The Generate programme helped businesses to create jobs in the creative and digital industries in Donegal. David worked in partnership with the Local Enterprise Office in Donegal to help creative and digital businesses to become even more successful.
The Generate programme was a great success and exceeded its targets for jobs created. In addition, businesses are now stronger, more financially sustainable, confident and ambitious.
Some of the Generate businesses at an event to celebrate the programme’s success, at the Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny, County Donegal, in September 2019.
– About the Generate Programme
– Creative and digital businesses on the Generate Programme
– What businesses say about Generate
– Optional workshops
About the Generate Programme
The project focused on small creative and digital businesses with the potential to grow and create jobs. The “Creative and Digital” definition includes businesses in the fields of Design, Film and Video, Designer Fashion, Publishing, Marketing and Advertising, Public Relations (PR), Graphic Design and Illustration, Website Design, Product Design, Arts and Crafts, Performing Arts, Computer Games, Architecture, Music, Digital Animation, Software Development, Dance, App Developers and others.
This new innovative business support project was tailored to the specific needs of individual businesses. There was no obligation to attend workshops, write a business plan or pitch for funding. Businesses on the programme worked with David, at an agreed pace, on any matters relating to business growth. For example: devising a marketing strategy; undertaking market research; analysing costs and pricing; exporting; or improving management systems. In addition, David was available to discuss business development options in confidence, to act as a business coach, and to keep projects moving along. David’s one to one business advice sessions drew on his own experience as a creative entrepreneur and his work in the creative industries worldwide.
These are the businesses that took part in the Generate Programme.
360 Crew. [Now MyPicDrop Ltd – see below.]
Art for Places and Spaces. John McNamara
The Bothy. Eileen Rafferty and David Stevens
Diaga. Ciarán Mac Lochlainn
Digital Sussed. Aine O’Donnell
Donegal Daily. Stephen Maguire
The Donegal Natural Soap Company. Isobel Sangha [Video]
Eilís Galbraith Textile Design. Eilís Galbraith
Inis Communications. Trish Hegarty
JKS Design. Janine Sullivan
Joe Coyle Media and Design. Joe Coyle
Mean IT. Michael MacGinty
Modern Eire. Ciaran Boyce
Motley Crow. Sonya Pepelyashkova
MyPicDrop. Karina Kelly
On the Dot Design. Fiona O’Reilly
The Pear in Paper. Lynn Costello Erskine
www.thepearinpaper.ie [Video][Video 2]
Pixalili Print Studio. Noreen Harding
Rhythm Nation. Grainne Campbell [Video]
Roxy Digital. Roxy George
Ruth Graham Illustration. Ruth Graham
Study Abroad Ireland. Siobhan Deery
ZoNa Dance. Jessica Peoples [Video]
What businesses said about Generate
Below are just a few comments from businesses that were on the programme:
“David is an exceptional mentor. His openness and willingness to share his own life and work experiences inspires me to do my life’s best work. David has in-depth knowledge of multiple industries and has unique ways in which he drives customer centric thinking. This combined with his down to earth communication style means I come away with something new from each mentoring session. David has helped to positively shape my business, ultimately giving me confidence in my own decisions that have driven my business forward.”
– Lynn Costello Erskine. The Pear in Paper. www.thepearinpaper.ie
“Having attended his workshops and chewed up both of his books I still can’t believe that I am lucky enough to have access to David Parrish. My work with David on the Generate programme has gone from using business tools for fully reviewing the market, industry and competitors to deeply considering what type of lifestyle I want from being self-employed; whether I want to continue letting a brand control my lifestyle or start letting my lifestyle dictate what projects I take on. He is guiding me through a fully integrative and enlightening process with his naturally caring, holistic approach and instinct for creative business. I can’t recommend him enough. Thanks David!”
– Ciaran Boyce. Modern Eire. https://moderneire.ie/
“Prepare to be Parrished! You can hide behind all the usual excuses, but David will find you and he will instill you with the enthusiasm to drive forward, to find a way around any obstacles.
As a good coach, David will give you the time, to explain what is your main challenge and then generously give you the time to work out your own way forward. He will help you determine your priorities and get you focused to getting these things done, in the right order.
With a wide range of business experiences, David is well placed to help any business owner beat a better path to success. He is a pleasure to work with, is a good sounding board and is a genuinely caring person.”
– Michael MacGinty. MEANit Web Design Agency. www.meanit.ie
“I refer to David Parrish as Dr David. I wouldn’t necessarily rush to call him if I had chest pains or a strange rash. But when my business needs a little plaster or even some minor surgery, Dr David is someone I would trust to find a way of making it healthy again. As well as offering practical and common sense advice, he opens the door just enough for me to push it through to solve problems and to sometimes self medicate. I can thoroughly recommend a consultation with him.”
