A partnership between theWorkers’ EducationalAssociation and the
University of Ulster, Jordanstown Campus, this project ismade possible by
the Creative Industries Innovation Fund which is supported by the Arts
Council of Northern Ireland and the Department of CultureArts and Leisure.
Are you are considering setting up your own business in the Creative Industries? Or looking to make a little extra income with your creative skills? Well this project is for you.
This short, accessible programme will enable learners to develop a full business plan and a portfolio, including IT presentations and promotional material of their craft/ skills. Participants will also receive guidance from a mentor who will prompt and guide them on issues relating to their business. And all within a creative learning environment. This project has been developed by the WEA in response to specific needs identified in the Creative Industries and follows on from other highly successful schemes which have taken place over the last couple of years.
Who’s it for?
Anyone who holds qualifications in their particular skills area at Level 2 or above (i.e. if you have achieved higher than a GCSE Grade D or a CCEA Creative Crafts Level 2 and graduates are also welcome) and want to explore income generation or self-employment in the Creative Industries.Applicants will be invited to attend a short interview in early September 2010 before beginning the programme.
What will I be doing?
Learners must complete both courses – one course is aqualification from CCEA Council for the Curriculum Examinations and the other is accredited with the Open College Network Northern Ireland (OCNNI).
Irresistible Business Level 2:
Tuesday, 21st September, 6.45pm to 9.45pm for 13 weeks
This is the ideal entry point for those wishing to getinvolved in business start-up and will allow you to explore the implications of self-employment and starting/ running your own business.
Professional Practice in The Creative Industries Level 1:
Saturdays, 2nd, 16th October and 13th November, 10.00am-5.00pm,
There are different ways of accessing self-employment opportunities in the Creative Industries and this course will look at a range of approaches which could be used. It will also help you develop your professional profile which could result in gaining work in the Creative Industries.
You will also consider if being in business is the right thing to do and how you might have to develop your skills and life style accordingly. All the learning is offered FREE thanks to the support of the Creative Industries Innovation Fund.
Two Taster Sessions will take place in support of these courses. Please watch the WEA and Strule Arts Centre websites for further details for these sessions as anyone with an interest in this area will be welcome to come along. These will be led by NI based role models already working in the industry at a local or international level.
Here is what other people said of the last Creativity Thirst
Elaine Hill, a Photographer who participated on last year’s pilot project said:
"Prior to starting the course my work revolved around PR shots, weekly gigs and the occasional wedding. I was lacking focus. Creativity Thirst has given me this focus and has helped me think outside the box and now my weddings have doubled. My understanding of self promotion and finance has increased; as has my confidence. I would recommend this programme to anyone who wants to make the most of their career."
Deborah Fraser, Associate Head of School Art and Design, University of Ulster said:
"The University of Ulster fully supports this project, it offers the perfect helping hand for those who want to make a start with their proposed business within the creative industries. The programme will help participants to develop a full business plan, a portfolio, and promotional material through the use of specialised mentors relevant to their business idea. The University of Ulster is the major provider within higher education in subjects relating to the creative industries and welcomes the opportunity to work with WEA on this initiative. This project offers a fantastic opportunity for individuals to broaden their knowledge of the business world, develop business ideas and make their own contribution to the development of this exciting sector."
For further details please contact Carole Kane on 028 9032 9718 or email:
Carole Kane,Workers’ Educational Association, 3, Fitzwilliam Street, Belfast, BT9 6AW
Latest Project News
Drinking in the Success of Creativity Thirst
Written by Michael Glover
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 16:16
Some of the participants on the University of Ulster Jordanstown run, photographed with Mentors Karen and
Clare Gibson, Deborah Fraser, Ulster’s Associate Head of School of Art and Design and Carole Kane, WEA Development Officer.
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. 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. 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
or phone 028 90329718.
Written by Michael Glover
Thursday, 10 March 2011 15:27
Taster Session No 1 at the University of Ulster in Jordanstown
The first Taster Session for the “Creativity Thirst” in the University of Ulster in Jordanstown was delivered by PR Consultant, Cathy Martin.
Cathy organises Belfast Fashion Week and her background is in Marketing. This was an interactive session where Cathy explained about marketing within her own business as well as offering specific guidance to those attending.
“…live, breath, eat, speak, your business…”
Related areas which she encouraged attendees to develop within their business ideas were:
- Social media: websites which tell stories, Facebook, My Space Twitter, etc. These are free, don’t take much time to keep updated and should be kept separate to personal sites. She emphasised that entrepreneurs don’t need to spend a lot of money on marketing by using the likes of these tools and forums.
- Network: wherever you go, be aware of opportunities of connecting with others and/or promoting your own work. Be well versed in your industry by reading and also know what’s going on in the wider world as well. She was keen that attendees connected current affairs with what’s relevant with you and your business.
- The “four P’s” of marketing: product, price, place, promotion. Consider how these apply to your product.
- Consider what your competitors are doing and forecasting what’s expected for future fashions and trends.
Taster Session No 2 at the University of Ulster in Jordanstown
The second Taster Session was delivered by digital effects expert, Greg Maguire.
Greg started the presentation by showing us an impressive collection of footage from animated films that he has worked on. These ranged from “Avatar”, video games, “Happy Feet”, and a full caveat of animated films which he has been involved in creating. Before returning to Northern Ireland, he has worked for a long time in the US and his experience is extensive. He described the dynamics associated in this area and how business was developed as well as skills in animation.
He continued to explain the design processes involved in the creation of his work as well as explaining related issues and dynamics of teams who are often in different places in the world, while working on one film. This is how the digital industry works.
There was an emphasis in Greg’s talk around networking and developing relationships as well as gaining a reputation of being able to produce what’s required, keeping on time and creating the best quality possible. These skills are necessary right across the Creative Industries and Greg gave examples of how “reputation” has been and will continue to be the catalysis for him securing work.
This was a really interesting session and all who attended were impacted on Greg’s experiences and desire to help others in Northern Ireland develop the necessary skills to contribute to this rapidly growing part of the Creative Industries.
Greg now works out of his own company Wee Man Studios