We offer a range of activities and workshops aimed at supporting people, places and organisations to change for the better. Click on the titles and photos on this page to find out more.
Consultancy and Collaboration
Each project we work on represents a collaborative opportunity for us to work with our funders and commissioners to build an understanding of how to unlock and make the very most of the creative and entrepreneurial talent and resources that reside within the communities and organisation they serve or represent.
From design thinking ideation to full scale project management and funding application support, we help organisations large and small to unleash this capacity to facilitate the change they want to bring about.
Our pre-start animation programmes have, over many years, sought to trigger entrepreneurial thinking amongst creative people and raise awareness of the multiple opportunities for self-employment within the sector. Our approach is to engage creative people by focusing on their interests and aspirations. We emphasise the key entrepreneurial themes over which people exercise control such as their drive and determination and how these can be brought to bear on the barriers, real or imagined, that they face. It encourages individuals to recognise their latent enterprise potential and encourages them to do something with it.
Make it Happen Workshops
Our workshop programmes are designed bridge the gap between initial enthusiasm and the development of a valid business proposition.
They enable participants to hone their ideas by immersing them in an entrepreneurial ‘can do’ atmosphere, placing a strong emphasis on learning by doing through, for example, rapid prototyping, trial-trading, and extending networks.
Participants leave with a comprehensive understanding of the business planning process, a belief that there are genuine opportunities available to them and the confidence to recognise that they have the capacity to develop the skills and capacities that will enable them to exploit these opportunities.
What Now? Thrive and Grow Programmes for Creative Entrepreneurs
What Now? is for creative practitioners who are already engaged in some level of trading but are unsure how to make their next steps. These practitioners often have track records of responding in ad hoc ways to market opportunities but have rarely invested resources to capitalise on these opportunities or built capacity to plan for future growth. They tend to work ‘in’ the business rather than ‘on’ the business, and effectively remain in a state of almost permanent start-up with immature networks and a narrow perception of market opportunities. Their drivers are characteristically located more in survival than in ambition and growth.
The What Now? programme is specifically created to bridge the gap between start up (however long someone has been trading) and growth, and is designed to demonstrate the value of investing time and resources on the business as opposed to in it, widen their perceptions of where business opportunities reside, develop their entrepreneurial capacities, extend their networks and build the managerial capacities to enable them to overcome barriers to growth ultimately building participants confidence in their business and their resilience to change.
Make the Most of...
Our Make the Most of… programmes are design to sow the seeds of cultural regeneration by facilitate connectivity across creative sectors with distinct geographical communities and locations. We raise awareness amongst practitioners working in a of the assets around and demonstrate how by aligning their practice to the cultural, environmental and heritage that reside within these communities they can develop creative products and services that will be of value to economic profile of these communities. Link in their own commercial success
What a Difference a Day Makes
Our What a Difference a Day Makes Events bring creative practitioners together with commissioners of work and provide an opportunity for artists to build networks across a variety of supply chains. The events facilitate ideas generation drawing on the collective imaginations of participants and wider stakeholders, sparking the co-creation of new products, services, and mutually beneficial commercial relationships. Activities include a range of specialist workshops designed to give participants an in-depth understanding of how to align their work with the needs of buyers/commissioners operating within specific market segments; networking; and, relationship building.
To support participants develop their businesses and the networks that will sustain them in the long term, Create North provides programme participants with mentors with skills, experience, and connectivity aligned to their needs. Mentoring is used as a vehicle to exchange experience and accelerate business growth and has a particularly important role to play in the development of creative ventures. Given the general preference for experiential approaches to learning amongst many creative practitioners and businesses it is believed to be particularly suited to the creative industries.
Your description of Create
Group mentoring is a cost-effective way of meeting individual development needs whilst building sustainable supportive relationships with a peer group acting as ‘critical friends’ and giving them agency. To support the development of these support circles we will deliver peer mentoring training
This training programme builds on our experience of delivering the UK government Get Into Mentoring and work developed by NESTA’s and the Design Council’s into setting up peer mentoring programmes for creative leaders.
Given the sector is notoriously under-resourced, wherever possible we like to offer programme participants small seed grants to enable them to explore market opportunities without risking their enterprises finances.
Creative Retreats and Practice Workshops
Create North have considerable experience of organizing creative retreats and workshops for artists. If practitioners are to be commercially successful it is critical that they have the opportunity to withdraw from the all-consuming day-to-day routines of running their business and invest time developing their art in the company of their peers and master practitioners. These sessions are not an indulgent luxury but are the means through which practitioners hone their skills, form collaborations and begin the ideation process of generating, developing and communicating new ideas.
All of our activities are designed to facilitate networking and relationship building across stakeholder groups. We dispelling the notion that networking is a passive activity which only take place in certain places, at certain times and with particular groups of people. We develop of participants capacity to take a much more focussed, strategic approach to this enabling them to maximise opportunities as they occur.
In recognition of emotional and cultural barriers of engaging creative practitioners in professional development and enterprise training our programme appeal directly to participants interests, talents and diversity of practise rather than focusing on more abstract notions of starting or growing a business.
The design our promotional materials resonates with the our audience through, for example, visual presentations featuring practitioners at work and through the playful use of language stripped of business jargon.
We illustrate the creative benefits of participation (showcasing work, meeting and collaborating with other artists etc.)
Participants will be able to register for programme activities through the website and via e-flyers which will link to Create North booking pages.