Our project is all about mentoring the businesses to work more efficiently and cooperatively to increase their turnover.
Craft in an Age of Change: Summary report Prepared for the Arts Council of Wales in 2012 says that crafters contribute £28m from 1,500 businesses to Wales every year.
These crafters manufacture/make such diverse items as: Ceramics, Textiles (including knitting and embroidery, but excluding weaving), Jewellery, Other metal (excluding jewellery and silver), Wood (excluding furniture), Glass, Silver, Furniture, Paper (excluding graphic craft), Mixed media, Stone, Graphic craft (including calligraphy, sign writing, and bookbinding), Synthetic materials (including plastics), Leather & Weaving.
Most are sole traders and the problems they have are, selling, supply chain and looking for new markets. The project will tackle the issues they face e.g. cost efficiencies, collaborative working, increasing knowledge.
Working in partnership as a network would also help their supply chain as we would be encouraging them to work together on purchasing materials. As a network, would they have better purchasing power rather than individuals etc. They will also have better selling power if they worked together.
Our project meets priorities identified in the Carmarthenshire Local development Strategy. Support business growth, retention & specialisation. We will be encouraging the network to work together to improve cost efficiency.
Also creating and enabling networks between businesses, facilitating and developing supply chains, piloting new ways of encouraging entrepreneurship. Support a skilled and ambitious workforce.
The current workforce is highly skilled but work mostly from home, with the right mentoring and encouragement they will be able to take the next step of setting up in their own retail/manufacturing unit and employing new people.
Others would learn of new ways to maximise their time. Seek to maximise job creation and employment prospects. By providing the right mentoring, information and topics, the networking group will have the ability and become empowered to create new jobs, upskill, and enhance prospects for employment. Support the development of a knowledge economy.
Sharing best practice, Knowledge and information, whilst maximising time all contribute to the economy. Develop the distinctiveness and attractiveness of the area in terms of tourism, business investment and addressing rural poverty.
We will be developing the network’s USPs e.g. their Welshness and the rural locality to enhance not only the business but tourism and regeneration of the areas in general. This in turn helps with addressing rural poverty.