On 1 March Cllr Ken Hardeman attended a celebration to mark the fact that some of the entrepreneurs had reached the end their 12 months term in the scheme.
Design Space is a unique project which enables 15 start up creative businesses to utilise shared workshop space for up to 12 months.
The programme provides industry specific business mentors and enables each business to study for an NVQ in Business Planning and is the only incubator start up scheme that is totally free of charge to businesses.
Some of the creative entrepreneurs have reached the end of their 12 month placement and are about to leave the project, whilst other businesses are joining the project.
The Design Space incubator unit is situated in Hylton Court, in Hylton Street and many new recruits have been trained at the School of Jewellery, therefore Design Space provides continuity to those determined, talented designer makers who want to start up their own businesses, providing a springboard into the business world.
There are presently over 60 small designer maker businesses based in the Jewellery Quarter, and Design Space aims to encourage this resurgence of creative businesses by providing an environment to nurture the talents of this new generation of designer makers and encourage them to base their businesses here in the Jewellery Quarter to enrich the area.
Some of the businesses about to leave Design Space have already decided to join forces and set up their own shared workshop here in the Jewellery Quarter, with the assistance of funding from the City Council‘s Creative Development Team. It is hoped that this pattern continues, as retaining graduate talent can only have a positive impact on the Jewellery Quarter.
At the Celebration thanks were given to Hannah Martyr (Viti Developments) for allowing the Celebration to take part in one of her attractive units in Hylton Street, also to Tony Dennant and Jane Smith from Matthew Boulton College, the business mentors who have proved inspirational to the Steering Group for their valued input and to the Birmingham & Solihull Learning & Skills Council without whose funding the project would simply not exist.