Glasgow Caledonian University’s British School of Fashion, retailRIGHT and European retail property specialist Hammerson have teamed up to create a new initiative to support students in becoming successful fashion entrepreneurs.
With research showing that 90% of retail business start-ups fail, the partners have recognised the need to work together to reverse these odds. Students studying at GCU’s British School of Fashion have been given the opportunity to win up £30,000 of seed funding, mentoring and prime retail space.
Successful seed funding applicants, selected by a panel of industry judges, will have the opportunity to use pop-up shop space at one of Hammerson’s shopping centres, including Silverburn in Glasgow and Brent Cross in London, to develop and launch their business.
The initiative was launched at GCU London on Wednesday (November 30) at an event which brought together representatives from the retail industry, fashion entrepreneurs, students and academics.
The launch of the seed funding and pop-up shop package builds upon the success of the retailRIGHT scholarship programme, which welcomed its first two scholars, aspiring entrepreneurs Martha Rodriguez and Blair Clark, who are studying on the MSc Fashion Business Creation at GCU London.
Speaking about the partnership, Amy Prendergast, Head of Vocational and Career Development at retailTRUST, said: “Through our innovative partnership we will give aspiring entrepreneurs access to training, mentoring, funding and prime retail space to help kick start their own fashion retail business. Over the next five years we hope our partnership, in collaboration with industry experts, will help to launch the careers of some of the next top fashion leaders and innovators.”
Sophie Ross, Head of Multichannel at Hammerson said: “As a leading European owner, manager and developer of best-in-class retail destinations, we are pleased to be involved in this exciting new initiative. Being able to offer new fashion talent access to financial support together with space in prime retail locations is an exciting opportunity and helps ensure that the industry can continue to go from strength to strength.”
Professor Christopher Moore, Director of the British School of Fashion, said: “Our programme has been designed in collaboration with leading fashion businesses to reflect the unique nature of starting up a business in retail, where students will gain great insight into the strategies and practices that are key in developing and sustaining a successful fashion business. With around 90% of business start-ups failing, this unique package of support for our fashion students is truly life changing.”
Apply for support through the scheme online.