The Young Arts Entrepreneurs (YAE) Project

Hey guys, I hope you’re all having an amazing 2012 so far! I’m Vicky and I’m a member of the Young Marketing Forum at Curve. I have been promising over and over to write a blog post and now it’s finally here. The year has started at an absolute high at Curve for me and 10 other young people and I just want to give you guys a brief update. As some of you may already know, Curve is running a project called Young Arts Entrepreneurs that is aimed at helping young people turn their ideas into enterprise in their chosen communities. It is a project new to Curve and the rest of the United Kingdom that will be established over a period of three years. In August there will be a celebration event where we will showcase the fruits of our projects. Hopefully you will get to know the other 10 entrepreneurs and their projects soon.

At the risk of making this a long read, I’m going to talk you through how I found out about YAE, the application process and hopes for the project. So it all started with me walking past Curve and wondering if such a cool Café was for just anyone or it was exclusive…No kidding that’s how it actually started. I wouldn’t go in on my own so one day whilst on my way back home with my friend we just thought oh what the heck, we’re going in. The service we got inside was just amazing and the cakes we had were lush, definitely under-priced! Basically the few minutes I was in that building for the first time made me want to know more about it so my next stop was the Curve website.

It was so surprising that there could be so much going on around us and we could easily not realise. Anyway there was an opportunity going for young people to join their marketing team. I jumped at the opportunity faster than light and got accepted. I had absolutely no background in marketing, all I was bringing to the table was my passion and determination to let everyone I can reach, know about what’s going on. I used to be one of those people who could have easily spent three years of my University life in a city so rich and never known about it. There is always something going on so if you’ve never been on the website, get surfing.

Got a bit excited there, anyway back on course, couple of weeks later in a YMF meeting we had the flyer that would advertise the YAE opportunity under discussion and the words that I remember so vividly from our coordinators were ‘This is for anyone who is into this kind of thing even you guys can go for it!’. I didn’t think much about it but ‘subconscious me’ wouldn’t let it go. Once they [flyers] were designed and ready, me being me, I jumped on a pile, stuck the flyers on every notice board I could find, handed it to anyone I thought might be interested and sure enough kept one for myself. I kept eyeing the flyer every now and then imagining how amazing it would be if I applied and actually got through. Lots of ideas were burning from inside and I knew then that if I didn’t write an application I would remain a dreamer and never more than that. I was not about to stand in my own way so I got out of my way and wrote the application and sent it.

Curve were interested in my project idea and wanted me to pitch it to them in person in a Dragon’s Den style event. I really didn’t know what to expect. They had arranged for two people to meet me upon my arrival and just have a casual chat before the presentation. It was an excellent way to calm all the nerves and get geared up for the pitch. When it came to actually delivering the presentation there were faces that meant business yet so friendly and calming. They were keen to know more about my idea [obviously :)] and had an interest which made the presentation meaningful and enjoyable to deliver. I had a couple of questions to answer after the presentation which is always daunting but overall it was a good experience that I’m glad to have had a chance to take part in.

At the moment we are being equipped to run the projects. Once the training period is over we will have to deliver our projects and then transform them into sustainable businesses. All the 10 projects are very diverse and will work with different kinds of people. I think Leicester will definitely benefit from all 10 in very different ways, both in the project phase and beyond the life of the projects. Pioneering such a huge thing is very exciting and we are all burning to get hands on.

Thanks for reading and please do watch the space for updates!

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