Waterford City Enterprise Board and Waterford Adult Education Centre (WAEC) recently launched “First Flight”, an enterprise programme which assists small craft start-ups.
Based in the Kite Design Studio, in the heart of Waterford’s Viking Triangle, First Flight is already working with the first group of students, providing them with workspace, mentoring assistance and practical business advice. All of the students are currently undertaking the Craft and Fashion Design programmes at Waterford Adult Education Centre.
According to Helena Finlay, Course Co-ordinator, WAEC, First Flight is a great opportunity for craft start-ups to move into the professional workplace.
“This is an exciting collaboration with Waterford City Enterprise Board as it gives our students the chance to take their business ideas to the next level. Waterford has a really strong craft heritage, in everything from fashion design, jewellery and glassware.”
“At WAEC, our students learn and develop skills in art, craft and design to produce unique creations, all the while acquiring a Fetac Level 5 qualification. What First Flight does is help them to then develop their commercial and business acumen. The students, by working in such a vibrant and inspired setting as the Kite Design Studio, are in a better position to grow their businesses commercially.”
The three businesses undertaking the First Flight Programme are Andrew Phelan of Crea Jewellery Design, Lucia Domoradova of Lutsia Fashions and Lenka Jindrichova of Blossom Jewellery Design.
Ciaran Cullen, Chief Executive, Waterford City Enterprise Board is delighted to develop the project. “Waterford City Enterprise Board has worked closely with the Kite Design Studio over the last two and a half years and in that time we have seen it home to many new, exciting and successful businesses. The Kite Design Studio has helped to consolidate Waterford’s well regarded creative tradition in glass making, jewellery and ceramics.”
Ciaran added, “Due to the progress and accomplishments of these businesses Waterford City Enterprise Board is now in a position to move away from the day to day running of the studio. However our ethos remains to encourage and harness start-ups.”
“That’s why we are very excited about the budding new craft enterprises coming through Waterford Adult Education Centre and are delighted to be in a position to help ease their transition into the business space.”
“At Waterford City Enterprise Board we offer assistance in the form of mentoring and financial contributions to start-ups that have the potential to grow and showcase Waterford’s entrepreneurial spirit, something that these three start ups have in abundance.”
If you want to find out more about the free Art, Craft and Design Programmes
at Waterford Adult Education Centre, visit www.adulteducationcentre.ieor call 051 852803. If you have a start- up idea talk to Waterford City Enterprise Board by calling 051 852883 or log onto www.waterfordceb.com.