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Promoting Craft Entrepreneurship In Poole With Etsy

Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods, is thrilled to announce that it has partnered with Poole for its second Craft Entrepreneurship Programme in the UK.

Entrepreneurs taking advantage of an Etsy training programme

Set up in Rockford, Illinois in 2013, this innovative programme provides free micro-business training to local people with craft skills and a vision to start their own business.

The training will guide potential craft entrepreneurs to turn their creative skills or hobby into a viable self-employment opportunity.

The four-week course, which will take place in two hour weekly lessons, will cover topics from business finance and how to start selling online to product photography and marketing.

The Borough of Poole Arts Service are backing this innovative programme which can provide a DIY solution for those out of work or looking to increase their income.

Registration for the training programme, which starts on September 25, is now open and Poole residents can apply by e-mailing arts@poole.gov.uk.

The initiative came about following an approach to Etsy by Dom Kippin, Arts Development Officer for Borough of Poole: "Learning about Etsy’s partnership in Illinois - where they took online retailing straight into the community - inspired me to think about what support we could give to creative micro-businesses in Poole.

“The creative industries play an important role in the economy of our region and we’re delighted to work with Etsy to help unleash the creative entrepreneurial spirit of Poole’s residents.”

Cllr Xena Dion, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for a Prosperous and Sustainable Poole, Borough of Poole, said: "Manufacturing and craftsmanship have always been important to our town’s prosperity and we're determined to support residents who want to do better in life and go for an opportunity that could be the start of something really positive for them.

"This scheme could represent a fulfilling way of helping people increase their household incomes. It also complements our other work supporting Poole residents into good quality, fair employment which makes the most of their skills and experience.”

All learning will take place in Poole Central Library situated on the second floor of the Dolphin Centre, and sessions will be delivered by designer, writer and educator Neil Leonard along with support from experienced local Etsy sellers,

Matt Doris, International Community Programme Lead at Etsy said: “Poole’s history of craftsmanship and manufacturing excellence, particularly in the ceramics industry, made it an ideal choice to become our second UK partner for the programme.

“The Craft Entrepreneurship Programme will support local people by offering a viable path to supplemental income, which can make a real difference in their well-being. We’re excited to work with Poole and we can’t wait to see how the programme develops.”

Etsy seller Rachel Lawrence runs The Dorothy Days vintage and handmade shop and is captain of the Dorset Etsy Team, who will be helping students taking part in the sessions: “I'm excited about getting involved and meeting the students.

“Running a small business is no small feat and requires determination, creativity, some people skills and a lot of trial and error. 

“A lot of those things can't be taught but Etsy has been there for me every step of the way as a sort of backbone for my business and I'm looking forward to introducing a group of talented people to the wonderful ways they can let their businesses grow online by using their own determination and creativity.”

The course will run from 25 September to 16 October every Thursday evening between 6pm and 8pm at Poole Central Library, with an additional lesson on Saturday 4 October from 1pm to 5pm. The course is free.