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Business Innovation Support Programmes

Creative Fuse North East offers several strands of business innovation support, tailored to digital businesses, creative enterprises, artists, freelancers and beyond. These programmes have been developed as part of the ERDF supported activities from Creative Fuse, and are coordinated by our local teams at each participating university and selected external partners.

Creative Connections: Creative Enterprise Innovation Programme

Creative Connections is a programme of support designed by the Creative Fuse team at Newcastle University Business School. Aimed at sole traders, micro-businesses, and SMEs in the Creative or Cultural Sectors, Creative Connections offers both “Createathon” business-support workshops and student placements.

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Culture Hubs

The Culture Hubs scheme responds to the needs of the creative, arts, and crafts economy in County Durham. The Culture Hubs programme, designed by the Creative Fuse team at Durham University, will run from regional cultural hubs – museums, craft centres, galleries etc. – drawing together like-minded businesses for support. The scheme offers student placements, and the Bespoke Workshop Programme tailored to very small businesses and lone craftspeople. Workshops include how to find funding or teach others your skills, and hands-on making sessions.

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Digital Business Innovation Programme

The Digital Business Innovation Programme is designed and delivered by Creative Fuse partners at Sunderland Software City and Digital Union, alongside the Newcastle University Creative Fuse team. Aimed at sole traders, micro-businesses and SMEs in the digital, tech and creative sectors, the programme will be delivered through a series of innovation workshops and events. Attendees will have the opportunity to join like-minded tech and digital companies as well as academic experts to explore new ideas and overcome challenges in a group environment.

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Digital Literature Programme

This programme of training opportunities and events aims to build the digital skills and knowledge of writers in the North East. The programme encompasses a series of seminars and workshops and an intensive web development programme for a smaller group of selected writers. This programme is produced and delivered by our partners, New Writing North.

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Get Ready to Innovate

Get Ready to Innovate is led by the Northumbria University Creative Fuse team. Through 12 hours of action-focused intervention over 3 sessions, Get Ready to Innovate offers SMEs and registered sole traders the opportunity to develop their potential for innovation, understand and overcome barriers and challenges. This programme builds on Northumbria University’s design and innovation practice, and takes a design-led approach.

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Roadmapping: Artist Innovation Programme

This programme is open to artists, makers, and other creatives in the North East area. Learn to reflect and roadmap your business, and develop your career plans through two-day workshops. Workshops will be taking place in Newcastle and Northumberland. This programme is being delivered by our innovation partners, Urban Foresight.

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Rural Cultural Business Innovation Programme

This programme is an exciting opportunity for creative businesses and registered sole traders in Northumberland to learn and apply effective approaches to product and service development, as well as project management. Expect accessible concepts, practical tools, and varied, well-paced workshops, all based around your business. This programme consists of two day-long courses, with the option to take things further for one-to-one innovation support.

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These programmes are provided due to support from the European Union Regional Development Fund, and is just one form of support offered through the five universities participating in Creative Fuse North East.