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Creative Futures launches in Birmingham in partnership with University College Birmingham

Creative Futures launches in Birmingham in partnership with University College Birmingham

We are pleased to share and celebrate the successful launch of the Creative Futures Incubator at University College Birmingham.

Seven University College Birmingham graduates, three from the BA (Hons) Specialist Hair Media Make-up course and four from the BA (Hons) Aesthetic Practitioner course, were selected to form the first cohort of the new Creative Futures Incubator at its McIntyre House campus building and started their entrepreneurial journey on 3rd October 2022.

Lily Sanders

Paulina Marmaite

Nicole Simone Bailey

Ruth Kesangana


Natallia Lloyd

Gabrielle Davis

Lauren Pryer


This initiative was developed to enhance the current offer at University College Birmingham in the Enterprise Incubator and BSEEN (Birmingham Skills for Enterprise and Employability network). Over the summer, teams from both universities worked with business coaches, Alice Stanek and Louise Hanson from Illuminate Retail, to offer a broad range of support for graduating students from the two courses. The support includes access to Start-Up Sherpas – a 12-week digital enterprise course and a series of online seminars on business planning, strategy and marketing techniques.

Each business will benefit from six months of business support including monthly 1:1s, team building and marketing workshops, as well as a grant of £2,000 and the chance to access an additional £500 grant to support their marketing plans. In addition, they can access dedicated workspace, networking opportunities with their peers and broader business development and entrepreneurial connections from University College Birmingham and University of Warwick’s industry networks.

The best part of being part of the Creative Futures Incubator is meeting like-minded entrepreneurs who want to be successful. And I’m learning different marketing techniques to help grow my business.” (Lauren Pryer).

I've worked freelance for myself, but over the last three years, I've just focused on university. Now I’m back to having my own business and want to expand it. I applied to be part of the incubator before I graduated and I am now learning new skills which I can use for my business. I think the mentoring and coaching is very valuable for me and I'm making the most of it.” (Nicole Simone Bailey)

The incubator at University College Birmingham was designed based on the success of the Creative Futures Incubator at the University of Warwick which is run from 1 Mill Street in Leamington Spa. The programme, which has run for over two years, supports start-up and early-stage businesses from a range of creative sectors and prides itself on fostering collaborations and making meaningful connections between the industry and regional leaders.

See and hear more about the partnership between University College Birmingham and the University of Warwick HERE.

On the top, Luciana Gaspar/Projects Officer at Warwick Enterprise, Tsai Lovett/ Deputy Dean (Teaching, Learning and Digital) at University College Birmingham and Alice Stanek/Co-founder at Illuminate Retail. In the bottom, Clare Green/ Creative & Digital Communities Manager at University of Warwick and Louise Hanson/ Co-founder at Illuminate Retail.


Top row (from left to right): Clare Green, Tsai Lovett, Louise Hanson, Alice Stanek. Middle row: Lily Sanders, Gabrielle Davis. Bottom row: Natallia Lloyd, Nicole Simone Bailey, Paulina Marmaite and Ruth Kesangana Bizirhi.