GCU’s British School of Fashion partners with retailRIGHT and Hammerson to support fashion’s next generation of entrepreneurs

“Through our innovative partnership we will give aspiring entrepreneurs access to training, mentoring, funding and prime retail space to help kick start their own fashion retail business. Over the next five years we hope our partnership, in collaboration with industry experts, will help to launch the careers of some of the next top fashion leaders and innovators.”

Amy Prendergast, Head of Vocational and Career Development at retailTRUST

“As a leading European owner, manager and developer of best in class retail destinations, we are pleased to be involved in this exciting new initiative. Being able to offer new fashion talent access to financial support together with space in prime retail locations is an exciting opportunity and helps ensure that the industry can continue to go from strength to strength.”

Sophie Ross, Head of Multichannel at Hammerson 

“Our programme has been designed in collaboration with leading fashion businesses to reflect the unique nature of starting up a business in retail, where students will gain great insight into the strategies and practices that are key in developing and sustaining a successful fashion business.  With around 90% of business startups failing, this unique package of support for our fashion students is truly life changing.”

Professor Christopher Moore, Director of British School of Fashion, said: 

In an innovative new partnership, GCU’s British School of Fashion, retailRIGHT and  European retail property specialist, Hammerson have teamed up to create a brand new initiative to support  students in becoming successful fashion entrepreneurs.

The pioneering partnership brings together the academic excellence of the British School of Fashion’s programmes that are co-created by industry with expertise from the retailTRUST’s career development initiative retailRIGHT and Hammerson’s expertise in delivering brands best-in-class retail destinations. 

With research showing that 90% of retail business start-ups fail, the Partners recognised the need to work together to reverse these odds. Therefore fashion students studying at the British School of Fashion have been given the opportunity to pitch for up £30,000 of seed funding, mentoring and prime retail space.

Successful seed funding applicants, selected by a panel of industry judges, will have the opportunity to have pop-up shop space at one of Hammerson’s shopping centres, including Silverburn in Glasgow and Brent Cross in London, to develop and launch their business.


On Wednesday the 30th November, the initiative was launched at an evening reception which saw an audience of the great and the good of the retail industry, fashion entrepreneurs and academics come together to see the exciting new initiative for the next generation of retail entrepreneurs get started.

The launch of the seed funding and pop-up shop package builds upon the success of the retailRIGHT scholarship programme which welcomed its first two scholars, aspiring entrepreneurs Martha Rodriguez and Blair Clark, earlier this year.  Blair and Martha were chosen by an industry panel to receive scholarships to study MSc Fashion Business Creation at GCU London. The 30th November event provided a unique opportunity for the scholars to meet with retailRIGHT and Hammerson.

About retailRIGHT

retailRIGHT is a career development initiative delivered by retailTRUST, the leading charity that looks after the wellbeing of all involved in retail. retailRIGHT supports structured programmes from Ofsted Level 1 (Traineeships) through to Level 7 (Post-Degree Level studies). Our aim is for the industry’s workers to see retail as a career of choice, which values and provides opportunity to grow throughout their working lives

Students at the British School of Fashion are encouraged to submit their business ideas online before the deadline of 24th March 2017.

About Hammerson

Hammerson is a FTSE 100 owner, manager and developer of retail destinations in Europe. Our portfolio of high-quality retail property has a value of around £10 billion and includes 22 prime shopping centres, 18 convenient retail parks and investments in 15 premium outlet villages, through our partnership with Value Retail and the VIA Outlets joint venture. Key investments include Bullring, Birmingham, Bicester Village, Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin and Les Terrasses du Port, Marseille.

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