A group of people outdoors in front of microphones, taking part in an artistic event, including people of colour and a wheelchair-user

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: Good news – we’re still going ahead with this programme! Don’t worry, activities will happen online or by phone, not in person. We have suspended in-person activities for the time-being, in line with government guidelines. Instead, we will deliver learning online, and adapt content to suit your needs during these challenging times. (If you can’t access online learning, we’ll try to find another format that is accessible for you.) Please bear in mind that some of the info below may suggest in-person activities. We will update this as soon as we can – thanks for bearing with us during this busy time.


This programme has now closed for applications.  Check out our other courses and support programmes.

View programme info in British Sign Language (BSL)

Creative Leadership is for people working in the arts and cultural sector who want to strengthen their leadership skills, and who are driven by social impact in their work.

It is a new free programme run by the School for Social Entrepreneurs, funded by Arts Council England’s Transforming Leadership programme.

It supports people for two years with a part-time learning programme, and grant of up to £2,000. (There is additional funding available to support access needs.)

We are helping people become more confident and skilled leaders, able to create greater social impact in the arts and culture sector. People who take part will develop a trusted support network, and gain the headspace needed to map out next steps.

We’re supporting two groups of people:

  • Early-career leaders– active in the arts and culture sector (including freelancers), demonstrating passion and ideas for developing and eventually leading projects with social impact.
  • Current leaders – people currently in, or about to move into decision-making, influential roles (including freelancers), with proven achievements in the arts and culture sector with social impact.

We are especially looking to support people from diverse backgrounds, including:

  • people of colour and people from minority ethnic backgrounds;
  • D/deaf and disabled people, including those with learning disabilities and non-visible disabilities;
  • people with caring responsibilities;
  • LGBTQ+ people;
  • people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

No educational qualifications are needed to join our Creative Leadership programme.

I’ve applied. What happens next?

  • March 2020: Based on your application, we will see if the programme is a good fit for you.
  • Between 23 March and 1 April: If we think the programme could be right for you, we’ll invite you to an informal interview. Depending on what suits you best, this can be in person, or by video or audio link. If you require adjustments, just let us know.
  • Mid April:  If the programme is right for you, we will ask you to formally accept a place on the programme.
  • 13th May: The programme begins!

Missed the deadline to apply? No problem – check out our other courses and support programmes.

How Creative Leadership supports people

Graphic saying: £2,000 financial support, free learning programme, network of supportive peers

Key benefits:

  • Free part-time learning programme, to help develop your leadership skills and the impact of organisation/project
  • A network of supportive peers– meet regularly with people in similar roles to gain support and work through challenges together
  • £2,000 financial support (and additional funding for access needs, if required)

Programme objectives:

  • Develop personally and feel more confident about achieving your ambitions
  • Build a support network of people in similar roles
  • Create greater social impact through your work as an artist/creator/maker/producer
  • Improve your business and entrepreneurial skills
  • Learn how to strengthen the project/organisation you work on
  • Benefit from time to reflect and map out next steps

Dates and time commitment:

  • Year one – May 2020 – April 2021:
    • 10 in-person learning days (wheelchair-accessible venue)
    • Five online webinars
  • Year two – online only, running until January 2022:
    • Five half-day online Action Learning Sets (working in small groups to help you overcome specific challenges)


  • All in-person learning sessions take place in London
  • Venue is wheelchair-accessible
  • Other learning takes place online

About the grant:

Participants will receive a grant of £2,000. This is made up of:

  • £1,500 to support with backfill (covering costs for not being at work and/or funding others to support with work while you are out of the workplace), reducing both cost and time barriers to participation.
  • A further £500 will be made available to support your ongoing CPD (continuing professional development), relevant to the development of your leadership abilities.

In addition, there is an accessibility fund to support access needs. We don’t want there to be any barriers to people attending, so we will do our best to accommodate all needs.

Missed the deadline to apply? No problem – check out our other courses and support programmes.