The Creative Society is an arts employment charity that helps young people into jobs in the creative and cultural industries.
Design graduates advised against setting up own businesses
Leading figures from the design industry are urging new graduates not to set up their own business during the recession. But if firms are not hiring, what other options do young designers have?
Speaking at Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design last week, Deborah Dawton, chief executive of the Design Business Association, warned that the current financial climate has made starting up your own small design business a perilous undertaking as revenues plunge and competition soars.
Nevertheless, small businesses remain the lifeblood of the creative economy. A vast number of creative graduates become self-employed and the government has a responsibility to ensure that sufficient support is available to those who do wish to go it alone.
This responsibility is made all the greater in times of recession. The Future Jobs Fund unveiled by the government in last month’s Budget makes little provision for the thousands of struggling self-employed creative entrepreneurs who do not enrole at Jobcentres.
We must incentivise small business start ups, not discourage them. During the last recession, the Enterprise Allowance Scheme proved highly successful at supporting small businesses. Under the scheme, individuals who set up a small enterprise could claim £40 a week for up to 12 months in order to get the business of the ground. Many of today’s famous names- Tracey Emin, Alan McGee, Brian Message- started out on the scheme.
There are calls for the reintroduction of the Enterprise Allowance Scheme. The Federation of Small Businesses has petitioned government for the basic tenets of the EAS to be included in forthcoming employment policy. The government would do well to consider such a move.