Discover the Latest Opportunities for Your Card & Gift Business

Are you keen to find new opportunities for your business?

Maybe you’re looking for some business advice?

Or need a little inspiration?

Perhaps you want to win some awards to put your company on the map.

Opportunities come in all shapes and sizes, but they all provide a great chance to grow your business.

The monthly Opportunity List is a round-up of chances for card & gift businesses to develop.

Let’s look what the month ahead has in store…

General Opportunities

Top Drawer’s World of Craft

CRAFT at Top Drawer London is a carefully curated, exclusive edit that showcases the leading UK and international makers alongside innovative new names. Creating a compelling sourcing experience for the show’s audience of high-quality buyers.

These are the four key disciplines represented:⁠

○ Ceramic & Glass⁠
○ Jewellery
○ Fashion & Textiles
○ Mixed Media

This year’s call for entries for the SS20 edition in January has been extended to 5th November.

For more information visit the Top Drawer website.

Deadline: 5th November 2019

Craft Festival, Bovey Tracey Call for Entries

Running from the 12th-14th of June 2020 applications are invited for the flagship Craft Festival in Bovey Tracey.

As one of the UK’s largest and most loved craft events, the event will see 200 unique and talented makers of contemporary craft selling directly to over 10,000 visitors.

This year the event is keen to extend a warm welcome to makers living and working in the European Union.

Find out more & apply on the Craft Festival website.

Small Business Saturday (UK) Bus Tour

The Small Business Saturday UK bus tour is taking to the road again in 2019 and is aiming to be bigger and better than ever.

Here in the UK, Small Business Saturday falls on 7th December this year so we can expect the bus tour to take part around that date.

Each year the bus tour visits a number of towns and cities across the UK, playing host to activities, workshops and exhibitions from small businesses.

Small Business Saturday is a big event for independents so could present a great opportunity for networking and promotion.

If you would like to get involved you’ll find the information to contact organisers on the Small Business Saturday website.


Alexandra Reinhardt Memorial Award

Artists are invited to apply for the 2020 Alexandra Reinhardt Memorial Award (ARMA), Artist Commission, hosted by The Tetley, Leeds, worth £15,000.

The Award in 2020 focuses on the mental health and wellbeing of young people.

The Award will fund an artist (or artists) to conceive and deliver a participatory project which engages a group of young people aged 16 – 25.

The group of participants will be identified by The Tetley and at this stage is likely to be a group of care experienced young people.

As an outcome of the project, the artist will realise an exhibition, performance or other form of public engagement in the Shirley Cooper Gallery, one of the main gallery spaces at The Tetley in summer 2020.

This is an opportunity for an artist or artists to undertake a highly respected commission

For more information visit the ARMA website.

Deadline: 10am on 11th November 2019.

The Amazon Scale-Up Awards

The Amazon Scale-Up Awards recognise Britain’s best companies and the entrepreneurs, founders and leaders who run them – with 17 award categories and a special ‘Business Leader of the Year’ accolade.

The Awards are free to enter and open to all businesses based in the UK with the winners announced at a prestigious gala dinner on Park Lane, London, on Friday 20th March 2020.

The national awards aim to be the ‘Oscars’ of the business world; giving large and small companies the opportunity to be showcased on the national stage.

The awards evening will give guests the opportunity to mingle with Britain’s top business leaders and entrepreneurs, high profile investors and deal-makers, and representatives from government, education and the media.

Deadline: 15th November 2019

Think Global Awards 2019

The Think Global Awards recognise the importance of connecting with a global audience effectively and efficiently

This year’s awards aim to help and promote the awareness of thinking globally for individuals, communities, start-ups, small and medium-sized businesses, global brands and large scale international organizations.

For more information on the award categories and how to apply, visit the Think Global Forum website

Deadline: 30th November 2019.

Best Small Shops 2019 Open for Entries

The Online Business Awards celebrate the online presence of businesses. Highlighting those special businesses that serve their customers with a great website experience and excellent online activities.

In association with Talk Business, the awards are an annual assessment of innovative thinking, excellence in execution and remarkable performance.

The winners will be chosen by an experienced panel of independent judges.

For more information and to enter visit the Online Business Awards website.

Website is no longer active.

Deadline extended to 30th November 2019. 

Family Business of the Year

The Family Business of the Year Awards were created to celebrate the UK family business sector, to recognise the diversity of family firms across the country and to celebrate the contribution that they make.

Family Business United is a leading resource and online magazine for the sector, championing the cause and sharing best practice.

These awards seek to showcase the best of British family firms, culminating in an awards reception in London.

Organisers are looking for family firms, irrespective of their size, family firms that use their family nature and values to build successful businesses and represent great ambassadors for the sector as contenders for these awards.

