Design4Growth: a new scheme to help small businesses use strategic design for growth

Design4Growth blog slide BLK

We’re looking forward to the launch tomorrow of a new scheme we have been working on with the Dublin City Local Enterprise Office to promote the use of strategic design by small enterprises.

The scheme has been developed out of the Hidden Rooms conference: Design4Growth. The pilot scheme aims to help small enterprises utilise strategic design to get the most out of opportunities at the early stages of their development.

The idea for the scheme was developed as an answer to the challenge set during the “Innovative City” workshop which formed part the Hidden Rooms conference. Since the conference we have worked with the Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation (DJEI) and ID2015 to develop the idea into a working model which will by launched as a pilot scheme by Minister Ged Nash, Minister of State at the DJEI with Special Responsibility for small business and collective bargaining. The operation of the pilot is being funded by ID2015.

The challenge set to the November workshop by the Local Enterprise Office was this: how could they help firms use design methods to get more out of the opportunities they are presented with at early stage development? And could these firms exploit design methods to develop their business models and find their way to markets? The Design4Growth scheme will place a designer with the enterprise at a crucial early stage, to help with commissioning the right design services to take their next steps.

Further developing the skills in the Irish design sector in providing strategic design services to businesses is another aim of the pilot scheme – and participating designers will gain valuable experience of this growth area of work.

The launch will start an open call to small enterprises to apply to participate and a call to designers. The launch will include a briefing session, where details of the scheme, how it will operate and how to apply, will be explained. So to find out about how you can participate as either a designer looking to work on strategic design with a small enterprise or a business seeking to use design better for early stage development, please join us tomorrow at the launch in Wood Quay Venue.