Thinking of starting your own business?

Following a successful Enterprise session on Friday (I will blog about this in more depth later), I’ve had a few queries from students about where they might find resources about starting their own business.

I would recommend a visit to which talks you through the basics of setting up a business with some useful links, including to potential funding opportunities and how to start-

There is great information about the different types of business on Prospects –

If you are interested in setting up a social enterprise (look at the link above to find out more) then have a look here –

And, finally don’t forget, if you are a current student or a Graduate Associate Member we have a workshop session on Wednesday 12th June here at HCA. This will help you discuss your business idea and create a mission and vision. Book here:


Small, interesting funding streams

I was asked recently for any small funding pots I knew about that didn’t have loads of strings attached to them (for example, you didn’t have to be a registered charity).

I haven’t had direct experience with these, but they looked interesting –

The Awesome Foundation

The Pollination Project

(you can only apply to this if your project is sustainable and meets their ethical standards)

Helium Grant

I was also asked about funding for MA courses – and good news here – yes, you can get funding through a Master’s Loan.

Hopefully this is helpful, and have a lovely weekend! Sarah.

Shout-out for Enterprise Thursdays

Huge thanks to the whole of the Thursday Launchgrad group for all their ideas and for working with me to find out what Enterprise at HCA looks like.

I wanted to distill some of the ideas we’ve had around important things to think about around how we create our online professional identities.

So far, Vivian and David have showed us their very different artists websites, Lin showed us a website that she didn’t feel reflected her current practice and Kirstie shared her non-website more fluid based digital spaces, which link together her instagram presence, her blog and an online selling space.

What is great here is that the digital presences shown reflected different personalities and bodies of work. That’s perhaps our first distilled piece of wisdom:

  • Create an individual presence that reflects your practice and your personality.
  • Try to keep your digital space updated if possible, and if it isn’t possible, drop a note in the space which explains why or shares your awareness of this.
  • Occasionally search your name on a search engine, to see what this brings up.
  • Choose a platform that best suits your needs, balancing your technological competencies with time available and what you want to achieve.

We’re taking a break this week (because I’m off to London for an Learning and Skills Research Network meeting and dissertations call)

Thanks again to everyone sharing their thoughts. We meet next on the 21st March where we’re going to bring 5 objects that we’d like to see featured in a portfolio of practice and justify/discuss with the group.

All graduate associate members and current students at HCA welcome! Contact me for further details. Sarah

Short Courses – Business Workshops at HCA

This term, the short course programme offers a selection of Business Workshops with John Pring from Designbysoap Ltd, including ‘The Creative’s Guide to Working with Clients’ on 22 March, and ‘An Introduction to Data Visualisation’ on 12 April 2019.

Both workshops run between 9.30am and 12.30pm and cost £55. For further information please contact the Short Course Team by email.

Thinking of a Masters?

I’ve had a couple of Level Six students approach me looking for advice on MA courses. If there are any more students who would like to discuss what MA level study looks like, either around specific research ideas they have or just general advice, please let me know by email, and I’ll arrange a larger workshop.

I’m pleased to also let you know that initial graduate feedback around our ‘starting a creative enterprise’ short online course has been very positive. Please get in touch with me if you’re interested in trialling this course with them.


Save the date! Forthcoming Enterprise events

I’m delighted to give recent graduates and current L6 students notice of two forthcoming Enterprise events. These are:

Social media for Creative Marketing – May 10th

Creating the jobs of the future – May 31st

to If you’re a recent graduate of Hereford College of Arts these are free to attend. Please email me to reserve a place.

There will be one further Enterprise event in May, plus our regular Thursday lunchtime drop-ins. And, as always, if you’d like any particular support please let me know and I’ll do my best to arrange a workshop here in college.

Review of bid-writing discussion

Huge thanks to those students who collaborated with me yesterday in HCA. Our discussion revolved around bid-writing and embraced some of the complexities and ethical issues in this area as well as providing nuts-and-bolts advice.

I’ve presented our discussion as a ‘things to think about’ image below.

Specific Resources

We discussed the following specific resources – we’re adding to these on a live document so we can pool our collective resources. If any graduate reading this has anything useful they could add or would like access to the shared document, please email me.

Of course, with any type of fundraising you need to be aware of ethics and data privacy. I’ve found a useful (free) short course that could be helpful.

Herefordshire council funding directory  
The arts council  
Great Place

Next Meeting

We’ll be meeting between 12.30-1.30 next Thursday (24th January) in College Road Campus (QBSR), where we’ll be discussing how to use social media (twitter and instagram). All students and recent graduates welcome. If you’re a graduate wanting to attend, please email me if you’d like to join in the discussion. If you aren’t a Graduate Associate I can sign you ‘in’ at reception.


Introducing the Market Arts Collective

Introducing the Market Arts Collective

Introducing the Market Art Collective

I was delighted to be invited to Hereford’s Buttermarket last Wednesday by Market Art Collective (MAC).

MAC are a group of eight graduates and current MA and BA students) who met at Hereford College of Arts. Despite being students and alumni of the same college their work is highly diverse, exploring a wide range of ideas through a variety of media; from folded fabric to found objects. However, all form a critical re-storying in some way – prompting us to question, and to view the familiar as unknown.

Introducing the Market Art Collective 1

Hereford already has a rich history of creativity, but adding to conversations around arts in the city is hugely relevant to HCA and its graduates. This project is particularly exciting as it creates space for recent graduates to work and exhibit whilst continuing a dialogue with HCA which has the potential to benefit current students.

The space is exciting too, a hidden area in the centre of Hereford about to be transformed. The studios are part of a modernisation project which includes the market and the stalls; for the record, the baklava looks beautiful.

Introducing the Market Art Collective 3

The collective will live above the market proper, in what was (I was told) the Judge’s lodging in 1860. It’s a fascinating space; unique, something hidden that is starting to be repurposed and revealed. This is the start of a conversation and a journey for MAC, too. As the studio work progresses and as the graduates/postgraduate students involved start inhabit the space I hope we’ll continue the conversation, and I will keep posting updates on their progress.

If you’re interested in the collective please email or visit their website at


Introducing the Market Art Collective 2
Introducing the Market Art Collective 4
Introducing the Market Art Collective 5
Introducing the Market Art Collective 6
Introducing the Market Art Collective 7

Ever wondered about Intellectual Property?

Intellectual Property or IP, concerns how you safeguard your ideas and designs and protect them/identify them as your own. It’s a complex legal area but this article from Creative Entrepreneurs magazine is a useful start, and for those who are keen to find out more there’s a great free online course from the Intellectual Property Office that shows you how to identify and protect your IP.