Case Studies

Just Enterprise – Braw Talent

We recently connected with Dareen and Lydia, the passionate minds behind a social enterprise that empowers young people (ages 8-25) to explore the creative sector through engaging workshops and educational resources.

In 2017, three passionate teachers – Darren Osborne, Lydia Everitt and Colm Keegan – shared a dream of igniting creativity in young minds and inspiring them to explore careers in the arts.

Their love for creative expression fuelled their desire to realise this vision. Determined to make a lasting impact, they embarked on a journey that would transform creative education in Scotland.

They found a guiding light in Firstport, who provided invaluable business guidance and crucial financial assistance through its Just Enterprise start-up support followed by grants. This support empowered Darren, Colm, and Lydia to turn their shared passion into a tangible force for change.

By January 2019, their efforts had blossomed. With Firstport’s  support, they launched a captivating visual identity and vibrant website showcasing their vision. After establishing themselves as a Community Interest Company in April 2019, they embarked on numerous pilot projects, collaborating with prestigious organisations like Glasgow City Council, the Scottish Parliament, and Save the Children, leaving a lasting impact on young people and paving the way for a future where creativity thrives.

What does your social enterprise focus on?

We are passionate about addressing educational inequality, where job opportunities in creative industries are not determined by postcodes or left to chance. Our approach is to empower young people aged 8-24 through filmmaking, animation, and visual arts’ programmes, amplifying their voices who may be facing challenges such as poverty, disability, or mental health issues.

By working closely with young voices and their support networks, we aim to help young people share their authentic stories and foster a sense of empowerment. We strongly believe that everyone’s voice deserves to be heard, and we are committed to helping to make that a reality. 

A group of people in wheelchairs posing for a photo

What questions did you have for your Business Advisor when signing up for start-up support?

We first got support from business support in 2018 from Business Advisor Brian McMillan. It felt a bit overwhelming at first because it was all unfamiliar territory. Fortunately, he was incredibly supportive throughout the process. He was always there to provide guidance or point me in the direction of available support or events that allowed me to connect and network with other social entrepreneurs who were in a similar stage and facing similar challenges.

I had loads of questions, especially about the basics including registering with Companies House, crafting a robust business plan, conducting market research, and navigating financial forecasts.

How did the start-up support help you in your journey to becoming a social enterprise? Have you been able to reach your goals?

Firstport’s support was a game-changer for Braw Talent’s journey as a social enterprise, especially guidance from Brian McMillan starting in 2018. His specific guidance transformed our initial vision into a concrete business plan with financials, securing crucial funding for us.

Beyond the invaluable business advice, the financial assistance from Firstport’s Start It and Build It grants arrived at a critical moment. These awards allowed us to establish our online presence, diversify our income streams, and serve as a lifeline during the devastating impact of COVID-19. 

We are incredibly grateful to the entire Firstport team—Brian, Kirstie, Elaine, Hannah, Ray, and Karen—for their unwavering support throughout our Start-It and Build-It journeys. Their specific guidance and encouragement were instrumental in helping us navigate challenges and emerge stronger from them.

Do you have any advice for someone who is considering reaching out for start-up support through Just Enterprise?

Just Enterprise is an incredible resource for anyone venturing into the startup world, and I can’t recommend it enough. One thing I found particularly reassuring is that the support provided isn’t intimidating at all – it’s designed to meet you where you are and guide you through every step of the process. The workshops and sessions are always tailored to the specific needs of those attending, so you never feel like you’re being left behind or overwhelmed. But it’s also about the connections you make along the way. Meeting fellow entrepreneurs and sharing experiences and advice has been invaluable for me. There’s a real sense of camaraderie and support and knowing that you’re not alone on your journey can make all the

A hand reaching out to touch a paper cut-out of people sitting around a desk.

What is next on the horizon for your social enterprise?

Over the next two years, we’re going to expand our team, bringing on two more permanent members. This growth will enable us to take on more projects, reaching a broader demographic and making a greater impact. We are passionate about creating opportunities, which is why we are committed to establishing a paid internship programme specifically tailored for marginalised young people looking to gain experience in the creative sector.

Our mission remains to share authentic, often untold stories that have the power to spark meaningful change both within the communities we serve and in society at large. We are dedicated to continuing this work, driven by our belief in the transformative power of storytelling. We believe creativity is contagious, and we want to pass it on!

Find out more about Braw Talent on their website and by following them on Twitter,  Instagram or on LinkedIn.

Please visit our website’s start-up page to learn more about how Just Enterprise can support your social enterprise journey.