Designeur is the outcome of a Master’s thesis research conducted by Nareh Ghookassian, a multidisciplinary designer from Toronto who pursued a degree in MA Design Management and Cultures in London College of Communication at University of the Arts London. The focus of her research was in the area of entrepreneurship within the creative industries. Her aim was to investigate ways to assist design entrepreneurs of Canada in starting their creative businesses.
The dissertation met the research aim through an extensive study of relevant literature on the creative industries and economies of Canada and the UK, the concept of creative entrepreneurship, and innovation and business design within small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). Primary research was conducted through expert interviews, a focus group, and detailed questionnaires with many individuals within various design disciplines and positions in Toronto.
The research produced a number of key findings: 59% of the participants of the questionnaire claimed to be aspiring to start their own creative business in the future. The obstacles preventing them from achieving this goal were identified as unavailability of financial resources, lack of business skills, unfamiliarity with legal, economic, and marketing matters, business valuation, and experience. Since the Government of Canada has failed to define and classify its creative industries, many do not know their sector’s place within the industries and are consequently unaware of the significant contribution to the economy.
Distress with constant negative competition, longing for a community and a support system was also observed amongst designers. The outcome drawn from this study was to design an organization in Toronto that provides online resources while offering networking, mentorship, consultation opportunities through talks, events, classes, personalised sessions to design entrepreneurs of Canada.