A new programme with funding opportunities for UK universities and creative institutions has been announced by the British Council today.
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.
Responding to high youth unemployment rates and an underdeveloped creative sector, Creative Spark will fund up to 22 international partnerships between higher education and creative institutions in the UK and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
With an aim to build partnerships which will support enterprise education – including establishing enterprise hubs - the programme will benefit university students, graduates and young entrepreneurs who will learn a range of skills from how to pitch ideas to how to start a business. Each partnership will be granted a maximum of £50,000.
In addition, the British Council will develop new digital content to help young people strengthen their English language skills, whilst learning about entrepreneurship through a series of free online courses.
Commenting on the launch, Richard Everitt, Director Education and Society, Wider Europe, British Council said: “Creative Spark aims to provide thousands of young people with enterprise skills and the ability to start their own business by using the experience of the UK’s higher education and creative institutions.”
The UN has previously recognised the creative economy as being one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the world economy. Creative industries are also expected to add nearly one million jobs to the UK economy by 2030. Creative Spark aims to give the next generation opportunities to develop skills required to compete in a global job market.