The British Council’s Young Creative Entrepreneur (YCE) programme celebrates, supports and connects the most exciting entrepreneurs who are shaping the creative and cultural industries around the world. We are looking for people who run great fashion and design businesses and recognise that the ability to manage production and get a product to market is just as important as fantastic design skills.  We are seeking those who use interesting materials, resources and business models to either develop amazing products themselves or get other people’s products to the marketplace; people who engage with cultural and social issues and people who understand the power of collaboration.  This is not an opportunity for designers – we are specifically looking for people who run a fashion and design led business.

We are happy to announce Tasha Liu as our 2014 YCE China winner.

Tasha Liu (2014 China winner)

Tasha Liu is the co-founder and Marketing Director of Dongliang, a retail multi-brand concept store committed to promoting new, talented Chinese designers both in China and abroad. Previously Tasha Liu gained valuable experience in marketing working for PepsiCo and Ogilvy China, before joining Dongliang in 2011. With now 2 stores in Shanghai and Beijing, plans of opening 2 more boutique stores and an online store and collaborating with almost 20 of the most popular Chinese designers like Uma Wang, Haizhen Wang, Xander Zhou, Sankuanz, Dongliang was launched around the time when China’s fashion industry began to take off.

Winners will participate in a shared tour of the UK’s fashion and design sector. The programme offers the winners unique access to and insights into the UK fashion and design industry, as well as providing a fantastic opportunity to make a wide range of business contacts that will act as a springboard for future business/collaborations with the UK and internationally. The tour will run from 13 to 20 September 2014, during which time London plays host to London Fashion week and London Design week..

The programme will include:

  • Curated group meetings to give an overview of what is happening in the UK media industry
  • Peer networking with the international participants and young UK multimedia entrepreneurs
  • Access to and masterclasses with UK industry figures
  • Time for individual business meetings
  • Opportunities to network and make business contacts

Sector Definition:
YCE Design and Fashion participants can come from any of the following areas:

  • Architecture, interiors and environment
  • Product design manufacture: furniture, industrial products and craft
  • Design promotion: exhibitions, events, festivals and retail
  • Consultants providing specialist services in any of the areas outlined
  • Fashion, textile, accessories or perfume design and production
  • Fashion promotion: shows, exhibitions, festivals, events
  • Fashion retail: buying, merchandising
  • Fashion product research, sourcing, supply chain management
  • Fashion marketing, PR, branding, journalism
  • Fashion publishing, communications, websites
  • Consultants providing specialist services in any of the areas outlined

Eligibility criteria:
 Applicants must:

  • Own or be the driving force behind a young business in the fashion OR design sector with at least 2 years’ experience and no more than 7 years in business.
  • Be entrepreneurial and have shown their ability in the promotion of that creative sector in their country, in either a commercial context, public context, or both
  • Through their character, drive and abilities, demonstrate their potential to be a future leader of the sector in their country and a future partner for the UK
  • Have English language skills to IELTS 6  - ‘competent user’ or above (the entire UK tour will be conducted in English so a high competency in the language is essential)
  • While there is no upper age limit for the awards, this is an award for emerging entrepreneurs who are running young businesses. 

The award selection will be made by the British Council and in consultation with sector experts.

What is required from the winner?

  • Be available to take part in an industry tour in the UK from 10 – 17 September 2014
  • Send all agreed marketing information (biography, photo etc.) during application process so that the British Council can promote the winner in both China and in the UK when the winner is announced
  • Actively participate in all arranged meetings and events during the programme, in particular:
  • Give a presentation (5 min) about their work
  • Be willing to participate in any events/receptions/panel discussions, as appropriate, alongside other UK/international industry speakers (topics would be dependent on programming by partner events and the experience/relevance of YCE participants)
  • Be open minded and actively looking for future collaboration and business with UK companies, organisations and individuals that they meet
  • Record their trip to the UK for use by the British Council in China and the UK (e.g. blog, film), participate in media interviews before, during and after the trip, participate in evaluation etc
  • Take part in events when they return to share their UK experience with a wider YCE network at home
  • Be part of the British Council’s international YCE network, which has around 3,000 members, and be keen to contribute ideas and feedback, participate in events, and develop projects

The award selection will be made by the British Council in consultation with sector experts after a short interview process.