funded by the Nat West Skills & Opportunities Fund, and a series of talks, workshops and one-to-one mentoring for creative industries entrepreneurs with a focus on commercial funding.

John currently leads on our British Council Creative Spark project, working with partners in Georgia to develop new models of enterprise and entrepreneurship for creative startups, and he contributes to our work in Brazil on developing models of enterprise training for marginalised communities.


John Holmes has over 20 years of experience in managing cultural businesses including theatres, festivals, museums, music education and tourism. In addition to this, his experience as Chief Executive with an arts marketing agency provides him with valuable skills in strategic marketing and organisational development.

John led the project team that delivered the original Factory programme of business support for creative industries in Staffordshire, through which he organised creative industries workshops, seminars and conferences, showcasing events, a film festival and  1:1 business advice and mentoring to a wide range of creative industries SMEs and start-ups.

Contact John
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