Creative Exchange is a social enterprise that specialises in building partnerships and networks to help small, largely creative entrepreneurs and organisations develop and grow. We understand the culture of young business and the new wave entrepreneur and find innovative ways to support them in learning how to negotiate the world of commerce. We are part of Impact Hub, an international network with co working spaces in all our partner countries, which serves our target group.
Creative Exchange has also worked with creative people and arts organisations for over 10 years on a variety of programmes and projects both private and publicly funded. It works alongside creative people, social enterprises and business enterprise agencies offering a range of specialist help in order to develop effective, profitable and sustainable businesses.
Working with Businesses
Through our mentoring and support programmes we provide innovative businesses with the assistance they need to flourish and grow by understanding and eliminating the frustrations they experience when accessing public business support systems.
Through our programme ANIMATE which works internationally, we help the creative entrepreneur deal with the business issues that are often a barrier to growth within this sector.
Our business planning service helps growing businesses formulate medium and long term objectives and get them ready for investment or additional funding.
Our work in building creative clusters:
We have successfully built an active and sustainable creative sectors in the various parts of the country that have prospered and grown attracting new businesses into the area and generally aiding the regeneration of dilapidated and unloved areas.
We work with a wide cross-section of the creative industries as well as hard-to-reach sectors. Among our current clients are a number of independent businesses in the fields of public and private art; innovative young musicians; designers and performers for whom we are providing business planning and funding advice. We are also involved in helping established creative businesses expand through commercial sponsorship and venture capital funding.
PRODEST (successfully EU funded 2016-2018)
website: PRODEST – EU funded project
Role: UK Partner
Entrepreneurship is recognized as a powerful driver of economic growth and job creation: it creates new companies and jobs, opens up new markets, and nurtures new skills and capabilities. One of the main recommendations by the EU Commission Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan (2012) is to promote entrepreneurial education and training, however, the uptake and the effectiveness of entrepreneurship education in Europe are still far from being fully satisfactory. This is mainly due to lack of suitable materials and lack of skills in trainers.
Storytelling is a very effective methodology because it brings together the rational and the emotional, and elicits identification and emulation in the listener. The growth and ubiquitous diffusion of the web makes it possible to use digital storytelling in the training and educational field to great effect.
This project will develop sense of initiative and entrepreneurship with a number of tools:
a number of videos, in different formats, of young entrepreneurs telling how they started their business, what challenges they face and what skills they need in their day-to-day activity. The videos will be placed on YouTube and be accessed by educators and trainers in their activities with NEETS, apprentices, students in secondary education, VET or university.
Leonardo Evangalista (March 2016)
SHADOWS – (Successfully funded Sept 2016 – 2018)
website: SHADOWS – EU funded project
Role: UK Partner
theme: Youth Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship drives innovation, competitiveness, job creation and growth. It allows new innovative ideas turn into successful ventures and can unlock the personal potential of individuals. The Entrepreneurship Action Plan 2020 (EAP 2020) states that “investing in entrepreneurship education is one of the highest return investments Europe can make” and the Europe 2020 strategy recognises entrepreneurship and self-employment as key for achieving smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. To bring Europe back to growth and higher levels of employment, Europe needs more entrepreneurs. EAP 2020 sets out a number of actions to be taken to support entrepreneurship in Europe including “developing entrepreneurial education and training” and “identifying positive role models”.
Young people have been hit hard by the global economic crisis and youth unemployment levels remain persistently high as the recovery in Europe advances slowly. Youth unemployment rates at the end of 2015 in partner countries One stark feature of the current employment crisis is the high number of graduates currently out of work or working well below their skill and educational level. In the words of one commentator “this is painful human face of the crisis as world’s best and brightest are wasted” (Angel Gurría, The Times).
On top of being essential drivers for diversity, the cultural and creative industry sector is one of Europe’s most dynamic sectors comprising highly innovative companies and contributing approximately 2.6% to EU GDP. It is a sector with high growth potential and provides quality jobs to over 5 million people (Eur-Lex: Green Paper – Unlocking the potential of creative industries, 2010). Cultural and creative businesses often contribute to boosting local economies in decline, contributing to the emergence of new economic activities, creating new and sustainable jobs and enhancing the attractiveness of European regions and cities (DG Enterprise – Working Paper 2011). EU cohesion policy has recognised the multifaceted contribution of the cultural and creative industry sector to its strategic objectives of convergence, competitiveness and employment.
Philip Land 2016
HEADS-UP (successfully funded Sept 2017 -2019)
Role: UK Lead Partner
Theme: Raising awareness of how radicalization happens for greater individual safety and country security
The internet is now the leading entertainment and research platform having taken over from conventional media forms such as TV, newspapers, books and magazines. Most people carry a smart phone and have access to tablets or laptops and, therefore, have constant online access. Social media platforms are easy to use, free and fast, enabling individuals and organisations to reach into every home and to target their messages to millions. This virtual cosmos provides unlimited opportunities for sexual predators, political and quasi-religious fanatics, and Internet trolls intent on grooming young people who are most often the primary target audience.
Extremist organisations have developed calculated and sophisticated strategies to radicalise, recruit and even train people through social media platforms.
The media-savvy generation is becoming increasingly addicted to competitive online gaming where much of the action takes place in hostile environments. The pro-aggression attitude within the on-line gaming world promotes bullying and harassment as well as contributing to homophobia, racism and misogyny.1 Gaming has been identified for many years as a way for organisations to interact with young people.
These are all issues that front line educators and youth workers are expected to address with their target groups. Young adults need support in any type of education but the vast and ever developing online world poses many challenges and potential dangers. HEAD-UP want to build the skills of front line workers through in-service training and a series of simulated videos that explicitly demonstrate those online threats. This practical, user friendly set of resources will enable educators to support their target groups more effectively by teaching them how to identify and address potential radicalisation and grooming tactics.
The project will target teachers and front line workers dealing with young adults in all educational settings and adults at risk of online threats and radicalisation.
Creating New Markets
Many small businesses successfully reach their target markets for the first year or two of their business, but find as demand changes and their business idea develops that they are not reaching new markets which are available
Creative Exchange together with SFEDI [Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative] created a Level 3 qualification designed specifically for entrepreneur in the creative industries. It was delivered via two 1-day workshops , plus distance learning and peer to peer work over 6 weeks.