Patricia van den Akker - Director of The Design Trust

The Design Trust ( is an online business school for designers, makers, artists, illustrators, and other small creative businesses.

The Design Trust, headed by Patricia van den Akker offers free resources, two paid membership clubs hosting online learning sessions from Patricia and other business experts, and Dream Plan Do, a planner journal written by Patricia based on her 25+ years’ experience as a business adviser, trainer and coach to thousands of creatives, especially designers and makers.

Dream Plan Do ( was the result of Patricia seeing so many creative businesses struggle. Stepping out of a creative education or trying to turn a creative hobby into a business is extremely difficult with no business training. Making something beautiful is one thing, selling it to someone is a whole other story. Patricia saw that many makers lacked business knowledge as well as focus. They weren’t set clear goals, nor were they working on their finances or marketing. They simply weren’t making enough money for all the hard work they were putting into creating.

 Patricia wanted to make a beautiful (it had to be visually pleasing!) business book with the best exercises and advice that she had developed to help creatives capture all their ideas and thoughts in one place. To make the business side of things happen through proven techniques.  To make something workable, sustainable, and affordable. The book had to do more than your average planner. It had to dig deeper, it had to ask the right questions at the right time. It had to give essential practical advice on planning, marketing, social media and finance that really worked.  Actions that people would understand and could carry out. That didn’t just say ‘do more marketing’ or ‘get a website’ but which actually showed creatives what needed doing. The online Dream Plan Do VIP club offers members bimonthly online training from Patricia in topics connected with the chapters of the book

The Design Trust Business Club ( is an online membership club, a library of business advice from finance to social media, marketing to wellbeing, given each month by experts in their field, tailor-made for small creative businesses. All sessions are recorded and placed within the club for members to access in their own time and when needed.

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