Thinking of starting up your own business in the UK creative industries?
Being your own boss and making a living from something you LOVE to do is fantastically rewarding. But finding the right advice and support can be challenging.
MediaNation has put together a list of our current TOP 10 favourite creative business resources to help steer your business idea to success.
1. Links to Enterprise
Links to Enterprise is a project aimed at helping people to harness and develop their enterprising skills. As well as a comprehensive enterprise training programme focused on business start-ups, they also provide practice trading opportunities and on-going support and guidance for budding entrepreneurs.
They also run a FREE Introduction to Enterprise Workshop every month.
The workshop covers:
- Starting your business on a minimal budget
- Developing the skills needed for starting up successfully
- Identifying business vision, mission and objectives
- Drafting a perfect business pitch
The next few dates are: Thursday 9 July (11am – 2pm); Thursday 13 August (11am – 2pm); Thursday 10 September (11am – 2pm).
To book a place email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also find them on Facebook:
2. Nesta Creative Enterprise Toolkit
Nesta is an innovation charity with a mission to help people and organisations bring great ideas to life.
The organisation produces an excellent Enterprise Resource Toolkit, containing tried and tested methods for teaching enterprise skills to creative individuals who are thinking about setting up a business.
The Toolkit is made up of four handbooks to help shape your creative idea into a business, plus worksheet activities to explore and visualise the key issues about your business, case studies of successful creative entrepreneurs who have used the tools, and tutor notes for creative entrepreneur supporters.
The Toolkit costs £19.99 and is available to order through Amazon UK. But if you want to save your pennies you can download the first handbook for FREE here:
3. Creative Industry Finance
Creative Industry Finance is a programme designed to help creative and cultural enterprises to secure the finance and investment needed to develop and grow into sustainable businesses.
The programme offers tailored business support to a wide range of creative enterprises, with a focus on supporting them through the process of applying to one of their lending partners for a business loan.
They also run events across England. Their website has lots of good stuff on too – see link below.
Creative Industry Finance is lead and managed by Creative United, with National Lottery award funding from Arts Council England.
Find out more here: https://www.creativeindustryfinance.org.uk/
The official Gov.uk website is a good starting place for you if you have an idea for a business but unsure of what you need to do to progress to starting up.
At the ‘Starting Up a Business’ page you’ll find advice on how to take your idea and turn it into a business, researching the market, funding, business plans and the formal steps you’ll need to take to make your business legit.
Here’s the link:
5. The Wall
The Wall is an online community for enterprising students run by NACUE, a charity that works with young people across the UK looking to start their own company, work as self-employed or freelance. They help students to set up societies and collaborate on projects, too.
The Wall website provides you with all the information you might need to start your own business, start and run an enterprise society, or simply explore your options during and after study.
Registration to The Wall is FREE.
Here’s the link:
6. Creative Skills
If you are based in Cornwall you may well have heard of Creative Skills. Creative Skills provides advice and support for Cornwall-based visual artists and designer makers/craftsmen.
But you don’t have to be based in Cornwall to make use of the organisation’s excellent web-based Guides. In the Creative Business section of their website you’ll find clear Guides on everything from writing up a business plan to starting up. If you are based in Cornwall, you’ll find information on regional networks you can tap into and other regional opportunities.
Here’s a link to the Creative Business section:
7. Cultural Enterprise Office
The Cultural Enterprise Office is a real gem of a service for creative micro-businesses based in Scotland. For the record, a micro-business employs less than 10 people with a turnover less than £1.6 million. They also help individuals build the skills and knowledge they need to succeed.
The organisation supports Scotland’s creative businesses through all stages of their business journey, providing FREE specialist information and advice, as well as training and networking opportunities.
You can call them during normal working hours, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. They’re also open late on a Wednesday, until 8pm. Whether you want to request an advice session, or just find out how they could help you, the number to call is: 0333 999 7989.
They also run some fantastic FREE business and career-enhancing events across Scotland and you can find them all on their website.
Find out more about the work they do, here:
8. Creative England
No list of resources would be complete without a well-deserved mention for Creative England.
This not-for-profit organisation is dedicated to the growth of the creative industries in England. They invest in talented people and their creative ideas, nurturing the country’s richly diverse games, TV, film and digital media industries.
They work to secure a sustainable infrastructure of support for creative companies outside London as well as promoting the creative talent of the English regions to the world.
It is well worth a daily visit to their Business section on their website. Here you’ll find the latest creative business news, workshops, funding and other opportunities.
Here’s the link:
9. Business Wales
At the Business Wales government website you’ll find everything you need to know about starting, running and growing a business in Wales. There’s a section on funding and a rather handy Business Events Finder.
Support for business includes information, advice and guidance delivered online, over the phone through their dedicated Helpline, and face to face through their Business Wales Centres. Centres can be found at St Asaph, Bangor, Wrexham, Aberystwyth, Brecon, Newtown, Llanelli, Pembroke Dock, Swansea, Trefforest and Newport.
Here’s a link to the site:
nibusinessinfo.co.uk is a free service offered by Invest Northern Ireland. It is the official online channel for business advice and guidance in Northern Ireland.
The website has all the essential information, support and services for you and your business – all in one place! Great for established companies as well as start-ups and individuals thinking of starting up.
It has a dedicated Creative section where you’ll find information on topics like how to get funding and business support, NI Creative Tax Relief and finding a business mentor. You’ll also find sector-specific information for games, music, photography, comedy, visual arts, broadcasting and publishing.
Here’s a link to the creative section: