Budding entrepreneurs have been handed a unique opportunity to start their own business with an exciting programme rolled out by Hartlepool College of Further Education - with help from the PFC Trust.
Since the first cohort started in September, the College has helped a wide-range of talented and ambitious people get ideas off the ground at its Creative Enterprise site based in The BIS, Whitby Street.
Among the start-ups there is a range of disciplines from photography and graphic design to event management.
It stems from an idea Lauren Morrell, an Art and Design lecturer, had to provide more opportunities for students at the College who required the knowledge, skills and behaviours to launch their business idea and help to get plans off the ground.
Lauren said: “Students from our college are often underrepresented in having opportunities to create small businesses, they don’t see a pathway into university but desire the ability to use their creativity to secure a financial income."
With funding help from Hartlepool charity the PFC Trust, each student is provided with their own workspace in Unit 2 of The BIS and access to that building as and when they require.
They also receive a laptop as part of the support to grow their business and study towards a Level 4 Professional Diploma in Creative Enterprise.
Maria Archbold, the College’s Head of School for Professional and Creative Studies, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for students who have an ambition. It gives them a location to base themselves from in the first year with no rental outlay due to the generosity of the PFC Trust."
The unique opportunity to access business premises within a creative community is an exclusive selling point of the provision.
Hartlepool College strives to support its Creative Enterprise students to become independent and successful after launching their business.
The protection and support received in the first year has attracted individuals from the town, as well as Bishop Auckland, Billingham and Peterlee.
Lauren said: “We are focusing on the key areas: planning, launching, running and sustaining for a future as a budding entrepreneur.
“Unit 2 is a fantastic place to start. With a communal atrium, a small gallery space wall to exhibit your work. Offering networking opportunities, you’ll find yourself with other like-minded people to motivate you as you grow.”
Hartlepool College has 11 students enrolled on this year’s course and fully expects the numbers to rise for the next intake.
To register or to apply for a place on the Creative Enterprise course and for a workspace at The Bis contact Enquires@Hartlepoolfe.ac.uk.
Thomas Macalister, Connor Hocking, Jacqueline Taylor, Lauren Morrell (lecturer) and Evie Macdonald at the Creative Enterprise in The BIS.
Pictures taken by Connor Hocking (Level 4 Creative Enterprise student) and Dylan Taylor (Level 2 Art & Design Student).