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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 – June to August 2021

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 2021

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

Applications are now closed for the Creative Business Accelerator 2021.

Additional guidance

For questions or additional support email:

Participants in 2020

  • Camila Quintero portrait
    Photo of Camila Quintero
    Camila Quintero

    A new perspective on colour and geometric abstraction.

  • Joao Maraschin portrait
    Photo of Joao Maraschin
    Joao Maraschin

    Community-driven womenswear brand, which aims to have a positive impact on the fashion industry and wider society.

  • Makers Cabinet portrait
    Photo of Ben, Odin, and Noah
    Makers Cabinet

    Makers Cabinet create beautiful drawing and writing tools that last for a lifetime.

  • Female model wearing a grey sweatshirt
    Photo of OMNISS

    An aesthetic orientated fashion brand driven by character focused storytelling.

  • Four men standing in front of a large painting
    Photo of Studio Hyte
    Studio Hyte

    An award-winning design studio that primarily work with the arts, culture, education, and social sectors.

  • Lilly Mandarano Portrait
    Photo of Lilly Mandarano
    The Super Sparrow Ceramics

    Handmade ceramics, each piece tells its own story.

  • Olivia Weber portrait
    Photo of Olivia Weber
    Trashion Factory

    A not-for-profit fashion brand on a mission to upcycle our trash and revamp our world.

  • Ellen Rock portrait
    Photo of Ellen Rock
    Ellen Rock

    Print designer who uses story-telling and combines traditional craft with contemporary art.

  • Lizzie Reid portrait
    Photo of Lizzie Reid
    Lizzie Reid

    Freelance illustrator and poet who uses instinctive mark-making and metaphorical language to express herself.

  • Callum Simmons with one of his paintings
    Photo of Callum Simmons
    Callum Simmons

    Multidisciplinary artist working in interior design, sign writing, illustration and mural art.

  • Photo of two designers from Studio Liim
    Andrea Li and Michelle Lim from studio liim
    liim studio

    Designing experiences that bring people together in the present.

  • Portrait of Jen and Ben from Modern Synthesis
    Photo of Jen and Ben from Modern Synthesis
    Modern Synthesis

    A biomaterial innovation company, developing radical and regenerative materials for the fashion industry.

  • Zoom meeting with two people
    Photo of Lucy Maria and Mike Stevens from See, Also
    See, Also

    Creative studio specialising in creative direction, graphic and web design.