– Stephen Maguire. Donegal Daily. www.donegaldaily.com
“So far in our consultations David has been exactly what we need. He understands our business, our creative sector and the various challenges that we face; problems unique to us and may well be very different to more traditional business’ or sectors. With his insight he gave us renewed confidence, helped us crystalise our business model and how we can successfully steer our business in the future. Highly recommended.”
– Ciarán MacLochlainn. Diaga. Buncara. www.diaga.ie
“I have had the pleasure working with David on the Generate Programme and have found his support and insights invaluable. David has worked with me on everything from strategic direction to more minute problem solving. It is great to have a back-line support I know I can call on for an honest, informed, and supportive point of view. And sometimes I find just vocalising my thoughts with David can, in itself, be the key to moving forward- almost like therapy for business owners! I would definitely recommend working with David to help your business grow and succeed.”
– Karina Kelly . 360 Crew. www.360crew.ie
“David is a great listener and takes time and care with his responses which are very considered and clear. He talks about business and “selling” in a very innovative progressive way which I as a creative feel comfortable with. He gives you tips and tell stories which are both engaging and entertaining but more importantly also emphasise the key points he makes.”
– Fiona O’Reilly. On The Dot Design. www.onthedot.ie
“David is such an inspiration! Just when I ask countless questions like: What exactly have I begun? Does it make sense? Am I crazy? Will the forces reach me?… David appears with the right words and gives me enough strength and confidence to continue boldly. I’m happy to have met David and I’m lucky that he’s my mentor. Thank you!”
– Sonya Pepelyashkova. The Motley Crow. www.motleycrow.ie
“What we like about David Parrish is his clarity and solution orientated thinking. He is second to none when it comes to leadership, business and marketing. His knowledge and experience within the global business market clearly overflow in his mentorship. Within a matter of weeks joining Generate program led by David Parrish, we were able to see a tremendous positive change within the company and growth in sales. We’re excited about the future mentorship and partnership with David Parrish and his team to expand our base both locally and internationally.”
– Roxy George. Roxy Digital. www.roxy-digital.com
“Until the Generate programme I was a busy fool. Through the insightful knowledge and experience of David I now have a business that I feel in control of. He has given me the tools and confidence to make bold decisions that have made my company a sustainable, lifestyle business that I always hoped it would be. Honestly, before David Parrish and Generate I was about to give up. Now, I am preparing to increase my manufacturing capacity to meet demand. I really feel that so many other fledgling creative SMEs would make it out of the ‘kitchen’ if they could access a programme such as Generate. I am forever grateful to David and my local Enterprise Board for this amazing mentoring service that came just when I needed it.”
– Isobel Sangha. The Donegal Natural Soap Company. www.donegalnaturalsoap.ie
“When someone has a business idea, they are often bombarded with advice “you should” do this, “you have to” do that etc. However through participation in the Generate Program the mentorship provided by David Parrish is always based on positive action. The focus of the sessions with David is always on what is possible without any restrictions (which encouraged big picture thinking) and then on what steps could be taken from where the business is right now; always moving forward. What had initially seemed out of reach or impossible, was brought into present thinking and planning.
I joined the Generate Program through the Local Enterprise Office which led to a change in perception of my “idea” from being a “project”, of myself being a “creative”, to becoming a “business” and also an “exporter”. With Rhythm Nation now a business, Generate led me back to LEO a number of times during the program; it led to my applying for a Priming Grant (which supported the creation of a full time job), to TAME (which led to securing a distributor in the USA), Trading Online, Trade Marking sessions and marketing sessions. Essentially David was there psychologically and LEO were there physically!
Through LEO, I was made aware of my eligibility to apply for a Back to Enterprise Allowance/Grant provided by the Department of Employment Affairs. This is facilitated by the Donegal Local Development Company and the experience of applying for the LEO Priming Grant meant I was business ready for a successful application. I have been able to avail of additional supports provided by DLDC (Accounts, Social Media training etc) which have contributed to the success of Rhythm Nation as a business.
There is a strong chance that Rhythm Nation would have remained a “Project” if it were not for LEO and Generate. With the mentoring provided through Generate, creative can change their personal and business landscapes considerably, contributing both to each other through the network and also the local economy.”
– Grainne Campbell. Rhythm Nation. www.rhythmnation.ie
“The Generate programme was the perfect fit for our business. We were both well established in our industry but were only starting out on the road of self-employment and growing a business as part of a significant lifestyle change in moving from London to Donegal. David Parrish understood where we were at from a business perspective, but also a lifestyle perspective, ensuring we considered things like quality of life when making business decisions. David helped us find clarity and direction when we were unsure of the best way to progress and each session with him left us with a new drive and vigour to tackle the challenges we faced and also appreciate the achievements that we had made so far.”
