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Creative Futures: entrepreneurship programme for young residents in South London

Image of woman painting in the studio
  • Written byAlexandra R. Cifre / Annika Loebig
  • Published date 08 February 2022
Image of woman painting in the studio
Emanuela Ogunji, BA (Hons) Fine Art, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL | © Alys Tomlinson

Following the successful launch of our Graduate Incubation Programme last year, we have now partnered with Stride to develop a free package of support for young entrepreneurs in South London.

Officially kicking-off with a taster session on 21 February 2022, Creative Futures is a 12-month programme open for residents in Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark and Wandsworth aged 18-25. Those joining will get to learn about the ins and outs of setting up a creative business, having full access to business support modules, talks, workshops and mentoring sessions with other creative entrepreneurs.

The activities will take place across different workspaces in South London, including Camberwell College of Arts, Greencoat Studios in Southwark and the Fabric Floor in Lambeth’s International House.

We spoke with Rachael Baskeyfield, Creative Futures Project Manager, and Ben Walter, Business Development Manager at Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges of Art, to find more about what young creatives can expect from this initiative.

Students at Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL
Students at Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL | © Alys Tomlinson

Hi Ben and Rachael! Tell us, why have you decided to partner with Stride to launch the Creative Futures programme? 

We already have established connections cultivated over years across South London, and this collaboration with Stride will help us strengthen our relationship with the boroughs of Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark and Wandsworth. Working together will allow us to nurture innovation, empower local talent and encourage enterprise in those areas.

We’re also very excited about the inauguration of our new Greencoat Studios Incubation Space and Eagle Wharf later this year, which will be open for our local community. This is also part of our Colleges' plans and commitments to help building a more diverse creative and digital industries.

Creative Futures is an exciting opportunity for us to support and collaborate with emerging creative businesses right on our doorstep.

— Ben Walter, Business Development Manager at UAL's Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon
Image of man drawing in the studio
Fungai Benhura, BA (Hons) Fine Art: Drawing, Camberwell College of Arts, UAL | © Alys Tomlinson

What can young creatives expect from joining the programme?

Creative Futures participants will be joining a network of creative entrepreneurs to develop business with support from our dedicated team, and access specialist expertise and mentorship from across UAL and beyond.

They’ll have the opportunity to pitch, receive feedback and get profiled on our channels. Whether they have an idea that they are working on, or have already set up an early-stage business, Creative Futures is designed to be flexible to fit around their individual goals.

Those signing up to Creative Futures will get exclusive access to:

  • A free programme of business support
  • Bespoke modular training with different themes
  • Sector experts and specialists
  • Guest talks from diverse founders and creatives
  • Workshops and mentoring
  • Personal development and networking
  • Creative workspace and an online community

Creative Futures has been designed on a learn-by-doing approach – founders will complete workshops and self-directed activities with their specific business in the focus.

Whether it’s focussing on building a brand, diversifying income streams, balancing schedules with a 9-5, getting to grips with business planning, legal structures or budgets, Creative Futures is a space for young creatives to connect around shared experiences and challenges to grow as a supportive peer network.

Whether you’re developing your own fashion label, theatre company, sustainable tech platform, game production studio or creative agency, we are here to help with the next steps of your enterprise.

— Rachael Baskeyfield, Creative Futures Project Manager

Why do you think it's important to offer opportunities like this to underrepresented people in the creative industries?

Because we want to help building a creative sector that reflects our community. While the creative industries have been growing twice as fast as the UK economy as a whole, the benefits have not been evenly distributed in terms of gender, race, socio-economic status or geographic location.

We know that for Black, Asian and Latinx founders, as well as women and non-binary people, access to investment, resources, platforms and support is not equitable. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more difficult for young creatives to get into the industry, so we want take steps to change that for young South Londoners.

Creating opportunities and supporting underrepresented young people is paramount to the continued growth, diversification and inclusion of the creative and digital industries which is a key area of commitment within UAL. By enabling participants to learn from diverse mentors and creative entrepreneurs, who will draw upon real-life examples and insights, we can help them build a solid foundation for future success.

Apply now! Contact us on

Applications are open on an on-going basis to underrepresented young residents (aged 18-25) from Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark and Wandsworth. We're particularly interested in hearing from underrepresented groups in the creative industries, which include women and people identifying as non-binary, people from lower income backgrounds, people from Black, Asian and Multi-Ethnic backgrounds, neurodivergent and disabled people.

Image of woman with a headscarf hanging a drawing on the wall
Asiah Ali, BA (Hons) Fine Art: Painting, Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL | © Alys Tomlinson