Innovating Through Artistry

Lisa Canning

Lisa 2009Lisa Canning is a pioneering female artistic entrepreneur who launched her first entrepreneurial venture, at 17, from her dorm room at Northwestern University. In 1986, less than 16,000 students in business schools across the United States were studying entrepreneurship. Back then in the world of the arts, no one even knew what the word meant– except for Lisa.

As a serial artistic entrepreneur for almost thirty years, Lisa Canning has created not one, but six multi-million dollar ventures that each experienced double digit growth for over twenty five of the last twenty eight years, using her imagination and creativity. In 2005 Lisa sold five ventures: a musical mail-order and rental business, 3 retail stores and a real estate property management company, totaling over $12 million dollars of combined revenue. Her sixth million-dollar venture and current business, Lisa’s Clarinet Shop, requires less than twenty hours a week to produce a six-figure income.

Lisa’s newest start-ups include her seventh venture, Entrepreneur The Arts which is an innovative training resource for artists, corporations, universities and governments. Her eighth start-up, The Bite-Size Arts Ensemble, is an interdisciplinary artistic ensemble devoted to the advancement of entrepreneurial creativity. Her ninth, will open as The Institute For Arts Entrepreneurship in the fall of 2010 at 3020 N Lincoln Avenue Chicago, Illinois.

Canning was honored in 2004 by The National Association of Women Business Owners as Business Owner of The Year and featured on Music Trades Top 200 List of Music Retailers in the United States for ten consecutive years.

As an accomplished clarinetist, Canning has performed with members of the Chicago Symphony, Lyric Opera Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Florida Symphony Orchestra and Milwaukee Symphony. Her most current CD, The Music of Donald Draganski was released on Albany Records and features the works of composer Donald Draganski.

Canning spent ten years as a faculty staff member at DePaul University in Chicago, while also serving on the university’s School of Music Advisory Board of Directors. While at DePaul, she developed a Career Development Course for Artistic Disciplines, built a creative career regional job fair, jump-started several student-run creative entrepreneurial organizations and taught and mentored students in different artistic disciplines. All of these efforts served to help students with their career and entrepreneurial advancement.

As a public speaker since age twenty, recent presentations include: Columbia College- Creative Entrepreneurship Conference, The Illinois Institute of Entrepreneurship Education, National Association for Women Business Owners, RISE- A Relationship & Information Series for Entrepreneurs, Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization and the Self Employment in the Arts Conference.

To learn more about Lisa, listen to a recent podcast interview- click here to listen:

Lisa Canning

To read Lisa’s most recent posts click here:

  1. Thanks 4 what U do. Knowing that people like U R (out) there, no pun intended, isn’t enough. Being allowed 2 experience U brings it all together and makes the moment all that more Enjoyable in the Pursuit of AWE. I can’t say this any better. UBNICE & Flourish. CC

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