Doug’s creative start-up school

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Dragons’ Den star Doug Richard is launching his second School for Creative Start-Ups in the “city of makers” - Sheffield.

The business guru - who will co-teach - is targeting creative types with a six-month course run in partnership with The Sheffield College, that aims to vastly improve the survival chances new businesses.

Doug Richard on stage at MADE

Doug Richard on stage at MADE

He says the creative sector is now the country’s second biggest industry and Sheffield is a hotbed of activity.

Speaking on the last day of the MADE festival he said: “Don’t rule yourself out before you have applied - apply!

“The simple fact is a majority of young businesses fail. I can say the vast majority of companies who go through this course survive and prosper and are hiring. And more than 20 per cent raise money.

“The creative industries span half of all businesses including app development, digital, craft, food, theatre. The world is about content right now, it’s the second biggest sector in the UK after finance and this is the city of makers.”

The course has 100 places, starts in January, is based at Sheffield College’s St Mary’s Centre and costs £3,500. But organisers say a loan for half is available through the college.

Students also get life-time membership of the School for Creative Start-Ups.

A spokeswoman said applicants would be interviewed to judge whether their idea “had legs”. The course taught a wide range of business skills including branding, marketing PR, SEO, costing and pricing, IP copyright, funding, forecasting and pitching, she added.

The first such School launched in London three years ago.

Famous alumni include tailor Pip Howeson, Tipplesworth’s vintage suitcase cocktail gift sets and Pip&Nut’s flavoured nut butters.

The spokeswoman said Pip&Nut had last week raised £100,000 through crowdfunding.

Heather Smith, college executive director, said: “The new course we are offering with Doug Richard will equip start-ups with the practical skills to help them achieve their ambitions.”