Winners will be selected regionally and from a number of industry sectors, with an overall winner of the title, Family Business of the Year and a special award recognising the public’s favourite will also be awarded, The People’s Choice Award.

These awards are a great way to celebrate a great family business. 

To find out more visit the Family Business United website

Deadline: 30th November 2019.

Asian Business Awards

The Asian Business Awards 2020 will celebrate Asian entrepreneurship and business success.

An annual gathering of the UK’s wealthiest and most successful Asian businessmen and women, the event will honour a wide spectrum of Asian businesses across several categories. 

To see the full list of award categories and find out more visit the Asian Business Awards website

Deadline: 2nd December 2019.

24th Annual Webby Awards

Established in 1996, The Webbys is presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS), a 2000+ member judging body comprised of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries, creative celebrities,  former Webby Winners, nominees and other Internet professionals.

Reflecting the tremendous growth of the Internet, The Webbys now honours excellence in 7 major media types: Websites, Video, Advertising, Media & PR, Social, Apps, Mobile, & Voice, Games, and Podcasts.

If your online offering deserves a little awards attention be sure to check out the Webby’s website for application details.

Deadline: 20th December 2019.

Creative Retail Awards are Open for Entries

The Creative Retail Awards are an annual event designed to recognise and reward innovation and excellence in retail design and experience.

Organised by the Shop & Display Equipment Association (SDEA) and Retail Focus, the awards span a number of disciplines, including store design, surfaces, display systems, innovative technology, lighting and more.

The awards are judged by a panel of industry leaders and experts.

Entry costs are:

  • Retailers – Free of charge
  • SDEA Members – Free of charge (Max 10 Entries)
  • Non-SDEA Members £99.00+VAT

To see the full list of award categories & take part, visit the Creative Retail Awards website.

Deadline: 31st December 2019.

FSB Search for UK’s Most Outstanding Small Businesses

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is searching for the best of the small businesses in the UK in their Small Business Awards 2020.

More information can be seen about these awards in August’ Opportunity List.

Deadline: Various

Find out more on the FSB awards website.


Gift of the Year Awards

gift of the year

Image credit: Giftware Assoction

The Giftware Association has launched the Gift of the Year 2020 competition.

Now in its 42nd year, the competition celebrates innovation in the home and gift industry.

With 20 categories, including Cards & Wrap, Stationery, Ethical Gift and Design & Craft, the awards are a great way to get your products and business noticed.

Entries start at £55 for members of the GA, JDA, BTAA, NAJ and DesignGAP.

Deadline for entries: 29th November 2019.

For more information on the Awards please visit the Gift of the Year website.

the opportunity list november 2019

Business Support Opportunity

Rising Retail Masterclass

Rising Retail is a Masterclass for independent gift shop retailers and leading experts to come together to share best practices that they can then take home to improve their businesses and enhance their high streets.

The packed programme will cover:

  • Trends – What’s coming and how to take advantage
  • Visual merchandising – How to create exciting shopping experiences
  • Lessons from the top – Tips from majors that indies can benefit from
  • Staff – Recruiting, motivating, and retaining great retail teams
  • Making Mistakes  – Classic mistakes Indie Retailers can learn from
  • Going Green – How retailers can reduce their environmental impact
  • Instagram – Retailer tips for growing sales through social media
  • Social Selling – How using online groups can boost sales
  • Google My Business – How to boost footfall to your store
  • How to build an engaged community for £50
  • Negotiating – how to cut costs and save money as an independent

The Rising Retail event has been rescheduled for Monday 1st June 2020.

More information will be shared about the new date as it arrives.


Giftware Association Hosting Educational Week

The Giftware Association has announced it will be hosting a week of educational events to help businesses boost their skill set. Running from the 12th-15th of November. 

Events will span a variety of subjects including seminars on Instagram, e-commerce platforms and websites, HR advice and more.

Spaces for each course are strictly limited so book quickly if you’re interested.

You can find out more (including how to book a place) on the Giftware Association Events Page.

Industry Events

Just a Card’s Indie Week

The Just a Card campaign has unveiled the details of their Indie Week.

Just a Card Indie Week is all about encouraging people to support, value and buy from small businesses, independent shops, artists, designers and makers at Christmas.

In contrast to the consumer crazy Black Friday, the Just a Card campaign focuses on adding “bags of creative colour” to the festive shopping process. 

Running from the 25th-29th of November, the Just a Card team invites everyone to be part of Indie Week; whether they’re an independent business or supporter or all things indie.

Last year’s event saw record numbers of people, from all over the world uniting, sharing and celebrating small business. This year the campaign team want to go bigger and better! 

To find out more about Indie Week visit the Just a Card website

festive friday

Toolkit Available for Festive Friday 2019

The UK Greeting Card Association has released this year’s toolkit for their annual Festive Friday celebrations.]

