Creative businesses in Donegal want to work and collaborate on projects to improve their chances of business success – but they would like more opportunities to learn how they might do that.
That’s the over-riding finding in a survey by local students.
Conducted by final year marketing students at Letterkenny IT in conjunction with the Local Enterprise Office, the student survey findings were presented recently to members of the Creative Coast Steering Group.
The survey set out to explore the opportunities for collaborative marketing approaches in Donegal’s creative sector and also to examine the entrepreneurial nature of the creative sector in the county.
Vicky O’Rourke Lecturer in Marketing at LYIT said conducting the survey had been a very interesting and informative experience for the students.
‘It was a very interesting project for the BBS(H) Marketing students to work on, they gained invaluable experience developing their marketing research skills, while adding value for local creative businesses.
“Such collaborative projects between LYIT and the Local Enterprise Office are very beneficial for both students and businesses in the region, and this collaboration is something we hope to build on in the future,” she said.
Head of Enterprise in Donegal, Michael Tunney, who praised the students for their work on the survey, said it was timely to be able to examine their findings in the overall context of plans currently in place for the creative industries in Donegal.
“The Strategic Action Plan for Creative Entrepreneurship for Donegal aims to set about establishing the right conditions for creative entrepreneurship in the county. The feedback we have from the creative businesses as part of the survey will help us look at the strategy in terms of their needs.”
He added that some of the findings tie in with plans already in train for 2017 under the Creative Coast initiative.
“The Creative Coast seeks to inform people of potential opportunities and to establish the emergence of a coherent identity for Donegal’s creative sectors. At the same time it aims to connect people across various creative sectors and to broker partnerships around creative innovation.”
The Head of Enterprise explained that work has commenced on the facilitation of creative clusters in the county with meetings already taking place for the film and digital sector and the fashion and textiles sector, with one planned for fine art early next month.
“Those meetings will give businesses an opportunity to network and share ideas in a sector-specific setting and increases the potential for future collaboration,” he said.
Mr Tunney added that work has also begun on the development of training programmes covering areas raised in the survey.
“We have a full range of training and development programmes on offer all year round at the Local Enterprise Office, but we are also looking towards a possible programme in conjunction with the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland that will be of particular interest to the creative industries.
We are also looking at examples of best practice in other countries to determine if any of those models can be adapted for use in Donegal.”
He suggested that the desire for further training highlighted in the survey results, indicates a real willingness in the sector to push on and develop and he urged those involved in creative businesses to engage with the Local Enterprise Office.
“The Creative Coast website (creativecoastdonegal.ie) provides an opportunity for businesses to become part of an online directory and visualisation tool of the county’s creative businesses and in addition to registering on the site, I’d recommend to creative businesses to make contact with Creative Coast facilitator, Liam Porter, by e.mail – email@example.com”
He added: “Through our engagement with the creative sectors we are keen to continue to develop the conditions required for creative entrepreneurs to succeed. We’re already looking forward to seeing the development of strong creative clusters and optimistic that this is a sector that will go from strength to strength in Donegal.”Tags: