The skills of local, creative entrepreneurs were celebrated at a special event in the University of Ulster’s Jordanstown campus this week, when they showcased their work to an audience of tutors, mentors and professionals.
Each participant had successfully completed the Creative Thirst project, a partnership between the University and the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) which aims to help individuals set up their own businesses.
Within a learning environment, a programme was organised to offer a helping hand to those involved in the creative industries, who need to acquire the necessary skills to set up their own ventures.
Students were able to consider the potential and the challenges of becoming self-employed and were shown how to develop a business plan and portfolio as well as the appropriate use of IT presentations and promotional material.
One of the many strengths of the programme is the support and advice given through one to one mentorship from leading people in a variety of fields within the creative industries.
The project has been developed by the WEA in response to specific needs identified in the creative industries sector and follows other successful programmes during the last few years.
And to prove just how successful the latest project has been, students put on an eye catching display of their exquisite hand made crafts including jewellery and graphics at the Jordanstown event on Wednesday.
It followed on from a similar event at the Magee campus and further celebrations will be taking place to mark the end of other projects during the coming weeks in Omagh and Armagh.
Deborah Fraser, Ulster’s Associate Head of School of Art and Design, said the University’s involvement with programmes such as Creativity Thirst provided an opportunity for people who may not had had any in previous contact with this learning environment.
“There is a wealth of knowledge and experience within the University which we can offer, in this circumstance, to people who are hungry for assistance and advice,” she explained.
“The school of Art and Design sees engagement with this programme as part of their ongoing development to widen access and participation.
“Creativity Thirst gives participants a fantastic opportunity to put their toe in the water and make choices about their future self-employment.
“Ultimately it is everyone’s hope that theses individuals will make a contribution to the development of creative industries in Northern Ireland.”
Carole Kane, WEA Development Officer, said the WEA was delighted to be celebrating another successful completion of a Creativity Thirst programme.
“The participants on this programme have had the chance to develop their business ideas within their specific areas of the creative industries,” she explained.“They have now become aware of the implications of self-employment and gained confidence and focus while networking with like minded people.
“The celebration at the Jordanstown campus has given everyone involved in Creativity Thirst an opportunity to wish them well as they finish the programme and embark on their new business ventures.
”Creativity Thirst is funded by the Creative Industries Innovation Fund, which is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.
For more information contact Carole Kane at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 028 90329718.