Big Creative Education (BCE): helping young people into the creative industries

Big Creative Education offers a range of courses for young people aged 16-24, many of whom have struggled to engage with mainstream education.

Social Problem

Young people who struggle with mainstream education can feel that a fulfilling career is out of their reach.


Big Creative Education (BCE) offers a diverse range of courses for young people aged 16-24, in subjects such as music, media, games design and fashion. The aim is to help young people to re-engage with education and gain the skills and qualifications they need to find a job in the creative industries.


BCE wanted to create a co-working space near its campus. As well as giving local creative businesses a dynamic, affordable place to work, this space would enable students to benefit from apprenticeships, work experience opportunities and mentorships. The Greater London Authority agreed to fund 50% of the cost, but only if BCE could raise the other 50% through social investment. Charity Bank stepped in with a loan of £1.38 million and BCE was also able to arrange a loan from another social finance provider. As a result, BCE was able to buy the property and launch Creative Works.


BCE is helping young people to get started in a career that may otherwise have seemed out of reach. Its holistic approach means young people can gain qualifications, access work experience opportunities and even get help to set-up their own business though a start-up incubator programme. 83% of BCE apprentices now progress to working in the creative industries.

Education London Creative

Big Creative Education © Lucy Hunter

“Through Charity Bank we’ve not only received a loan but have been introduced to a whole network of organisations that offer additional support. As an enterprise with a social mission, it’s obviously preferable for us to work with a lender like Charity Bank who shares our values. Charity Bank are really transparent about the loans they make with their savers’ money and it’s really great to see we’re just one of many positive projects they are supporting.”

Alexis Michaelides, Managing Director, Big Creative Education

Big Creative Academy

Big Creative Education © Lucy Hunter

Last reviewed: 28/04/2020