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Pre-Degree students at Arts University Plymouth develop business ideas with the Prince’s Trust

Pre-Degree students at Arts University Plymouth develop business ideas with the Prince’s Trust

Sixth Form students have their ideas supported by the Prince’s Trust Enterprise Program

Students from Arts University Plymouth’s Pre-Degree and Sixth form campus have worked with the Prince’s Trust Enterprise Program to develop their business ideas.

The Prince’s Trust visited Palace Court, the arts university’s Pre-Degree and Sixth Form campus, to establish a Business Incubation space for eligible students to participate in. Students aged 16 to 17 took part in a two-day business incubation course, focussing on business models, profit and loss, business plans and more. Students aged 18 and over participated in a two-day business development course that culminated in a £500 startup fund for successful students, as well as a partnership with a business mentor for 12 months. 

Sky Purchase, aged 18 and based in St Budeaux, used the Enterprise Program to expand her business idea, SOULSTER, a brand of characters born out of their final major project.

Sky said, “Late last year, we had a module where we had to make a book. I was freaking out about it until I came up with the idea of a character line that I made into a book. It was only when I got the email from my tutors telling us there was an opportunity to expand a business idea that I wanted to do that for my project. Now I’m coming up with all sorts of merchandise ideas, stickers, keyrings, etc, with a final product of a doll. I did a poll with some friends as market research for a name and Soulster was the one that came out on top!”

Sky said, “The Prince’s Trust were really lovely and insightful with their ideas. It helped me budget more, something I already do, but there’s so much to learn. I’m in contact about getting a mentor and I’ll be applying for the start up funding of £500. It’s such a big opportunity that I couldn’t not. If that all goes well, they also have a grant of £5,000, which I’ll apply for too. I’ve got a big fear of talking in front of people, but I knew I had to present as part of the course. It actually went really well and I learned not to feel so worried talking about your ideas. I felt really confident by the end of the course.”

Sky, who graduates UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Practice: Graphics, Illustration and Game Arts this year, will be studying BA (Hons) Illustration at Arts University Plymouth in September 2023.

“Growing up in Plymouth, I always used to see the arts university building, thinking it was so cool. I’m from a family full of artists so I knew since Year 8 I wanted to come to the university. The teachers are great, the sweetest people and very supportive. If you need help, they’re there to talk to. All the students are lovely too, it’s such a family vibe here. I’m a digital artist mainly, using different brushes and techniques, but I’ve done a lot of experimenting with paint and clay. I’m trying to get into different mediums, but illustration is my favourite, so I was so excited to see my offer was accepted to continue my studies at Arts University Plymouth on BA (Hons) Illustration.”

18 year old Caitlin Stanton-Murray also got involved in the Enterprise Program. Caitlin is studying a UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Practice: Fashion and Textiles and used the program to improve her marketing skills within an upcycling project.

Caitlin said, “I used the Incubation Program to level up my marketing skills rather than use it for a business idea. I partnered up with another student who upcycles clothes. People would send her old clothes and she’d upcycle them. Mia does the making and I do the promotion. The program is great for when you’re ready to start a business or even if you’re not. It helped develop my skills and confidence. Everyone expects you to have these fresh new ideas, but sometimes you need time to develop them and find out who you are before you can make your own brand. A brand expresses you as a person, so it should be organic rather than you pretending to be someone else.”

Based in Laira, Caitlin will be attending BA (Hons) Fashion Marketing at University of Portsmouth when she graduates from Pre-Degree.

“I joined Arts University Plymouth on a whim really. I was a lockdown kid and was going to go to a traditional sixth form as it felt like a bit of a safety blanket, but I didn’t feel very seen at school as a creative. Fashion has always been something I’ve been interested in, so I ended up creating content during lockdown where I felt less pressure and less judgement without school. At Arts University Plymouth, there are so many more opportunities, such as the Prince’s Trust project. It opens more doors for me to find something that suits me. I didn’t know whether I’d thrive, but now I’m doing better than I could ever have imagined.”

Harry Tomlinson, aged 17 and studying UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Practice: Graphics, Illustration & Game Arts, used the Incubation Program to build on his business idea of creating custom clothing.

Harry said, “My idea is making custom clothes, for example, hoodies, using my skills in media and graphic design, as well as my knowledge of design software. I learned a lot from the workshop, about taxes and presenting ideas. I’m going to take a gap year when I finish, so my goal is to make my own source of income, whether that’s through growing my social media or expanding my business.”

Jess Bowden, Lecturer of UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Practice: Fashion & Textiles at Arts University Plymouth’s Pre-Degree and Sixth Form campus said,

“It has been brilliant to have the support of the Prince’s Trust this year, encouraging and empowering students to develop their own business ideas linked to their creative practice.  We are excited for the future, developing our relationship with the Prince’s Trust to all our second year Extended Diploma students next year.”

Arts University Plymouth offers a range of post-16 study programmes in its dedicated Pre-Degree and Sixth Form campus, including UAL Level 3 Extended Diplomas, which are equivalent to A-Levels for 16 to 19-year-olds, are recognised by UCAS, Arts University Plymouth and other universities throughout the UK, and by employers in the creative industries. The arts university also offers a UAL Foundation Diploma in Art & Design, which is a chance for students to discover, experiment and explore across a wide range of disciplines, as well as maximise their chances of gaining a First-class degree if they decide to progress on to undergraduate study. To find out more, the next Pre-Degree & Sixth Form Open Day takes place in Arts University Plymouth’s city-centre Palace Court campus on Saturday 3 June 2023.

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