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Self-described as a “social enterprise and the UK’s only creative-business incubator for designer-makers,” Cockpit Arts uses workshops and seminars to kickstart the professional growth of about 165 residents. “Designer-maker” is a term used by Cockpit to denote “a business which designs and makes a large percentage of the final product.” Applicants must have craft-based work to be considered.
Cockpit Arts focuses on helping designers increase profitability without sacrificing their genuine artistic vision. One specific program they offer is an “Incubator Package” which includes numerous services including cheap studio space, business development advice and sales and PR support. As a social enterprise, the Incubator Package is offered at a price less than what’s available through commercial channels.
Why are business incubators important? According to studies by UKBI, 98.7% of businesses that work with an incubator show success and 87% are still operating after five years. Cockpit Arts recognizes the importance of making resources available to creative professionals. And the types of designers who are part of their community range from well-known artists to new faces on the scene, from product designers and jewellers to ceramicists and glass artists.
Founded over 25 years ago, the innovative social enterprise has received praise from the business community and design connoisseurs alike: Vogue said Cockpit Arts is “fostering some of London’s most exciting creative talent.”