Building Craft & Design Enterprise


We 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 Craft & Design Enterprise Programme

Over the course of seven months you will undertake:

  • Research mission to London trade show and 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

Workshops to Include:

1. Introduction to the BCDE programme, value of Market Research, principles of marketing for the creative sector, current design and business trends: 15th May. Topics covered to include:
  • How marketing principles apply to a creative business
  • Is there a demand/growing demand for what you make?
  • Developing new routes to market
  • Who and where are you competitors?
  • How can you stay visible in a busy market place?
  • Are you up to speed with trends for Design 2020 and beyond?
2. Product Development Part 1: 16th May
  • How to approach making - do you think design, function, form?
  • Building on your successes
  • What do your customers need?
  • How do you present your work?
  • Production Planning
  • Time Management
3. My Business Structure & Organisation: 12th June
  • 10 Steps to good business practice
4. Casting and Pricing my design & production: 13th June
  • Defining how much your customer is willing to pay
  • Getting your margins right
5. Website Audit & Optimization: 2nd July
  • A critical analysis of your website and working on your optimization strategy
6. Channels to Market, PR & Branding: 28th August
  • Defining and refining your route to market
  • Generating a PR campaign
  • How can you get the media to take notice?
7. Retail Relations & Export Potential: 29th August
  • Where do you sell and where is there room for growth, online, direct retail, wholesale or internationally?
  • What's your strategy, have you considered design for export?
  • Building relations with retail stores
Research mission to London trade show & retail visits:

Accompanied research trip to London and associated retail visits from 8th to 10th September to Top Drawer / London Design Biennale - 14th to 22nd September

Please note that 50% funding towards these trips will be accessed through the TAME grants scheme.

8. Product Development Part 2: 9th & 10th October

The 1-2-1 clinics are a follow up from the product development part 1 segment of the programme and will run over 3 days. The clinics are a focused 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 their product for the research and development of alternative products. Each participant will have one mentoring session over the three days.

Please note: Final dates will depend on which research mission to London is decided on based on accepted participants disciplines and level of trading experience. 

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

10. International Trade Fair Preparation & Certificate Presentation: 11th October

What can I expect to gain from this Programme?

  • 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 markets and increasing market share

The fee to participate in this programme is €150 and the programme is heavily subsidised 

Dates are subject to slight change and venues will be confirmed before the programme starts.

Please note that the LEO offices within the Cavan, Louth, Meath, Monaghan region will consult the group in relation to additional areas of support they may indetify that may be provided in addition to the DCCOI Programme.

Key Dates
DateTopicAttendance Required
15th MayIntroduction to Programme - Design Trends & Market ResearchAll
16th MayProduct Development Part 1All
12th JuneBusiness Structure & OrganisationAll
13th JuneFinance - Costing & PricingAll
2nd JulyOnline Presence - Website AuditAll
28th AugustChannels to Market, PR, BrandingAll
29th AugustRetail Relations & ExportingAll
8th - 10th Sept.Research retail trips to LondonIndividual Choice
14th - 22nd Sept.Top Drawer/London Design BiennaleIndividual Choice
25th - 26th Sept.One to one mentoring - Business / Sales / Design1 session per participant
9th - 10th Oct.Product Design Part 2 - One to one mentoring1 session per participant
11th OctoberInternational Trade fair preparation and certificate preparationAll

Application form is available below and must be submitted by 5th April

Application Form

If you have any queries relating to this programme please contact our office on 047 71818 or via email at