The “P” Word is a brand-new, nine-month leadership development programme for diverse artists and entrepreneurs. Co-designed with its participants, THE “P” WORD is being led by PUNCH and the CENTRE FOR RESEARCH IN ETHNIC MINORITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP – “CREME”- at Aston University Business School.

As COVID-19 continues to impact the creative industries, innovative models of business support are needed now more than ever, especially to tackle the structural inequalities that continue to hold back the potential of black artists and new-entrepreneurs. THE “P” WORD is designed to identify “roadblocks” holding back the productivity of creative businesses and will address them through bespoke training and intensive mentoring.

The value of the UK’s creative industries broke the £100bn barrier in 2018, with the West Midlands contributing £4.1bn to that figure. Despite this, artist-entrepreneurs often find it tricky to define what ‘productivity’ means for their business, much less take steps to boost it and make their small-medium sized enterprise (SME) more robust and growth-focused.

The inaugural twelve participant SMEs include visual media companies, venue and project spaces, artist platforms and charitable organisations. All of them have identified their own development needs and are now poised for intensive, tailored leadership training and mentoring that will see them increase the long-term scale and scope of their creative work.

It’s been more than a year in the making and major partnerships have been established with Birmingham City Council and Aston University. With multiple opportunities to pitch for investment and renowned guest mentors from around the UK, THE “P” WORD is primed to deliver and couldn’t be better timed.

Follow @punchrecords for all details, updates and information about the launch on 23 July.