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The Creative Entrepreneur - UK - 1

Ms H arrived in the UK from France on a work experience scheme for recent graduates. She had qualified in graphic design and was finding it hard to become established in France as she did not live in Paris. Had she not been offered the placement in the UK she had planned to move into Paris to find work. She had learned some English at school and before she arrived she thought she would be able to manage the language, although in retrospect her skills were poor, especially when regional accents were strong. The initial work placement was for six months and this went well but at the end of the period Ms H felt she was only just beginning to really improve her language skills and to settle into UK life so she looked for work in the UK. She managed to find a post as a graphic designer after also working as a waitress and in bars. She settled into the UK well and enjoyed working here as well as meeting her long-term partner. This meant the UK was likely to become her permanent home.

The company for whom she worked was affected by the downturn and had to close. Although Ms H had good contacts and was able to get interviews she could not get a job; many people said, ‘if only you were a consultant as I have one project…’ Ms H described a moment of sudden awareness when she realised that she could become a consultant graphic designer and she immediately set out to do this. Her ex-boss provided her with a very old computer and she used a spare bedroom as her office; emailing contacts. To her astonishment the only regulations she needed to comply with were informing the Inland Revenue. She had not expected this to be the case and was most surprised. Had she realised it was so simple to set up in business she would have done so far sooner. She got her first appointment with a potential client within a couple of days and was awarded the contract and so was immediately busy.

Ms H relies heavily on various online networks as a tool for finding work and showcasing her portfolio. She now has contracts in China and France as well as across the UK. Ms H has continued to develop her work and is running events within the local community to develop awareness of how branding works to manipulate society. These creative events are a new approach to the uses of graphic design and are already proving popular.

Education and Culture Lifelong Learning Programme
© 2011 ELIE Project
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.