I’ve had a really nice finish to the week this evening. Some long cherished plans to collaborate with Seed Creativity to co-deliver a new module for the final year radio production and media technology students has been given the go-ahead. The module is about working as an independent creative producer in a professional business world, taught by people who have first-hand experience. The aim of the module is to allow students to experience and manage themselves as independent producer, working with media agencies and collaborative partners to get a real sense of what it is like to run a business and to make money from being a creative media entrepreneur.
Jonny and Dan at Seed Creativity are passionate about the potential that graduates have in building a business network and setting themselves up as producers who make a living from from what they enjoy. We’ve spent many hours in the past talking about the type of courses that would help to make this happen. What skills do we need to help learners develop so that they are more confident and truly believe that they can play a part in the developing creative economy.
There are two aspects and aims to the collaboration. The first is to offer learners an opportunity to experience the demands of running a business. What’s involved when you invoice a client? What happens when the tax man contacts you? How can you work with banks? Are there any pots of money that you can apply for that can help you get started? The second aspect is about networking and presenting yourself as a credible professional producer who wins repeat work from well established agencies and businesses. It’s about looking at your skills and asking how you can match them to the needs of real businesses who want creative, innovative and distinctive approaches in their communications and products.
Seed Creativity has an existing link with De Montfort University as collaborative partners who work with the Faculty of Art, Design and Humanities to run the Creatives Working Commercially programme. The aim of Creatives Working Commercially fits very well with what we want to achieve within the degree programmes offered in Creative Media Technology, which is to show learners that they can work commercially outside of the lab and the lecture theatre, and that they can gain work experience, engage in start-up business mentoring, networking and making industry contacts. This is all about how learners can develop the skills and the mindset to sell themselves. By asking what it takes to be a freelancer, and what the industry expects from freelancers, then learners in Creative Media Technology courses will be able to get a head start.
Having this collaboration feels like a real step-forward. There’s so much scope for the development of the creative business community in Leicester. Hopefully, this partnership will help to make it feel more real and give it more long-term support. I’m really proud that De Montfort University is able to invest in these kind of things and to back the talent that we have in Leicester.