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Meet the LCC graduate sharing £56M+ in funding opportunities within the creative industries

Photo of Solomon sitting outside in the sunshine smiling. Behind him are pots of plants along the top of the wall
  • Written byEleanor Harvey
  • Published date24 February 2022
Photo of Solomon sitting outside in the sunshine smiling. Behind him are pots of plants along the top of the wall
Solomon Oyemade

Solomon Oyemade set up Curated Funding, an online library that helps creatives to access hard-to-find funding opportunities.

As a child growing up in East London, Solomon would spend hours reading Dazed & Confused, ID and The Face, enamored by the pure expression of creativity and storytelling. It was, therefore, no surprise when he chose to study at London College of Communication (LCC), going on to graduate in 2008 with a BA (Hons) in Public Relations.

“I [built] the skillsets of strategic communication… to connect, collaborate and support all types of creative endeavors on any number of projects. This is what I did after LCC when I became a location manager, going on to collaborate with a wide range of creatives including Skepta - Shutdown (Director: Grace Ladoja MBE), AJ Tracey - Blacked Out (Director: JMornix) and The Kooks - Around Town (Director: Ryan Hope).

After 11 years as a Location Manager, he started to feel uneasy using his creativity to generate sales for massive brands; “I always had a problem with the amount of creative brainpower I saw in use to make something cool that would make some kid somewhere stress their mum out to buy them the latest pair of trainers.”

This led him to a year of soul-searching, spending time in Sweden running the kitchen in an African Drum School and setting up a supper club. Taking this time allowed him to focus on the meaningful conversations he’d had with creative collaborators about projects that support both creativity and social impact.

“I discovered the methodology of The Lean Start-up by Eric Ries and Running Lean by Ash Maurya, which allowed me to think big and start small. I began by interviewing all the creative people I had worked with to ask them about the challenges they faced... The questions I asked gave them an opportunity to vent about the inefficient processes and hilariously inadequate systems they had to work with to make their ideas happen.”

Screenshot of Curated Fundings homepage
Curated Funding

Through these interviews, a pattern emerged: a lack of access and knowledge of funding opportunities.

“No one seemed to know how much was available or when to apply or who it was for or where to apply. It seemed to be common knowledge that funding opportunities are hideously underpromoted in diverse communities. This was a problem that I believed was important and if solved would mean more people could access the funding, they need to make awesome things happen.”

And so, he started a weekly newsletter sharing 30-40 funding opportunities for creative projects. Within a year awards, grants and prizes worth over £30m had been awarded to the 676 subscribers, and in 2021 the newsletter became an online library. Curated Funding currently includes over 750 funding opportunities worth £56M+.

Screenshot of Curated Fundings homepage
Curated Funding

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