– David Stevens and Eileen Rafferty. The Bothy. www.thebothy.ie
“Great programme, David, and so grateful to have been part of it and to benefit from your insight & skill!”
– Trish Hegarty. Inis Communications. www.iniscommunications.com
The project also included some optional half-day workshops and other events which addressed the needs of growing businesses in the creative and digital sector in Donegal. These were open all creative businesses in the sector, not just those participating in the Generate programme.
Workshops were held on various business topics:
– Growth Strategies for Digital Businesses (October 2017)
– Strategic Marketing (November 2017)
– Pricing (February 2018)
– Protecting and Licensing Intellectual Property (May 2018)
– How to Make a Profit (September 2018)
– How to Succeed as a Creative Entrepreneur (December 2018)
“The workshop was informative and inspirational. David was excellent. Very clear with his ideas and very easy to understand.”
– Laura Buchanan. Print Designer. www.laurabuchanan.ie
“The workshop was very useful for our business because pricing is always a sticking point, so it was useful for both of us to get the same information. David was informative and gave good case studies as examples to back up his points.”
– Camilla Meegan and Kieran Kelly. DNK Media Productions. www.dnkmedia.ie
“The workshop was really helpful and relevant to my business. Could have done a whole day! David was engaging and very knowledgeable. The examples used were easy to understand and the interaction was great. Excellent.”
– Lisa Gildea. www.lisagildea.com
‘T-Shirts and Suits Coffee Club’ networking events
One of the objectives of the Generate programme is to strengthen the network of creative and digital enterprises in Donegal. The ‘T-Shirts and Suits Coffee Club’ events are completely informal get-togethers, to which everyone is invited. These networking events have previously been organised in many cities around the world.
David’s appointment to work with the Local Enterprise Office in Donegal to deliver this innovative business growth programme follows his participation in a highly successful Enterprise Week in Donegal in March 2017 (more…).
Some free online resources are available for growing creative and digital businesses in Donegal and are online here.
The Generate Programme took the experience and expertise used in the highly successful ‘Creative Growth Initiative’ project in Liverpool and adapted its successful approach and methodologies to the context of Donegal. David was centrally involved in the design and delivery of that project and brings his knowledge of this and other business development programmes to Donegal.
David specialises in advising businesses in the creative and digital industries, working internationally.
“David helped us to devise a marketing strategy which focuses on our competitive strengths and the best market segments. Using effective marketing techniques we have improved the way we connect our creative talents with profitable markets.”
– Janina Gaudin. Director. Pepperbot Studios Ltd. New Zealand
As an experienced and qualified business adviser, David is able to help creative enterprises to achieve their goals by using smart business thinking and the most appropriate techniques and management methods.
“David helped us to grow our digital business by working with us to clarify our vision and devise a feasible plan of action. He helped us orientate our business towards the best market segments, refine our marketing messages and improve our internal systems. Working with David was both enlightening and profitable.”
– Chris Abram. Managing Director. Brighter Design Ltd. UK
His marketing advice is backed up by his status as a ‘Chartered Marketer’ and Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (FCIM). He is also a member of several other professional associations.
David is the author of two books written for creative enterprises and wrote the ‘Creative, Cultural and Digital Industries Guide‘.
He also gives business advice on strategy, business growth, change management, leadership, raising finance, intellectual property, organisational structures, financial management, strategic marketing, competitor analysis, market research and other business issues facing creative entrepreneurs.
“David has been instrumental in developing our business strategy, and creating a new brand. I have worked with other consultants who facilitate rather than pitch in. David, with his wealth of experience within the creative industry, offered his own ideas and solutions, which was refreshing and hugely beneficial.”
– Neil Adams. Managing Director. Powerhouse Digital Photography Ltd/Phood Studios
David often gives business advice to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), helping them to grow and become more profitable. He is also commissioned to give business advice to larger businesses and organisations. He has experience of working as a business adviser, consultant, trainer and speaker in over 50 countries world-wide.
A range of creative industry businesses have benefited from David’s business advice including product designers, musicians, film-makers, graphic designers, architects, video professionals, fashion designers, sculptors, web designers, crafts professionals, recording studios, advertising agencies, public relations companies, record labels, magazine and book publishers, TV and broadcasting, visual artists, theatre and performing arts practitioners, computer games professionals and others. His creative industries business advice is highly-acclaimed.
Some comments and testimonials from clients about his business advice are in this video on YouTube and others are listed below.
“David was excellent and very engaging. His advice about business development made what seems like a daunting task actually very simple by making you think differently.”
– Karen Maxwell. Design Director. Four-by-Two. Edinburgh, Scotland
“David is a great mentor and business coach. He is very responsive to our needs and understands the complicated business models of the Creative Industries”
– Jon Wetherall. Managing Director. Cool Game Arcade Ltd