Harbour for Creative Entrepreneurs


Harbour = a place that gives a home or provides shelter

Creative entrepreneurs = are investors in their own talent


The Harbour for Creative Entrepreneurs would provide a virtual & physical hub for creative entrepreneurs in the Greater Bristol area to nuture their SMEs (small and medium enterprises.) 


The Harbour's mission would be to support the growth of the vibrant creative sector in Bristol,  focusing on individuals and companies manufacturing locally-made products. The Harbour would encourage entrepreneurship and innovation, and create employment opportunities for a diverse local workforce.


Our vision is a more sustainable local creative economy, where entrepreneurs who design and manufacture products locally thrive, in turn, creating quality jobs for a wide range of people and contributing to the overall economic and social vibrancy of our City.


Bristol's artists, designers, craftspeople, musicians, actors, writers, architects and artisan food producers need a special, dedicated place to develop & be inspired to ensure the continued growth of the creative sector. The Harbour would aim to provide this....


The Harbour would consist of:

  • A physical space to hot desk in a professional and stimulating environment away from the retail environments, family commitments, and unsuitable creative workspaces & studios (these are often unsuitable to complete essential business tasks like admin & marketing.)
  • Access to affordable specialists in creative business support (marketing, PR, branding, accounting, insurance etc.)
  • A dedicated signposting website for creative entrepreneurs in the South-West (courses, information, forums & a place to make recommendations.)
  • A regular programme of both peer-to-peer learning and industry-specific education (advice on time-management, new social-media platforms, direct marketing, blogging etc.)
  • Networking events & collaboration opportunities
  • An active network connecting creative entrepreneurs & SMEs to relevant local resources and international experts.


The benefits of this Hub would be:

  • To provide tools for individuals and SMEs to grow sustainably and encourage self reliance
  • To foster one of Bristol's biggest business sectors
  • To boost the local economy and provide employment.


All this would be paid for by the membership with an affordable membership fee and on a pay-per-use of the facilities. Commercial sponsorship and education grants could also supplement.

Why the contribution is important


Why the Harbour is needed:


Creative manufacturers make up some of the most diverse, innovative businesses in Bristol. They design and manufacture products for consumers all over the world but can struggle to build sustainable, resilient businesses due to the lack of access to specialist advice and support and are often isolated in the way & places they create. 


Creative entrepreneurs who manufacture locally have largely made a conscious decision to embrace local manufacturing as a vital component of their business strategy, and celebrate the eclectic and soulful social environs that embody Bristol. These businesses should be encouraged and supported to continue to do this as it has a positive impact on the wider community.


In addition to working with creative entrepreneurs the Harbour would engage with the larger community, offering educational workshops, studio tours, and other programmes designed to heighten the public awareness of creative manufacturing. This would provide an insight behind traditional and emerging creation practices and technologies and highlight the collective role craftspeople have in the local economy. 


The Harbour would seek to develop and share a model for creative manufacturing incubation that other UK cities could use to catalyse their own local manufacturing sectors.


by user530179 on December 17, 2013 at 10:44AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.3
Based on: 19 votes


  • Posted by user781813 December 17, 2013 at 23:35

    Great to have accces to affordable media, marketing help as often small business charged the same as bigger companies for web design. Great to have office space away from my very small home. Good to feel part of a community of small business as can be quite isolated. Being able to share ideas snd solutions with like minded local creative small business very valuable
  • Posted by user722467 December 18, 2013 at 09:06

    An excellent idea, I will soon be a graduate and will no longer have regular seminars with fellow students or a communal meeting space where like minded artists and makers come together to talk and exchange ideas. The thought of this is very isolating.

    By continuing and strengthening this network into working life by creating a physical harbour where artists and makers can meet and work is very appealing.
  • Posted by user882300 December 18, 2013 at 10:17

    Wonderful idea!
  • Posted by user290260 December 18, 2013 at 10:24

    Sounds like an excellent idea, definitely something I would be keen to be involved with, if it were to go ahead. I like the idea of access to affordable specialists such as accountants and PRs, it would be an excellent way for small and medium businesses like myself to streamline my business and work more efficiently utilising resources and services I would usually have to source myself.

    As well as promoting the skills of creatives in the bristol area by helping their businesses grow whilst recognising most people being a one man band or small team have little time for the admin and marketing sides of their business which are essential for growth!

    Great idea Bryony!

  • Posted by user216370 December 18, 2013 at 11:33

    A truly brilliant idea that would benefit a lot of people and businesses in Bristol.
  • Posted by user564774 December 18, 2013 at 13:02

    I think this is an excellent idea. I have been self employed a few years and have been largely self taught. I would love the chance to develop various areas of my business,particularly from people sensitive to the needs of creatives.
  • Posted by user428889 December 18, 2013 at 14:40

    Also wroth mentioning this hub has recently opened

    Temple Studios targets creative and digital companies, offering a unique office environment with a raw, industrial design and desirable extras, such as a large breakout area for like-minded businesses to connect and interact.

    There is also a The Bristol Hub at the Arnolfini which targets environmental and creative enterprises

    The latest hub is The Engine Shed near Temple Meads:
  • Posted by user602286 December 18, 2013 at 18:18

      I am hugely in favour of this proposal! Bristol prides itself in its entrepreneurial creative industries, so it would be fantastic to have somewhere in this great city to tap into this sort of Business mentoring. I am a very new business, so any help in the proposed areas would be of advantage as we all want to step out with a firm footing.
      I am 31 and am therefore 'too old' to get any funding from the Princes Trust, so any help I can get will be mighty fine by me!!
      Count me in!!
  • Posted by user112396 December 18, 2013 at 20:33

    This is a brilliant idea - the creative industries are vitally important to the local economy and this would provide people who often work alone with the opportunity to network, share ideas and potentially establish new collaborations.
  • Posted by user988856 December 19, 2013 at 00:54

    Sounds like a great idea Bryony :)
  • Posted by user412750 January 18, 2014 at 14:41

    Perhaps McArthur's Warehouse in Bristol's docks (near to the SS Great Britain), restored from the dereliction into which it has been allowed to sink, could serve as such a hub? See:
Log in or register to add comments and rate ideas