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Photo of a group of student attendees walking down a flight of stairs outside as part of their walking tour

Creative Spark 2022: A conference for creatives and entrepreneurs alike

In late August, the Loughborough Enterprise Network hosted a dynamic summer conference which was hosted at the University’s London campus. It cultivated the interest of students and graduates looking to enter the creative industries through employment or entrepreneurship.

Held as part of the British Council’s Creative Spark Project, the Loughborough Enterprise Network collaborated with Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan to organise the one-day conference.

Students took part in walking tours of different entrepreneurial spaces, alongside listening to 14 inspiring speakers from a range of different backgrounds in-person and virtually. Furthermore, staff members from the Careers Network held sessions providing tips on developing a ‘perfect match’ CV as well as how to ignite a creative career.

Recent alumni entrepreneurs offered personal insights into their own creative journeys, including how to manage multiple projects simultaneously, how to design and deliver ground-breaking stories and presentations, and how to master LinkedIn.

Keeping the conference on brand for creatives, there were interactive and engaging elements including a live performance to start the day from the keynote speaker Dr Adaku Jennifer Agwunobi, with her new single “HOME”.

In addition, attendees were able to get involved with a fashion showcase with Loughborough alumni Jess Strain (Overbloom) and Alice Burnhope (Alice Burnhope Design), offering the chance for students to get hands-on with their products, explore their business journey and ask questions on how they became a success. The final creative session was a jewellery-making workshop by Beth Underdown (The Happy Hedgehog), with attendees making their own personalised keyrings and bracelets.   

The day received positive feedback from its attendees:

 “…One of the greatest experiences in my time at university that I'll remember forever.” - Nemat Alizada

“An inspirational and motivating day full of eye-opening activities.”Poppy Beech

“Each workshop was highly insightful and helped me to develop skills both for study and for my future career in the creative industry.”Shana Ryan

The enthusiasm to learn, engage and network coming from attendees sparked a buzz throughout the whole day, as noted by LSU Enterprise’s Jamshid Tavallali’s blog ‘The Ignited Spark’.

Enterprise and Opportunities Officer Beth Underdown added: “Creative Spark presented the opportunity for attendees to get hands-on with activities throughout the day. By offering insights into different businesses and ways of working we were able to show potential career avenues for students. Also, guiding students along a roadmap as to what the next steps are to achieve this goal! It was a great networking day, meeting fellow like-minded and passionate creatives.”