The Creative Hub project began delivery in November 2013 and has supported Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the creative industry across London. The project will cease providing support to businesses in June 2015. The project is delivered by Newham College (from the Fashion & Textile Museum) Westminster Kingsway College (from their Zero One centre in Soho) and the Centre for Sustainable Fashion (London College of Fashion).
Newham College’s delivery focussed on supporting home ware designers, jewellers, soft furnishing designers, fashion designers, textile SMEs, and print SMEs. Westminster Kingsway College provided suport for SMEs in the digital, social media, design and graphic design sectors.
The aims and objectives of the project were to support SMEs in the creative sector in developing routes to market, enabling businesses to review market gaps, locate new customer bases, identify and exploit new trading places and capitalise on new media opportunities to grow their business.
To date the project has:
- Engaged 260 creative and media SMEs, and provided over 200 SMEs with 12 hours of business support
- Provided a ranges of business mentoring activities to businesses
- Established a networking community offering a business support programme that celebrates and supports London’s creative talent and will continue after the project finishes
- Provided business growth master classes/workshops
- Provided new market opportunities leading to SMEs gaining sales in new markets, created jobs and safeguarding existing ones
- Created a sustainable business model supporting creative sector SMEs
An interim evaluation has been carried out (with the final evaluation report due in September 2015) and beneficiaries of the project have stated that the project has helped them with:
- Inspiration and information on marketing strategy
- New ways to boost sales
- Confidence to look at developing international trade
- Guidance and materials to help manage development, production and selling of collections
- Creating professional marketing materials
- Networking and meeting business owners who faced similar problems
- Help with product development and organisational skills.
- Improvement of both practical and confidence skills.
- An understanding of the business world
- Professional skills helping businesses to interact with suppliers and network
- Presenting styles
The following comments have been made regarding the help, advice and support received:
“Creative Hub helped to clarify our brand, gave us inspiration and solid info on our marketing strategy which is so valuable to us at this stage.”
“Great workshops on marketing, grading etc which has helped focus my mind on things I need to do.”
“The group workshops were fantastic for networking and realising which opportunities were not being taken care of.”
“The support has been great by listening to feedback and contacting with regular updates on forthcoming events and classes. The events have been at a good level of understanding. They come with a very positive and knowledgeable approach. I have attended workshops and talks, and have improved both practical and confidence skills.”
“It has enabled me to understand more about the business world and given me the tools to be more successful.”
“The Creative Hub project has given me the opportunity to update my professional skills – learning new software, and presenting styles – in a practical manner. With each workshop and talk I have attended, I was able to easily put together a plan of action or update my current practices.”
For more information and to register your interest, please visit the Creative Hub website.