Building a Craft and Design Enterprise South East

Design and Crafts Council of Ireland in association with Local Enterprise Offices are looking for ambitious creative enterprises that want to inject new ideas and approaches to product development into their practice. Boost your product into new markets through a series of design led workshops.

Building a Craft and Design Enterprise Programme

Over the course of seven months you will undertake: • Research mission to a London trade show & retail visits. • Enhancing your design and product • Developing your Branding. • Costing and promoting your product in the marketplace • 8 days training • Bespoke 1-2-1 mentoring sessions • Considered research into future markets.


1. Introduction to the BCDE programme, value of Market Research, principles of marketing for the creative sector, current Design and business trends: 23rd September .

How marketing principles apply to a creative business. • 

  • The value of research
  •  Is there a demand/growing demand for what you make? 
  •  Developing new routes to new markets • Who and where are your competitors? 
  •  How can you keep visible in a busy market place?
  • Are you up to speed with trends for Design, 2020 and beyond?

2. Product Development Part 1: 24th September

  •  How do you approach making- do you think design, function, form? 
  •  Building on your successes.
  • Who are your customers?
  • How do you present your work?
  • Production planning • Time management

3. My Business Structure & Organization: 22 Oct      

  • 10 steps to good business practice:

4. Website audit and Optimization: 23 Oct

  • A critical analysis of your website and working on your optimization strategy. Each business will have an additional mentoring session in this area.

5. Costing and Pricing my design and production: 6 February 2020

  •  Achieving accuracy for profitability. 
  •  Defining how much is your customer willing to pay? 
  •  Getting your margins right

Research mission to London trade/ Collector show – Collect and on the ground retail focus 25th to 28th Feb 2020

Accompanied research trip to London and focused retail visits.

6 .Product Development Part 2: 24 & 25 March 2020

The 1-2-1 clinics are a follow up from the product development part 1 segment of the programme and will assess inspiration form the London trip. The clinics are a focussed one-to-one session and include an audit and review of current product offerings and provide the opportunity to engage and discuss new and developing work. Thereby generating an individual action plan of key achievable tasks to be undertaken to improve the viability of product or R & D of alternative products Each participant will have one mentoring session.

7.Channels to Market, PR & Branding: 22nd April 2020

  •  Defining my business brand.
  • Generating a PR campaign?
  • How can you get the media to take notice?

8. Retail Relations & Export Potential:  23rd April 2020

  • What’s your strategy, have you carefully considered export? 
  •  Do you have room for growth- Online, direct retail, wholesale, internationally? 
  • Positive steps to building relations with retail stores.

9. One-to-one mentoring in business, sales, design: 25th & 26th May 2020

10. The value of Trade Fair for Design businesses. 27th May 2020

Trade Fairs as a research tool 

Preparation for National and International shows.

Driving buyers to your stand, Budgeting and Planning for overseas shows. Maximizing the experience.

Followed by Certificate Presentation : 27 May 2020


  • Awareness of future trends 
  • A move towards new products/ ranges for growth
  • Tools you can use for future product development
  • Strategies for getting your product to new market and increasing market share.

The fee to participate is 150 euros and the programme is heavily subsidised. Dates are subject to slight change and venues will be confirmed before the Programme starts.


Key dates



Attendance Required

23rd Sept

Introduction to Programme/ Design trends/market research


24th Sept

Product Development Part 1


22 Oct

Business Structure and Organisation


23 Oct

Online presence- website audit


6 Feb

Finance – Costing & Pricing


25 to 28 Feb

Collect London & research visit

Individual choice

22 April

PR and Branding your product range


23 April

Retail Relations and Exporting


25th & 26th   May

One to One mentoring

Business /sales /design

1 session during one of the days

27th May

International Trade Fair preparation and certificate   presentation



Application form for Building & Craft and Design Enterprise Programme .doc (size 778.8 KB)

Please return by email by 25 June 2019 to the Local Enterprise Office Carlow cc