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A freelance career in the creative arts
A freelance career in the creative arts

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4.3 Competitions

There are different competitions in the freelance and start-up space that you could consider entering. Some will be specialist competitions that focus on your specific expertise, such as art competitions. Others will be business start-up or pitching competitions. Prizes range from cash and free workspace, to mentoring or exhibition displays.

Specialist competitions

There are many different creative competitions taking place around the world at any given time, and any weblinks included here would quickly go out of date. Try entering ‘list of art competitions’, or a similar phrase relevant to your own specialism, into your preferred search engine to begin searching.

Business start-up competitions

There are a whole range of competitions in this category, some of which have been listed below. You don’t need to follow these links now, but if a particular resource catches your eye have a quick look at it to familiarise yourself with the content and then come back to this page. To ensure you don’t lose your place in this course you should open these in a new browser window or tab. To do this on a computer hold the Ctrl key (or Cmd on a Mac) when you click a link and select to open it in a new window or tab.

  • Creative Business Cup [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

    A global initiative that empowers entrepreneurs in the creative industries, connects them to investors and global markets and strengthens their innovative capabilities to the benefit of industry and society. Includes the Creative Business Investor Pitch.

  • IPSE Freelancer Awards

    Designed to celebrate the country’s best and brightest freelancers and the organisations and individuals supporting them. A cash prize of £5,000 goes to the winner and £2,500 each to two runners up.

  • The Pitch

    300 start-ups are selected to take part in a one day business bootcamp and the top 15 get to pitch in front of a selected audience to win exclusive mentoring and support from industry-leading names.

Now complete Activity 4.

Activity 4 Finding competitions and open call opportunities

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Use your preferred search engine to investigate competitions in your area of expertise. Alternatively, if it is more relevant to your idea, look for open call and seed funding opportunities from organisations within your sector.

Or if you’d prefer, focus on business start-up competitions.

Summarise your findings in the box below.

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At the time of writing, there are competitions across many of the creative arts, from music to film and ceramics.

Now that you have an idea of some of the competitions you might enter, the next source of funding that you’ll explore is trusts and foundations.