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Creative Business Accelerator

UAL Creative Business Accelerator

The Creative Business Accelerator is a programme of business development for UAL graduates. Tailored to meet the needs of creative graduates, the programme is delivered across 6 months. In partnership with Google for Startups and developed by UAL Careers and Employability, the Creative Business Accelerator will provide you with the tools you need to grow a sustainable and successful creative business and build professional networks.

Who is eligible?

Graduates who have been awarded a Bachelor, Masters or PhD degree from UAL are eligible to apply. Applications can be made up to 5 years after graduation. For your application to be considered you need to:
  • Be running a creative business (including social enterprise or commercial) from any creative discipline or developing a product that has potential commercial intellectual property (IP) value.
  • Have spent at least a year on enterprising activity to develop your  business/product idea.
  • Have developed some form of income generation for your business/product idea.

What we'll cover

You will learn valuable skills including:

  • How to assess your business model and make changes to improve it.
  • How to price your work, manage cash flows, budget correctly and plan financially.
  • How to market your practice effectively and reach the clients you want.
  • How to pitch and make a funding plan.
  • How to understand and value your IP.
  • How to make plans to grow/employ people.
  • How to manage your time effectively.

The programme will offer you the opportunity to:

  • Source and use new networks and opportunities.
  • Join a varied group of other creative graduates from UAL.
  • Get a better understanding of potential markets and how to develop products or work in relation to these.
  • Gain confidence in making decisions about your business.
  • Have access to industry experts, speakers and trainers who will deliver both workshops and tailored one-to-one advice sessions.
The programme has definitely allowed me to think of many things that can help me to not only survive as a small business, but to thrive and getting my message across

— Joao Maraschin, 2020 participant
I feel that with the skills learned and the way that I implement them, I would be able to increase my sales and to build a reputation. Having clear goals and a well thought-through business plan has helped me to evolve the brand.

— Camila Quintero 2020 participant

Programme format

Part 1 – May to July 2022

You will attend a series of weekly creative business development training sessions online.

This time will be dedicated to: training workshops from industry experts; specialist one-to-one tailored advice for your business; and a chance to network with the group.

Part 2 – August to October 2022

You will take part in regular peer mentoring sessions as you develop and apply your learnings from Part 1.

The programme will culminate in a Demo Day where you will present the developments you have made to potential partners and investors.

You will agree to

  • Commit to attending all sessions during the programme.
  • Prioritise and schedule programme sessions - full details will be provided.
  • Commit to being active in developing your business between sessions.
  • Prepare for and follow up on all training and one-to-one sessions.
  • Complete evaluation questionnaires.
  • Give back a total of 6 hours to student enterprise learning at UAL. This could be as a mentor, joining a judging panel for UAL awards, or giving a talk on your business and work.


A bursary will be made available to allow applicants that need it to attend.  Full details on how to apply for this can be found in the guidelines.

How to apply

The deadline to apply for Creative Business Accelerator is March 2022 (TBC).

Additional guidance

For questions or additional support email:

Participants in 2021

  • Portrait of Adiam
    Photo courtesy of UAL

    A sustainable womenswear brand using creative techniques and methods of pattern-cutting.

  • Handful portrait
    Photo courtesy of UAL

    An invitation for creatives to slow down and connect to themselves and others through the medium clay.

  • Jemima Sara portrait
    Photo courtesy of UAL
    Jemima Sara

    Original artwork, prints, illustrative accessories and tongue-in-cheek clothing by artist Jemima Sara.

  • Hidhir portrait
    Photo courtesy of UAL
    Hidhir Badaruddin

    An intimate approach to image-making, offering editorial and commercial fashion photography, with a visual focus on queer and BAME representation.

  • A model in a hoody
    Photo courtesy of UAL

    Producing articles of fashion, art and much more to create immersive narratives that aim to engage and inspire.

  • Portrait of two people
    Photo courtesy of UAL

    A design brand creating functional home accessories that tell a story, convey emotions and trigger curiosity by poetically interpreting landscapes.

  • Sam and Alesha portrait
    Photo courtesy of UAL
    Yard + Parish

    The Destination for Eco-Luxe Black-Owned Brands. For our People. For our Earth.

  • Portrait of two people
    Photo courtesy of UAL
    Bigger Than Reality

    A creative studio specialising in visualisation and concept design.

  • Helena Traill portrait
    Photo courtesy of UAL
    Helena Traill Design

    Graphic and website design studio that specialises in creative communication to differentiate brands within a crowded marketplace.

  • Portrait
    Photo courtesy of UAL
    Walls of Our Homes

    A homeware design company bringing cultural exchange via patterns.

  • Portrait
    Photo courtesy of UAL
    Olivia Rubens

    Playful, positive knitwear that empowers community and supports the planet through material innovation

  • Computer screenshot
    Photo courtesy of UAL
    Run the Check

    A platform that showcases paid creative opportunities

  • portrait of Darren Appiagyei


    A design company which focuses on creating bespoke pieces with wood.

  • Corinne and Niki portrait
    Photo courtesy of UAL

    Unisex sneakers and accessories handmade with TLC in Montreal, Canada.