Interview with Creative Enterprise Fund panel members
To help you get a better idea of the application process Young Scot interviewed some of the Panel members of the Creative Enterprise fund.
Here you can find the answers of three of our panel members. They all offer different backgrounds – from community and youth work to music and theatre. Two of the panel members received funding from Young Scot in the recent past to set up their projects in the field of theatre and music.
B: Well, the main thing is, we receive the applications and they are from people all over Scotland which is really interesting.
We’re responsible for reading over these applications and finding the ones that have a real enterprising element in them. The ones that you can see the project – not just from the start but how it grows and how it develops the young person as a professional or whatever field they wish to go in to. In order to progress either into the profession or to help a charity or to go into a business. So it’s really a launch pad for young people. My role is to find the most enterprising applicants and present at the panel and put forward why they should be chosen. Then we all discuss it and there will be disagreements and agreements. Then we’ll pick the ones that really work with the themes of the enterprise fund.
YS: What key elements panel members normally look for in applications?
A: A key element we look at is the personal statement. It's normally easy to tell if it's an achievable, yet innovative idea that would benefit you and others. If you're stuck, don't be scared to use the 'key points to include' on your form as headings.
B: First of all it has to be enterprising - so it has to have a potential to grow. Within the application there must be ideas of how it can progress. For example a band might want to ask for some money for their merchandise which they will sell and they can then go on to make a record together and then they will have money to gig and so on. We also have to have some evidence that they have been gigging in the past or they do have a background so we believe that they have the potential to go on further. So they’ve really got to have a goal in mind and show through the application that they have a direction that they wish to go in and a focus of where they want to be in maybe 5 years time so a clear outline. I’m always looking for a very creative idea as well but there have never been any uncreative ideas, they are just always creative ideas but it must be enterprising – that’s the main thing.
C: I normally look for that there is some creative element to the project e.g. some sort of art or media. We really need 3 things: it’s got to be creative, it’s got to have a legacy and it’s got to financially make sense.
YS: What are common elements which are normally missing in application?
A: As asked for in the form, you need to include quotes for items over £50; this is very often forgotten by applicants. Companies will be happy to supply you with quotes, and if you're not sure how to ask them, just play it straight... you're applying for funding and need a quote! Remember... if you don't get the funding, you don't have to take them up on the quote. Once you've got it, you should print it and attach it.
B: Sometimes they aren’t focusing on the enterprising element so we’ll get applications which could be for maybe a single gig or a single piece of theatre and there’s no real vision of where they would like to go next. In terms of that you should really think about publicity and how you’re going to get your work out there. And you’ve got to think about the wider world and the wider community that you’re trying to engage - no matter what that is - so whether it’s music, theatre, dance, art.
C: I think people fail to say what their long term plans are for the money they plan to raise. Also, it’s not uncommon for us to get applications where they tell us the budget for what they are asking us for but not for the whole project. So the whole project might be worth £5000 and they are asking us for £500, we don’t see the rest of it and it would be nice to have the comfort that they’ve got some plans to bring that other income in.
YS: How can young people increase their chances of funding success?
A: If it's a good idea then it should shine through, but answer all the key points, attach any quotes, make sure your idea is suitable for the funding, and ask yourself how it would benefit others as well.
B: I would say having at least a year plan maybe with an idea of where you would like to be in a year’s time from the fund. So if you could just imagine where you would like to be in a year and how the fund could help you get there. Trying to be innovative - like for example I do a lot of theatre work and maybe people don’t see it as a potentially enterprising idea but from one production or one workshop you could really develop it further. So really think, no matter what art form, what you can do to have a wider impact. Always get someone to read over the application before you send it because a fresh pair of eyes is always good.
C: It’s always how well you present it so that the people on the other side of the table go: “Wow - that’s what we want!” The applications I like are the ones that they headline in a sentence:”Here’s our project” , and how you came to the position that you’re looking for money to do something. Then tell us a bit about the implementation because sometimes we look at projects and go:” That’s great but I don’t understand how that will work?” The other thing is about the money - in the application form we ask for a budget which is fairly standard for a project grant application form. I’ve been impressed of which have offered us a income and expenditure sheet so that it’s almost like a cash flow business forecast - here’s - how money will come in, here’s how it will go out and here’s how it will balance in the end. It shows they’re thought about it and that’s what I like.
YS: Thanks for your time and sharing your experiences!