Creative Spark: Higher Education Enterprise Programme is a five-year initiative (2018 - 2023) to support university and institutional partnerships with the UK to develop entrepreneurship and enterprise skills for students and young entrepreneurs across seven countries: Ukraine, Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan) and South Caucasus (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia). We do this by enabling national policy forums, development of new curriculum and enterprise education materials, and establishing business incubation centres. 

The programme was designed to support the underdeveloped creative enterprise sector, with a demand for entrepreneurship education and to support wealth and better job opportunities.

Download the impact results for 2018-20 here

Creative Spark has three key elements:

1.  Forming 50 partnerships with universities and creative institutes in the UK and programme countries to support:

  • Skills development for students and young creative entrepreneurs
  • Knowledge exchange
  • New incubation hubs and start-ups

2.  Delivering enterprise skills to students, graduates and young entrepreneurs, ranging from pitching ideas and starting a business, to protecting intellectual property and securing financial support. 

The programme launched the largest online enterprise pitch competition 'Creative Spark Big Idea Challenge' to help young creative entrepreneurs learn enterprise skills and how to pitch business ideas. The competition produces over 500 new business ideas per year and over 80,000 people vote online to choose their favourite ideas from categories including social impact, technology, creativity and climate change.

3.  Delivering an English learning programme with a range of new digital language learning content. This includes online learning packs on the English Channel platform, online courses, English clubs, and new Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) focused on English for entrepreneurship and professional business skills.

Creative Spark is supporting the United Nations 2021 Year of the Creative Economy, and collaborating with the World Intellectual Property Organisation, Santander Bank though the programme.

Please get in touch if you are interested in collaborating or partnering with us.

Creative Spark Partnership Fund

Creative Spark Partnership Fund is developed for building partnerships between universities and creative institutions in the UK and those in programme countries to support enterprise education and establish enterprise centres/hubs. 

The Creative Spark network has 50 partnerships with 122 institutions involved. To date we have engaged 760,000 students through the activities including workshops, bootcamps, enterprise training, incubation events and English courses. These partnerships will continue to provide thousands more young people with enterprise skills and help them build cultural ties.

Download the list of partnerships from the Downloads section below.

Creative Spark Big Idea Challenge

The Creative Spark Big Idea Challenge video pitch competition encourages young people from programme countries to develop an innovative start-up idea and tell the world about it.  In the first two years of the competition, 920 new business ideas were created by 1,520 teams and voted on by 122,000 people. This is the British Council’s largest digital video pitch competition.

We have four competition categories including a new category on ‘climate change’. The categories are:

  1. Digital technology
  2. Social impact 
  3. Creative 
  4. Climate change

The new climate change category is to support the COP26 Programme and will remain on the categories list in future years.

Contact us

For any enquiries, please contact the team at or contact the relevant British Council country office (see External links below).

External links