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Creative Enterprise Awards

How to apply

Applications for 2019 are now closed. The next round will open in May 2020.

Money and support for your business

Looking to start your own business? Or grow an existing one? Creative Enterprise Awards are funding and support packages to help grow new business ideas and nurture enterprising initiatives developed by UAL students and graduates. Our graduates often go on to launch exciting new creative businesses or social enterprises and we’d like to recognise and celebrate this and support them in their first steps.

The prizes

The awards are run in partnership with industry leaders and organisations. Apply for a grant of up to £5,000 plus a share of prizes including: showcasing opportunities, leading industry mentorship and specialist business training.

Our partners for the 2019 awards are: B Artmonsky, Cockpit ArtsClarion Events, The Design LaboratoryDétroit is the New BlackGoogle for Startups CampusHolitionOpendesk and UAL Short Courses

Winners will be announced at the Creative Enterprise Awards evening on 3 July 2019 at Central Saint Martins.

What we're looking for

An idea or business that demonstrates one or more of the following:

  • Creative businesses or projects with a positive social aim, or ethical practice
  • An original product or service that addresses a clear market need
  • Community engaged projects/interventions
  • An idea with good growth potential
  • Scope for international relationships/trade
  • A strong focus on technology (not limited to digital technologies)
  • A freelance or service-based creative business
  • An artist or maker with a commercial practise

Your application and pitch should include:

  • A business model that clearly identifies how the business will be sustainable
  • Evidence of your skills, experience and determination to succeed
  • Market Research
  • Demonstrate your plans and potential for growth

Open to current UAL students and recent graduates (within 2 years of graduation).

The Award categories 2019

The 2019 award categories are:

  1. Artist / Maker
  2. Global
  3. Social Entrepreneur / enterprise
  4. Community Project
  5. Technology
  6. Freelancer
  7. ArtsTemp of the Year
  8. not just a shop Seller of the Year
  9. Alumni Entrepreneur (special award for recent alumni only, excludes financial prize)

Artist / Maker

The artist / maker award is open to individuals whose primary business model is to produce and sell creative work or products to the public or collectors.


The global award is open to businesses that operate internationally, with a substantial proportion of business coming from international clients or customers.

Social Enterprise / Entrepreneur  

The Social Enterprise award is open to individuals or companies with socially-led objectives or ethical or sustainable practises at the heart of what they do.

Community project

The community project award is open to projects that have a focus on community engagement or intervention. This award is aimed at those who may not be operating as a company or business.


The technology award celebrates businesses or individuals whose work demonstrates innovative uses of technology. This includes digital technologies, engineering, production and science.


The freelancer award is open to self-employed individuals or small companies who work on a contract basis to provide a creative service to clients.

ArtsTemp of the Year

ArtsTemps is UAL's in-house recruitment service that places students in temporary paid positions across the University. Managers are invited to nominate an ArtsTemp who has made an exceptional contribution to their team.

not just a shop Seller of the Year

not just a shop sells exciting design products and artwork created by UAL students and alumni. It’s also a learning space to help them to launch and develop their creative businesses. Designers are shortlisted based on sales figures and then voted for by the public.

Alumni Entrepreneur

An award that recognises the creative enterprising achievements and success of a recent UAL alumni.

This is a special award open to UAL alumni up to 5 years after graduating only.

Please note that there is a separate application form and criteria for this award, and financial grants are not available.

Apply for the Alumni Entrepreneur Award here

Get support for your application

To help you prepare for your application, get support in the following ways:

  • Attend our Enterprise Programme of events throughout the year
  • Hear from industry experts and successful creative entrepreneurs at Creative Enterprise Week in November
  • Pitch your initial idea at one of our Pitch it and Win events (prizes of £100)
  • Get one to one business planning advice
  • Join our mailing list to be the first to find out more.

International students and graduates

International students and graduates who wish to set up a business in the UK after graduating will need to apply for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa. More information is available on our International Start-up Visa page.

Contact us

Please email

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