Putting the heart back into abandoned buildings in downtown Bogota + other stories…

From a champion of the arts and community theatre in abandoned buildings in downtown Bogota, to the creator of UAE’s first Arabic and English graphic design studio, thirteen pioneering entrepreneurs have been selected from ten different countries around the world to receive the British Council’s 2014 International YCE Culture Award

This week 13 young creative entrepreneurs stepped off the plane in Heathrow from ten different countries around the world to embark on a week long tour of some of London’s most creative culture/tech hubs to share ideas, insight and spark new international collaborations. Each united in that they have all won the British Council’s 2014, International Young Creative Entrepreneur Culture Award, which celebrates young entrepreneurs from around the world who are pioneering at the intersection of culture and technology.

The British Council’s Young Creative Entrepreneur (YCE) programme is a global scheme to find the brilliant people behind young businesses who are innovating the creative sector in their countries.  The programme is ten years old this year and was born out of the recognition that some of the most creative and innovative ways people are using culture is motivated by creating sustainable business that make money.

And this year’s winners are no exception, and include Tatiana Rais from Bogota, Colombia, director and founding member of Espacio Odeón: Centro Cultural, a non-profit art organization dedicated to promoting contemporary art and rejuvenating Bogota’s abandoned spaces, Denis Kargaev, co-founder of Team+1, a dynamic PR agency in Moscow, Russia, which produces large-scale campaigns and events for the cultural sector, Zimbabwean pianist Ngonidzashe Mapani  who has set up a one-stop-shop arts management company called Musiqlef, Erdem Dilbaz, electronic art producer and founder of Nerdworking, an electronic art platform which brings Istanbul’s most innovative artists and engineers together to develop new interactive projects for public spaces, and Salem Al-Qassimi from the UAE, whose company, Fikra specialises in providing bilingual graphic design solutions in Arabic and English, a service completely unique to this region.

The tour has included Tech City, Tate Modern and Bankside with Donald Hylsop, Head of Regeneration and Community Partnerships at Tate, it has included Makerversity at Somerset House, and the Barbican’s Digital Revolution with an exclusive tour from their guest curator Conrad Bodman.

Each of the winners were selected through national competitions held in the participating countries – UAE, Colombia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Turkey, Spain, Egypt, Poland, Russia. Applications were invited from people running young businesses, (two to seven years old), in any creative sector.

To find out more about The British Council YCE Programme visit: http://creativeconomy.britishcouncil.org/creative-entrepreneurship/young-creative-entrepreneur-programme/

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