Activity in Year 4
Additional Animation Resource Development
After being impressed with the creation of the initial animation resources, we were able to use some of the underspent project funds to commission another batch. We wanted to use this further 6 animations to extend the work already started (and consider further steps in the journey towards realising new business ideas) but also to think about some of the key challenges of the Creative Spark mission – namely, the inclusion of diverse individuals in entrepreneurial development activities.
The second animations series included the following topics:
- The Entrepreneurial Mindset
- Seeking Investment
- Taking on your first employee
- Social enterprise
- Inclusive Entrepreneurship
The next stage for the team upon completion of the 2nd batch of the animations series, is to use with educators and students to gain feedback. To facilitate this we will be developing some resources in Year 4 to showcase different potential uses for these resources, as well as including a workshop on this topic within the educator development webinar series.
Check out the animations here! - Start-Up Animations
Createathon Baku (June 2022)
Vicky Mountford-Brown, Fiona Whitehurst and Leigh Sear visited Azerbaijan, as part of the British Council Creative Spark Project, to collaborate with the Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication of the Republic of Azerbaijan (CAERC) on a Createathon and another workshop. The events took place in person in Azerbaijan with university students and local small business owners doing their best, to collaborate, innovate and present their ideas.
The Executive Director of CAERC, Vasul Gasimili, welcomed educators and students from many universities along with representatives of five local small businesses. He stressed that Azerbaijan is a very wealthy country in terms of resources and that there is lots of scope for new businesses to be started. He mentioned the importance of knowledge transfer between the United Kingdom and Azerbaijan and that as the Creative Spark programme is drawing to an end it is important to ensure sustainability.
Fiona and Vicky facilitated a Createathon, a type of hackathon where talented students work with businesses to generate new ideas for the businesses using a variety of tools and techniques. The businesses who took part were FemTech, AcademStar, Kandi Getir, Supply Chain Community and Crispa Snacks. The students presented their ideas for the business that they had worked with in a Pecha Kucha format and certificates and prizes were awarded to all students and businesses for their excellent work. The educators were able to observe the Createathon to see how they could adapt it for their own institutions.
Many educators returned later in the week for a workshop on Developing Practice, Pedagogy and Professional Standards. This workshop was led by Mr Leigh Sear of SFEDI group who also lectures at Newcastle University and is an internationally recognised expert in enterprise education. There were vibrant discussions about how Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Educators’ Professional Standards developed for the United Kingdom context are very relevant for Azerbaijan too, despite different constraints and challenges in Azerbaijan. The workshop covered how to build collaborative relationships with learners, educators and other stakeholders and the need for specific case studies and of Azerbaijani businesses and role models. The partnership has already created a case study of Crispa Snacks in collaboration with Nahid Jabbarov, Executive Director of Crispa who has been working with Newcastle University and CAERC since July 2019 when the first visit by Newcastle University to Baku for Creative Spark took place.
Vicky and Fiona continue to be impressed and inspired by the dedication and motivation of the educators and students that we work with. We are looking to continue to collaborate with CAERC after the end of the Creative Spark programme.
Use #MyCreativeSpark on social media to find more about what's been happening in other Creative Spark Projects!
Big Idea Challenge
The Big Idea Challenge is a video pitch competition which encourages young people from Creative Spark programme countries to develop an innovative ‘startup’ and tell the world about it. Students, graduates and young entrepreneurs from participating institutions applied for the competition and now it’s time to select the best ideas which will be implemented. This year’s competition was run in three categories:
Ideas that tackle social inclusion and gender equality or target under-represented communities and the world beyond. This could have been any idea that aim to help those most in need. From Azerbaijani submissions the finalists were selected as follows: CONWORK, DESTEKCHI and SERVICEHERE.
Ideas for a new product, an exhibition or a way to make cultural environment more vibrant. New ideas that will help creative people reach new audiences and become more successful. From Azerbaijani submissions the finalists were selected as follows: AY’S WINGS, GREEN BOMB and UNIST.
Ideas that are based on innovative uses of technology and involve the development and application of new software or hardware. From Azerbaijani submissions the finalists were selected as follows: PETSGO, MOOD and TAPTIK.
In each of the participating countries, including Azerbaijan, an award will be given to the team that gains the largest number of public votes. One public vote winning team will be chosen as the International People’s Choice Winner (voting ends July 10th 2022).
Creative Spark Newcastle University
In preparation for the final submission, participants took part in workshops and mentoring schemes to learn how to pitch their ideas. These workshops took place in Baku with the help of CAERC and Newcastle University on behalf of British Council, with 50 students of Baku State University, Azerbaijan State University of Economics, Azerbaijan University of Architecture and Construction, Baku Engineering University and Ganja Agrarian University taking part in discussions and sharing ideas. You can watch the finalists from the Creative category below or visit Creative Spark Big Idea Challenge website.