Festive Friday is a special day for everyone in the greetings industry to send their personal Christmas cards. Kickstarting a first wave of festive celebrations with amazing cards falling onto doorsteps across the land in the first week of December.

This year the Festive Friday event falls on the 29th November so be sure to download a copy of the free Toolkit so you can take part.

Retail Opportunities

Etsy Made Local Events

Etsy Made Local UK is a collection of seller-led, Etsy-sponsored markets that bring the world of Etsy to life across the UK each Christmas season.

Each market brings together local sellers for in-person selling events just in time for shoppers to find gifts for loved ones.

The events provide a great opportunity for Etsy sellers to get to know their customers in real life and get feedback on products. 

There are over 30 Etsy Made Local events across the UK. To see the full list and take part visit the Etsy blog

etsy made local

Small Business Saturday – Marketing Kit Available

Here in the UK, Small Business Saturday falls on the 7th of December. 

It’s a fantastic day to celebrate & support small businesses, with a campaign that will reach millions of people across the country. 

This year the event incorporates a number of activities including a Small Biz 100 showcase and a UK-wide bus tour. 

Every small business can take part and organisers have created a free marketing pack to help you get involved.

The pack is available in English and Welsh languages. Each pack contains posters and logos to download and print out so that you can spread the word about SmallBizSatUK and get people supporting small business this Christmas. 

Download the Marketing Pack from the Small Business Saturday website

find your local hero

Promotion Opportunities

Giftware Association’s 2020 Yearbook Open for Entries

The Giftware Association’s 2020 Yearbook is now open for entries.

The Yearbook is a great way for members to showcase their products and ranges to new audiences for a whole year.

Now in its 3rd year, this year’s book is set to be the biggest yet, with plans to distribute copies further afield into Europe.

The book is:

  • Distributed at 20 trade shows throughout the year including Spring Fair, Harrogate and Autumn Fair;
  • Includes in goodie bags at The Greats Retail Awards.
  • Given to all the buyers at the Association’s regular ‘Meet The Buyer’ events.

Advertising in the Yearbook costs £360 for the year.

To take part, submit your products here.

Questions about the Yearbook can be directed to Callum Thompson on 0121 237 1149 or emailed to [email protected].

Deadline: 15th November 2019.

Opportunities for Artists & Designers

Emerging Maker Programme commencing in March 2020

COMPASS is Craft Scotland’s learning and development programme created specifically for makers.

The COMPASS: Emerging Maker Programme runs on an annual basis and applications are now open for the 2020 programme that will commence in March 2020.

There will be 10 places available for makers who will work through the programme together.

The opportunity is suitable for a professional practising maker in the early stages of their craft career. Ideally, someone who has been in business between  1 and 4 years.

To find out more about the programme visit the Craft Scotland website

Cockpit Arts Make it! Programme

Cockpit Arts has announced the launch of its Make It! programme; offering three London-based makers aged 16-25 space and support to build their own craft-based business.

Selected makers will receive studio space at Cockpit Arts, including access to onsite workshops in business basics, one-to-one coaching and the chance to be a part of a thriving creative community.

Applications are open until 8th of November 2019 to makers who are currently unemployed or underemployed (working in a job that doesn’t use their craft skills).

For more details visit the Cockpit Arts website.

Deadline: 8th November 2019

$1,000 Artist Grants

The Hopper Prize is offering 5 individual artist grants in the amount of $1,000.00 USD awarded through an open call art competition juried by leading contemporary curators.

  • 5 artists will each receive $1,000.00 USD in unrestricted grant awards
  • 30 artists will have their work archived at hopperprize.org
  • Selected submissions will be featured on our Instagram feed @hopperprize

The Competition provides artists with an opportunity to connect directly with curators who will be judging the entries and picking the winners. 

To find out more & apply, visit the Hopper Prize website

Deadline: 12th November 2019.

a-n The Artists Information Company is offering 50+ bursaries

a-n The Artists Information Company is offering 50+ bursaries of £500 – £1,500 to Artist and Joint (Artist and Arts Organiser) members wishing to undertake self-determined professional development in 2020.

Understanding that targeted funding can make all the difference, a-n Artist Bursaries provide money for artists to develop their practice.

Applications are encouraged from artists working in all visual arts disciplines that reflect innovative and ambitious thinking.

Who can apply: Current a-n Artist members, Joint (Artist and Arts Organiser) members.

To find out more visit the a-n website


Deadline for applications: 12 noon, Thursday 21 November 2019.

Like Opportunities for Your Business?

Well, that’s it for the November 2019 Opportunities List.

I hope you’ve found some ideas or inspiration in this month’s updates.

Check back next month for more opportunities to grow your business.

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