Launched in 2018, the fund was initially advertised as £4m split between 22 projects, but demand meant 33 projects were officially signed up to receive the financial support over five years.
“This funding will strengthen educational ties between all countries involved”
According to Richard Everitt, head of education in Widder Europe at the British Council, a further 12 partnerships will be eligible for £40,000 funds. This makes an additional £480,000 available, on top of the funds made available in 2018.
“Creative Spark aims to provide thousands of young people with enterprise skills and the ability to start their own business. This funding opportunity will strengthen educational and cultural ties between all countries involved,” he said.
Institutions across Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan), South Caucasus (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia), and Ukraine, with existing or planned links to UK institutions are eligible for the funds.
When the initial funding was announced in September 2018, Everitt told The PIE News institutions did not need to be specialists on enterprise or creative economies, but some business-nurturing experience is a must.
“[British Council] would expect them to have experience in either delivering enterprise skills to students, have entrepreneur centres and support business incubation,” he said.
Some of the projects already funded include the University of Reading’s Henley Business School setting up a “creative incubator” with partners in Georgia, and Northumbria University working with the American University of Armenia to deliver public lectures and consulting sessions for local start-ups.