CSF has an ongoing commitment to working with small businesses. We always have and always will believe that small is beautiful. Whilst we see the value in working with large corporations to effect change at scale, we also know that very often, original thinking is found at the margins of conventional commerce. Small businesses whilst resource poor are often rich in creative flair and quick to adapt to the changes they see in the world around them.
This summer we will launch a new business-mentoring scheme run from the Fashion and Textiles Museum as part of the Creative Hub. We will be offering tailored business support to 30 fashion businesses over the next year. We are looking for beneficiaries with an interest in and commitment to doing things differently, those who are willing and able to explore and instigate new business models; those with genuine creative flair and those who understand that good business involves 360 vision.
The CSF has extensive experience mentoring small fashion businesses. Alex McIntosh our Business and Research Manager will be the main point of contact for beneficiaries; Alex has mentored over 100 emerging fashion businesses through his work at CSF, The Ethical Fashion Forum and The Make Your Mark Campaign, as well as developing and managing projects and campaigns with some of the biggest global brands.
Alex will tailor his one-to-one sessions towards values led business strategy, aligning development, production, sales and marketing to the overall ethos of the brand. Alex will also help brands to research and explore new business models and diversification to build a resilient business with economic, environmental and social sustainability at the core.
Our Director Dilys Williams will also contribute to the mentoring process drawing on her extensive design experience with the likes of Katharine Hamnett, Whistles, Jigsaw and other iconic British brands including Liberty and M&S. Dilys will focus on design identity and direction for each business helping to formulate a clear strategy for the integration of sustainable principles and practices into the range planning, design and development process.
The mentoring is subsidised through funding from the European Regional Development Fund and will allow each business involved to access tailored one-to-one advice and guidance from CSF. We will be choosing the first cohort of beneficiaries in July and starting work with them in August. You can apply to be part of the programme through the Creative Hub website.