Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
11:33 AM 22nd June 2022

Bradford Based Fortress Films Announced As Finalist In Deutsche Bank Awards For Creative Entrepreneurs

The Deutsche Bank Awards for Creative Entrepreneurs (DBACE), in collaboration with MeWe360, announce this year’s finalists for the annual awards programme that aims to uncover the UK’s brightest young entrepreneurs aged 18-30 years who are driving positive social impact through creative enterprise.

Awarded to five entrepreneurs every year, DBACE helps young visionaries bring their ideas to life. The creative leaders announced today now have an opportunity to win a collective prize fund of £60,000, plus a £100,000 value of bespoke mentorship to develop their vision and leadership skills. In addition to the winners, the other finalists will receive DBACE business support bursaries, benefiting from tailored guidance and industry mentoring.

Louise Rose Mackleston and Fortress Films - a Bradford based production company aiming to shine a spotlight on Northern talent - has been selected as a finalist for Deutsche Bank Awards for Creative Entrepreneurs (DBACE).

Founded in 1993 DBACE celebrate's the UK’s brightest young entrepreneurs aged 18-30 years who are driving positive social impact through creative enterprise. Supporting the work of these business leaders of tomorrow DBACE offers five winners an opportunity to win a collective prize fund of £60,000, plus a £100,000 value of bespoke mentorship to develop their vision and leadership skills.

Fortress Films will now be invited, alongside the other 9 shortlisted business, to pitch their ideas to a panel of leading figures from the creative industries and business with the final five winners announced on the 28 June.

Talking about Fortress films its founder Louise Rose Mackleston notes:
"Bradford, my home town, has a thriving film history and I am extremely proud of the content that has been created here. Despite this, a challenge the local community faces is that we are often excluded from the filmmaking process - regional crew are often forgotten in favour of London based crew and the use of Bradford locations often goes unmentioned when the content is published.

"I want to change this culture and to increase a sense of local pride and identity by getting the local community more involved in the process. Also by making it more transparent through sharing skills and knowledge, both from myself but also by facilitating talks and interviews with industry professionals that will not only educate but empower people."

The 2022 iteration of DBACE saw applications from across the country operating across a myriad of sectors including visual art, design, fashion, architecture and performing arts, demonstrating the astounding calibre of creative entrepreneurs in the UK today.

DBACE 2022 Finalists:

Sophie Slater & Susanna Wen, Birdsong, an ethical fashion brand supporting makers and protecting the planet by creating pieces in the most socially impactful way possible.
Chamiah Dewey, Chamiah Dewey Fashion, the UK’s first clothing brand for people with dwarfism, offering stylish, timeless pieces, made using eco-conscious fabrics.
Andrew Shaw & Ryan Gauge, Convenience Gallery, an arts organisation based in Birkenhead working with contemporary artists and the local community to build innovative and challenging art projects.
Jem Collins, Journo Resources, a social enterprise that helps underrepresented people into the journalism industry, with free-to-access tools, resources and support.
Louise Rose Mackleston, Northern Fortress Films, an award-winning Bradford based production company aiming to shine a spotlight on Northern talent, giving Northern voices the chance to tell their stories.
Sabella Ibáñez, Alice Moxley & Jason Thompson, Pivot, a social enterprise that empowers people experiencing homelessness to Pivot their lives through making and craftsmanship.
Tabby Bunyan, Re_considered, a fashion brand providing custom reworking solutions to businesses and individuals, pulling upcycling into the 21st century and bringing circularity to the fashion industry.
Tumisha Balogun, Shian James & Alvin Owusu Fordwuo, Tag agency, a youth culture & marketing agency that transforms young lives through the power of culture, community and storytelling.
Mike Omoniyi, The Common Sense Network, a news media publication, research and marketing company and community studio on a mission to make democracy healthier.

Lareena Hilton, Global Head of Brand Communications & CSR at Deutsche Bank, commented:
“Every year, DBACE seeks to celebrate and support young business leaders committed to driving change and tackling some of the biggest challenges facing our society. In the wake of the pandemic, and as the creative sector continues to face great challenges, it is more important than ever to support these talented business leaders, providing them with funding and importantly with the mentorship and expert business guidance that enables them to thrive.

"The awards continue Deutsche Bank’s long history of championing initiatives that drive positive change in society, with our employees using their skills, knowledge and passion to support many of the DBACE winners every year. We are proud to once again partner with MeWe360 to ensure that the awards are open and accessible to all.

"As with every year, the competition is fierce and the quality of the entrants this year has been phenomenal. I look forward to hearing the finalists’ pitch for the coveted awards at the end of this month.”

This marks the fourth year of DBACE working with MeWe360, a not-for-profit incubator helping creatives develop thriving enterprises. Offering an inclusive approach that strives for a more equitable and representative creative sector, MeWe360 commits to equipping creative talent with the tools to realise their full potential as industry leaders.

Kevin Osborne, Founder and CEO of MeWe360, commented:
“MeWe360’s partnership with DBACE has supported hundreds of creative entrepreneurs, and every year I am amazed by the levels of talent and ingenuity young entrepreneurs present. Through DBACE we are able to offer finalists significant investment, invaluable hands on support, networking and tailored mentor programmes - helping future facing entrepreneurs create new sustainable business that will lead the UKs creative sectors.

"I’m also proud that DBACE makes key resources for young entrepreneurs available for free on their website. As a judge, a rewarding aspect is seeing some entrepreneurs come back year on year refining and improving their ideas. Whilst today we celebrate the finalists, I also want to recognise all the entrepreneurs who have gone through the application process and are working to create and sustain social value through their enterprises.”

The winners and bursary recipients for the Deutsche Bank Awards for Creative Entrepreneurs 2022 will be revealed on 28 June 2022.