Activity in Year 3

Webinar series

Creative Spark Webinar Series was created to share best practices between the UK and Azerbaijani educators. It was not only university learning we had in mind, as education goes beyond systemic learning. Small business owners sometimes want guidance and educators need to be prepared to support them. We tried to make these accessible and interesting for educators from both countries by inviting them to speak. Participants who were listening, represented a variety of countries and were able to ask questions at the end of the session.

The topics were:

  • Creative Fuse: supporting regional business innovation activities to creative and cultural enterprises
  • Spinning out best practice
  • Taking a hands-on design thinking exercise online
  • Setting up and managing rural enterprise hubs/clusters/coworking. The case of the The National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise
  • Bringing Entrepreneurship Modules Online
  • Virtual Createathon Toolkit
  • The value of the threshold concept framework to entrepreneurship and enterprise educators
  • Using animations and social media to motivate and inspire

In order to share the knowledge as far and wide as we can, these webinars are kept on our website. You can access them at any time and use as a resource.


Pitching Resources

Consultants, Jill McKinney and Billy Webber, developed a series of online workshop videos that act as a usable future resource; as part of this contribution to the project, they also included some pitching coaching follow-up discussions with year 4 students using the resources.

Arguably one of the most important stages to develop certainty in the idea and increase confidence in the both the validity and the delivery of the idea, pitching can also feel like one of the most daunting aspects of the early stages of idea development (and even further into the journey for some!). The purpose of focussing on developing pitching resources was to alleviate some of the anxieties around pitch development and we used trusted professional experts in pitch development, specialising in tech and research. 

The abilitiy to engage learners, to simplify and convincingly present ideas to a panel, by crafting concise messages, will be useful for anyone developing a pitch!  

The Pitching Resources cover things like: 

  • How to prepare a pitch?
  • What is crucial for successful delivery?
  • What is the structiure of a successful pitch?
  • What to focus on the most?

Pitching development consultation with Billy and Jill will be offered to BIG Idea Challenge entrants in 2022. It will be useful to capture feedback from the use of the resources and the consultations. These resources may also be suitable for the development of student/educator learning platform developed by British Council. 

Want to learn more about pitching ideas? We created this short animation to help you - Pitching Ideas

Watch Pitching Resources videos here - Pitching Resources

Developing Resource Repository and Toolkits

After successful delivery of Createathons with cohorts from Newcastle and Azerbaijan, we decided that a Toolkit would enable more educators to use our workshop format as a resource, hence the Createathon Toolkit was born. Development of this resource took place from June to September 2021 and will be tested during Year 4 of the Creative Spark project. 

The Createathon itself is very interactive, and the main goal is collaboration. Student groups are matched with a small business owner and are meant to approach solving a particular struggle creatively, while using the tools that they take out of university. In the Toolkit, educators can find guides on planning and delivery but are encouraged to take this format and add activities, that specifically match the goals for their participants. It has been a successful way for us to encourage creativity and teamwork, while giving real-life experience to students. Small business owners also benefit, as their particular struggle is solved and they may take away some useful connections.

Within the Createthon Toolkit you will find:​​

  • What benefits you can expect from running a Createathon for creative enterprises and students
  • How to prepare to run a Createathon
  • Outlines of the workshop sessions (and a rationale for each component)
  • Downloadable/editable templates​
  • 'How to' guides for participants​


Animation Resource Development

When the world went into lockdown in 2020 we had to rethink the plans we had for funded activities and imagine how we might deliver enterprise education activities in a digital space more thanever before.  As awareness raising is often part of the challenge for educators and support services, we recruited the expertise of one of Newcastle University’s graduate Start-Ups ‘DocYOUmentary’ to help develop some short, animated videos. They are meant to help raise awareness and signpost to important terms and touch-points of the entrepreneurial journey.  

The animations can be used in a multitude of ways and ongoing consultation with educators in UK an Azerbaijan will help to identify further avenues for impact through the use of these resources. 


We knew from working with educatorsin Azerbaijan that the context in which they were working in and the purposeof their enterprise activities differs widely.  We also know that in targeting young aspiring/potential future entrepreneurs typically involves engaging with social media platforms, which is why we knew that short animations would be able to serve this purpose.  We also envisaged the animations would become multipurpose due to the way that everyone had to convert their teaching to online.  The topics of the animations were therefore formed around some of the key building blocks of ideation and innovation. 

The first animated series included the following topics: 

  • Value Creation 
  • Creativity and Innovation 
  • Idea Generation 
  • Testing Ideas 
  • Idea Evaluation 
  • Pitching Ideas 

Vicky presented the first batch of animations as part of the webinar series in year 3 (March-June 2021), which was not attended by Azerbaijani educator sadly, but feedback from British attendees was very encouraging. A newly formed research institute for rural entrepreneurship wished to use these resources in their project. 

We were also able to develop a another six videos in 2021, as an extension of this initial series, which provided further scope for the team to develop additional resources.