The value of creative businesses is well documented as an important part of the global economy, providing jobs for almost two million people in the UK alone.
Nesta and British Council acknowledge this value and see the importance of encouraging creative livelihoods to thrive in countries where the creative industries are less understood.
By working with creative entrepreneurs, industry advocates and British Council teams around the world, we aim to strengthen local creative networks and communities of practice.
For many years, we have been working in partnership with British Council to deliver the Creative Enterprise Programme (CEP).
Developed from the Creative Enterprise Toolkit, the programme’s core offer is a three-day capacity-building workshop to support creative entrepreneurs in establishing and growing their businesses. These entrepreneurs work across a variety of creative disciplines: arts and culture, fashion, handicrafts, digital, publishing, gaming and performance arts to name just a few.
In late 2016, the programme underwent a major redesign to increase compatibility with wider regional and local creative economy agendas, generate longer term impact, and build lasting legacy. As a result, the Creative Enterprise Programme allows British Council country teams to respond to demand, shape the programme content to suit their creative entrepreneur landscape and, in turn, increase the sustainability of the programme.
We have since embarked on a global roll out and responded to a variety of challenges in different regions. Since the redesign, between November 2016 and February 2020, workshops took place in 43 cities (across 25 countries!) to more than 1,800 creative entrepreneurs.
A team of Creative Enterprise Programme Workshop Associates have been recruited to deliver the programme. These associates are committed to ensuring a consistent and high quality learning experience for the participants. The associates are creative entrepreneurs in their own right and are well placed to support participants on Creative Enterprise Programme. The UK-based associates facilitate the core three-day workshop and also support our “local” associates. The local associates are based in British Council target regions in order to embed the programme in the local landscape. They do this by increasing reach to creative communities, drawing on real market knowledge, connecting with participants through shared culture and language and maintaining longer term engagements with participants for maximum impact.
Workshop associates are already involved in Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, Turkey, Uganda and Ukraine.
The programme developed from the Creative Enterprise Toolkit, which Nesta first launched in 2007. The toolkit is a practical resource to help people plan, build, test, communicate and launch new creative businesses.
You can purchase a printed version of the toolkit via the Nesta Shopify store. It is also available as a free PDF download and has been translated into 11 languages.