Tuesday 18 December 2018


37 partnership projects awarded funding to develop creative economy between the UK and Central Asia, South Caucasus and Ukraine

The Creative Spark: Higher Education Enterprise Programme is a five-year initiative which will support the development of enterprise skills and the creative economy across seven countries in Central Asia, South Caucasus and Ukraine through UK support.

The programme has been developed in response to an underdeveloped creative sector and a demand for entrepreneurship training in these countries, supporting wealth and job creation. It is supported and launched in June 2018 by the Prime Minister’s trade envoy Baroness Emma Nicholson 

“The British Council’s Creative Spark programme is a fantastic new initiative and is of vital importance in supporting longer term partnerships between the UK, Ukraine and the countries of Central Asia, and the South Caucasus.  Universities play a major role in developing enterprise skills amongst the most talented and ambitious young people. This in turn will of course lead to economic growth and hopefully the future success of these fiercely proud, but largely underdeveloped, countries of the former Soviet Union.” 

In the first year of the programme, Creative Spark funded 37 partnership projects led by UK Universities and creative institutions with peer institutions in seven countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. 

Each partnership is granted a maximum of £50,000 and representatives from the UK and all programme countries met in Tbilisi, Georgia for the first time on 20-21 November for a conference to kick off their partnership plans and national policy leads signed up to the joint Tblisi Statement. 

The partnerships will focus on three areas to give young people in those countries improved access to international networks, markets and resources by: 

1.Development of the funded partnerships between universities and creative institutions in the UK and those in programme countries;

2.Delivering enterprise skills training packages to students and creative entrepreneurs, ranging from pitching ideas and starting a business, to protecting intellectual property and securing financial support – this will be further developed through a ‘video pitch’ competition, open to 100,000s of students across the programme countries next summer, with UK based professional development courses as prizes  

3.Delivering an English Learning Programme with a range of new digital language learning content.  This will include online learning packs on the English Channel platform, online courses and new Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) focused on English for entrepreneurship.  

For inquiries contact: creative.spark@britishcouncil.org

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.