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Mamamia chats to Clare Bowditch: "Do what you love, make money, and save the world just a little bit."

Clare Bowditch is one of Australia’s most respected songwriters and performers, not a bad actor (she was nominated for a Logie for her work on Offspring), and is one of the most genuine people in the entertainment industry today. That one, you’ll just have to trust me on.

But if you do need proof, one of Clare’s other creative projects should prove it: Big Hearted Business.

Big Hearted Business is Bowditch’s “rather demanding love-child”, which she founded after becoming frustrated that there weren’t more resources for creative types. She established the group as a way of showing people the ropes, sharing knowledge, and bringing people together.

Clare says she saw lots of “talented, creative people struggling to work out how to make a living doing what their good at, without losing their integrity or sort of burning out” – and decided that she wanted to do something about it.

“I just wanted to create community spaces where creatively inclined people could talk,” Clare says. “We teach creative people about business, and business people about creativity in ways that make sense.”

That is, essentially, what Big Hearted Business is all about. Teaching left and right brain skills, to people who usually only use one of those sides.

One of the big projects that Big Hearted Business has coming up at the moment is their conference. Or, as they like to call it, their (un)-conference. The upcoming (un)-conference will be held on May 3 and 4 in Melbourne, and will be a day of inspiring speakers, delicious organic food, and networking with like-minded people. The speakers line-up includes Canadian author and entrepreneur Danielle La Porte, singer Missy Higgins, ‘creative accountant’ Meredith Fannin, and Director of Music with the Australia Council for the Arts Paul Mason – among many others.

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Clare says that the reason she calls it an (un)conference is that “wanted to make absolutely sure that those who are interested in this kind of thing are aware it’s not your average conference… with your really stale sandwiches, lack of fresh air, and boring PowerPoint presentations”.

Instead, Clare and her team have gone to an “insane” amount of effort to make the conference as beautiful and interesting as possible. They want people to have a pleasant time while they’re there, and also take away valuable skills that will help them in their creative pursuits.

“It’s a great big investment for an artist, but I think everyone there knows that we’re really there to try and help,” Clare says. “It’s a bunch of us getting together and asking, ‘how can we help other artists’?”

“People who believe – like I do – that if you build your business on the basis of community and contribution to the world, then you’ll be doing something with your life.”

There are all types attending the conference, with actors, writers, bloggers, fine artists and “people who have random left brain” all coming along for the day.

Clare says that at the end of the day, the people attending “have people with a lot of heart”.

“People who believe – like I do – that if you build your business on the basis of community and contribution to the world, then you’ll be doing something with your life,” Clare explains.

Basically, Clare says the goal of the (un)-conference  – and of Big Hearted Business itself – is to help people “do what they love, make money, and save the world just a little bit”.

Now that’s a business model with a lot of heart.

You can find out more about Big Hearted Business here. You can find out more about the (un)conference here

Tags: entertainment-tv , lifestyle , movies-and-music
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