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Business boost for Glasgow city region creative arts students and graduates in new entrepreneurial project from RCS

Proudly supported by the Scottish Ecosystem Fund 2023-24, funded by Scottish Government and delivered by Scottish Enterprise

From starting a company to flourishing as a freelancer … a short pilot entrepreneurial project will bring a business boost to creative arts students across Glasgow’s higher education institutions this spring.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has been awarded funding from Scottish Enterprise to roll out its Creative Clinics programme to the five higher education institutions in the city region for a limited period. This is to test and trial the demand for a wider specialist service for the burgeoning creative arts community in the city region.

Glasgow Creative Clinics, delivered in partnership with the Creative Entrepreneurs’ Club, will offer advice and support on everything from starting a company or freelance career to learning how to make the right connections, setting prices, making a profit and sustaining an artistic practice.

The clinics, which started in January and run until the end of March, are open to students of RCS, Glasgow Caledonian University, The Glasgow School of Art, University of Glasgow, University of Strathclyde, and University of the West of Scotland.

Deborah Keogh, Knowledge Exchange Manager and Innovation Hub Project Lead at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “In early 2023, we introduced  Creative Clinics at RCS, in partnership with the Creative Entrepreneurs’ Club, to offer specialist services to support the ideas and careers of students, staff and alumni.

“Part of our civic role as the national conservatoire is to extend our expertise beyond our community, so we are thrilled to receive funding from Scottish Enterprise to roll out these clinics to other higher education institutions and enhance the creative ecosystem in the city and beyond.

“The project aims to support a cohort of creative arts students to develop their business expertise, which will be done through tailored advice sessions and workshops, as well as mapping the data on creative arts students in the region.”

Deborah said the goal is to prepare creatives for future success and establish a thriving hub of creativity: “Glasgow has a high retention rate of students staying in the city after graduation* and a specialist service pitched to those exploring the viability of life as a founder and freelancer adds to the attractiveness of the city, and the wider ecosystem of creative industries, businesses and practitioners.”

Glasgow Creative Clinics is supported by the Scottish Ecosystem Fund 2023-24, which is designed to support organisations and activities that facilitate the growth and development of the Scottish entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Paul McKay, who leads Ecosystem Fund policy for the Scottish Government, said: “The Scottish Government is thrilled to support exciting initiatives like Glasgow Creative Clinics through the redesigned Ecosystem Fund, in conjunction with our delivery partner Scottish Enterprise. By providing the next generation of Scottish creatives tailored advice on bringing their ideas to market, this project exemplifies our strategy to foster grassroots innovation nationwide.

“Unlocking the entrepreneurial potential of students and graduates will enrich Glasgow’s vibrant cultural scene while creating economic opportunities. We are committed to backing creative talent and strengthening networks so dynamic founders across sectors can turn bold visions into reality.”

Rachael Brown, delivery partner and Director of Creative Entrepreneurs’ Club said: “It’s a real privilege to be part of Glasgow Creative Clinics – the breadth of talent in the Glasgow region is extraordinary. There is nothing else like this programme anywhere, so it’s really forward thinking of RCS to have developed this with us and for the Scottish Government to see the value in this programme. It’s genuinely inspiring stuff.”

Find out more about Glasgow Creative Clinics

*A 2020 study by Liberty Living, a UK student accommodation provider, listed Glasgow and Edinburgh top amongst 10 cities for student retention.