Birmingham Assay Office launch new Business Course for Creative Entrepreneurs

A new course aimed at creative entrepreneurs, led by Dr Gordon Hamme, will take place at the Birmingham Assay Office in March 2020.

The 12-week, fortnightly course, based on Hamme’s PhD thesis ‘Crafting the 21st century UK Artisan-Silversmith’, explores all the elements needed to develop a commercially viable, craft business. Students will explore their business ideas by way of experimental real-world experiences whilst learning. The jargon lite programme follows the principles of the successful Finnish Team Academy course, which Hamme studied, is designed to be more fluid and flexible than a standard business course aimed at artist craftspeople

The course covers a range of topics including marketing and sales, finance, intellectual property rights and small batch manufacturing and a final day mock ‘Dragons’ Den’ to financiers.  Industry experts, such as leading law firm, Barker Brettal, who specialise in Intellectual Property rights, will be just one of the guest specialists offering practical advice and guidance throughout the course. Other guest speakers include an industry entrepreneur, marketeer and financier.


Hamme said: “This course is ideal for anyone looking to launch their craft idea and skills into a commercially viable business through a practical, pragmatic, experiential, ‘learning by doing’ business programme.”

Both the National Association of Jewellers’ Education Trust and The Benevolent Society welcome funding applications for bursaries from those wishing to undertake this course.  Those applying successfully for funding can anticipate having a significant percentage of the course fee paid.

Birmingham Assay Office will be holding an open evening on 16th January 2020 for those wishing to find out more about the Business Course for Creative Entrepreneurs.  Places can be reserved via Eventbrite or by calling Kelly Fisher on 0121 794 1320.

The Course Leader

Dr Gordon Hamme is a jewellery and silversmithing professional. He has been in the trade since leaving school in retail, wholesale and manufacturing. He and his wife built Exchange Findings Ltd, a precious metals, components and tools and machinery supply company, selling the company to Cookson Precious Metals, a FTSE 100 company, in 1996. From this purchase Cookson further developed the Cookson catalogue which is now ubiquitous in the jewellery trade.

Gordon carried on to publish and write the Goldsmith Magazine which covered the jewellery and silversmithing industries through maker profiles, commentary on products and markets and coverage of national and international trade shows.

Gordon serves on the National Association of Jewellers education committee and is livery man of the Goldsmiths’ Company serving on the Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council.

From 2014 he researched the PhD thesis ‘Crafting the 21st century artisan-silversmith: Exploring the elements of a silversmith development framework at the University of Edinburgh gaining his doctorate in 2019. This course is based on his findings.

Birmingham Assay Office

The Assay Office Birmingham was founded in 1773 to provide assaying (testing) and hallmarking of precious metal items as required by the Hallmarking Act.  It has been a centre of expert opinion and independent assessment of jewellery and precious metals for 245 years.  Today, it continues as a certification and educational institution providing hallmarking, wide ranging educational courses through the Academy, valuations through the SafeGuard business, metals testing through AnchorCert Analytical and diamond and synthetic diamond testing services through AnchorCert Gem Lab.

For more information please contact:

Alison Pickerill,

Marketing Manager

Direct line: 0121 262 1029

Mobile: 07545 054 321

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