Pioneer and Market Entry Programmes
These are for young emerging designers and entrepreneurs. In addition to its Venture programme (that mentors fashion brands that are fairly wellestablished) the Centre for Fashion Enterprise offer support to designers who are less experienced with their Pioneer and Market Entry programmes.
The Pioneer programme runs for 6 months and is for high-end designer businesses that have usually been trading for 2-3 seasons and have a handful of stockists and personal clients. The programme aims to professionalise the new business through face-to-face sessions and workshops with the CFE experts. The programme offers:
- a diagnostic review of the business
- cash-flow advice and finance
- business planning
- discussion regarding commercial opportunities
- sales preparation
- legal issues
- brand building
- range planning
- order book and market review
- business sustainability
The Market Entry programme is for much smaller businesses and is an opportunity for fledgling fashion businesses to be introduced to the know-how and tools to develop their own business infrastructure and growth strategies, enabling them to support their already apparent creative abilities. This is a fully subsidised programme at no cost to the business.
The London Style project, a partnership between London College of Fashion, The Centre for Sustainable Fashion, Newham College of Further Education, Centre for Innovation and Partnerships (NCFE), East London Design Show (ELDS) and Holts Academy of Jewellery, provided specialist business support to design SMEs in the Fashion, Jewellery, Homeware and Accessories sectors. The project enabled beneficiaries to access new markets in the UK and internationally whilst recognising the growing demand for products demonstrating high ethical and environmental standards.
More than 350 SMEs were offered support and guidance,over 200 of those SMEs achieved sales in new marketswith more than a million pounds worth of new revenuegenerated, over 40 new full time jobs were created and over 200 of the SMEs assisted by the project put in place specific measure to address the environmental impacts oftheir business practices.
London Style allowed the Centre for Sustainable Fashion to build key partnerships and relationships with other organisations, ranging from retailers such as Harvey Nichols and ASOS through to fashion press such as i-D and Vogue. The project came to an end in June 2011 and the Centre for Sustainable Fashion is currently developing further opportunities to continue our support for small business in London and the UK.
Fashion Bootcamp is a new initiative set up by the CFE that empowers young entrepreneurs to break into the notoriously competitive world of fashion. Bootcamp is a fast-track for start up businesses; intensive and focused and designed to support entrepreneurs to test their concept’s viability through exploring and planning their launch strategies using relevant networks and media. The Bootcamp offers mentoring and expert advice to make sure the great ideas of talented entrepreneurs actually reach their markets. Fashion Bootcamp also gives participants the chance of winning £1,000 to kickstart their business ideas.
Starting your own Fashion Business
LCF offer business beginners short courses that support them on their journey to becoming fashion business owners. These courses will give you a valuable overview of the ins and outs of starting up a new venture, and practical advice on planning and preparation.
Short courses include:
Designer-Manufacturer Innovation Support Centre (DISC)
DISC Supports fashion manufacturers and designers to innovate their business, products and services through giving them access to a team of highly skilled industry experts. Their specialist experience covers the manufacturing industry incorporating factory production, global sourcing, jewellery production and sustainable manufacturing.
Through working with DISC, businesses can potentially:
- Identify opportunities and solutions for adding value to manufacturing
- Deliver innovation in product, process and business models
- Attract new customers, increasing sales (both home and export sales) and increasing turnover
- See an improvement in profit margins
- Develop new products and services
- Become a pioneer in the growing sustainable fashion industry