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The Creative Step Programme

The Creative Step is a hands-on, interactive programme to help shape and shape your business for the future.

Creative Lancashire is on a mission!

We want to make the county’s creative sector the fastest growing in the country by supporting the next generation of creative businesses and retaining local talent. So, we commissioned The Creative Step, dedicated to the needs of the sector and founded on understanding that the unique qualities and requirements of creative enterprises are not currently met by mainstream business development initiatives.

The Creative Step is a hands-on, interactive course where you work directly on aspects of your business. It has been developed specifically to support creative businesses and ensure they are resilient for the future. Through a deep understanding of the needs of creative entrepreneurs, the programme has been carefully structured to support you and your business, whether you are starting up or are planning for your next stage. It builds on leading tools and techniques that support creative businesses globally, including aspects of the Creative Enterprise Programme run by Nesta and the British Council.

The pilot programme was researched, developed and delivered in Spring 2019. Participants on the pilot, a diverse group ranging from start-ups to established agencies, artists to photographers and brand specialists, found that the programme helped them focus on the future, clarifying the purpose and activities of their creative enterprise, putting them in control and giving them confidence on what actions are needed to take to support and develop their business.

Over the three days of the programme, creative enterprise owners got an opportunity to step back from their day-to-day activities in a safe and supportive space to reflect, review and refresh their business.

It really helped me understand and prioritise what needs to be done in my business. The workshop held up a mirror to my business and I enjoyed the opinions from all the other participants.”

“For anyone feeling like themselves or their business needs more direction, confidence, a stronger story, or even a new and diverse network of business contacts this is the programme. It makes you think about the important steps your business requires and gives you the time and space to consider and act.

The programme is co-developed and delivered by Catherine Docherty (Journey), who works with Nesta and British Council to deliver creative business support globally, and Jonathan Ball (Designmine & Design Associate V&A Dundee).

About the Programme

The programme is delivered by highly experienced facilitators over three Days with day 1 and day 2 running back to back. As a participant on The Creative Step, you will work alongside a select group of peers, having the opportunity to share and learn from others:

Day 1: Your Aspirations: this day explores the values you hold personally, your business values and connects these to your business purpose and future aspirations. This provides a solid foundation for guiding your business and communicating confidently.

Day 2: Your Customers: here you explore stakeholders who can affect the success of your business with a particular focus on customers. You will also be introduced to practical approaches to customer research and create a plan to gather meaningful data to strengthen your business offer.

--- 2 week break ---

Day 3: Your Future: on the final day you have the opportunity to share the learning from the research and delve into the core components of your business. You will then identify actions to take forward, prioritise these and create a high-level action plan to help you make the necessary changes to support your business.

On completion of The Creative Step, you will receive materials used in the workshops to allow you to use them in the future and to share them with your team.    

If you would like any further information, please contact: 

Jonathan Ball:

Catherine Docherty:

For National Festival of Making Jonathan Ball will be presenting a bite size introduction to the Creative Step programme at King Georges Hall and will also be one of the team of advisors on hand to provide creative business support for the Creative Step - Maker Development Business Support Surgeries (Sat 15 June).

Creative Step: Maker Development & Business Support Surgeries

Do you have a creative business? Do you want to take it to the next level? Are you planning to be a creative entrepreneur? If so, the Creative Step is for you!

Creative Lancashire are offering creatives and makers the opportunity to receive one-to-one business support and advice to develop your creative career or enterprise. Our team of advisors can offer practical and valuable advice in a number of areas, including; launching your creative career or business, responding to calls, commissions, marketing, finance and protecting your ideas with David Parrish (T-shirts & Suits), Intellectual Property Office, Digital Lancashire and others.

For more information about Creative Step and to apply for a Maker Development Surgery Slot visit the Surgery Page