ENTREPRENEURSâ€™ FORUM Together we can take on the world.
EF News Events
#NEentrepreneurs visit Facebook HQ.
delivering tangible benefits to entrepreneurs.
with Christine Nugent, Business Travel.
Working in Partnership
to make a difference in the North East.
a preview of our Autumn events.
Together we can take on the world. Contents A TIME FOR HONOURS. The 2015 North East Entrepreneurial Awards.
BUSINESS TRACKER SURVEY. Entrepreneurs continue to report positive results.
EntrepreNEWS. News and views from businesses across the region.
IN PROFILE. Christine Nugent, Business Travel.
WE’RE STRONGER TOGETHER. Working in partnership to make a difference.
CORPORATE PARTNERS. How they’re supporting entrepreneurs.
HELP US TO HELP YOU. Sign up to our ‘Refer a Friend’ scheme.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY. Our autumn events unveiled.
EVENTS. Facebook, London, play host to #NEentrepreneurs. MENTORING. Martyn Young, Precision Printing North, discovered the indisputable benefits.
HELLO AND THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ THIS, OUR LATEST ISSUE OF EF NEWS. After many months of build-up, the General Election has been and gone and we’re now into a new era of Government, one which we hope will continue to support business growth and hopefully transfer some of its long-term focus on start-ups towards supporting entrepreneur led businesses to scale. The Entrepreneurs’ Forum now has over 300 individual members, 14 corporate partners, 15 exchange members, nine board members and six members of staff - all pulling together to promote and support entrepreneurship here in the North East. On average, our members have an annual turnover of £9.6 million and employ 51 people. They – you – are the driving force of economic growth and job creation in this region and should be rightfully proud. As you will see from our article on page six, optimism among entrepreneurs still remains high in our latest Business Tracker Survey, as did the majority of economic indicators. As we enter this new Parliament, I am sure we will all be looking to the politicians in power to continue to provide an economic environment in which entrepreneurial businesses can thrive and create new jobs and wealth.
In these pages, you will find a wide range of important messages from our members, team and board, including our chairman, Nigel Mills. Nigel’s message of unity in the region’s business community (page fourteen) is one which is powerful and requires us all to pull in the same direction, with fantastic potential to bring enhanced growth to the wider North East. I am sure it will come as no surprise to read about the benefits of mentoring on page eight. If you’re a business owner who has yet to seriously consider being either a mentor, or a mentee, take a look at the real power mentoring can bring. Our mentoring programme offers members the chance to access peer-to-peer support from entrepreneurs who have been there, done that, in the world of business, and who have a wealth of experience to pass on to you. Of course, if you are reading this and you’re not already a member of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, or perhaps you’re a member and know someone who might benefit from joining, the benefits are multiple, and very rewarding, so please get in touch and find out more. Finally, I hope you enjoy this issue of EF News and look forward to seeing you at one of our events very soon. Best wishes,
Gillian Marshall, Chief Executive
“Completely blown away by Facebook! By far the best event I’ve been to with the Forum. More please...”
NORTH EAST ENTREPRENEURS VISIT FACEBOOK A GROUP OF 20 ENTREPRENEURS’ FORUM MEMBERS HAVE BEEN GAINING INSIGHT AND INSPIRATION FROM ONE OF THE WORLD’S BIGGEST COMPANIES ON A TRIP TO THE LONDON HEADQUARTERS OF FACEBOOK. The members of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum travelled to Euston and met with leaders from the social media company, who had flown in from both Ireland and Facebook’s Palo Alto HQ. It was a rare opportunity to see behind the scenes of a company which thrives on the innovative nature of the surroundings in which its staff work, helping to drive their creativity and work ethic.
has his or her targets, they are goal-oriented, not assessed by clocking in and out, set around an arbitrary ‘working day’. The focus is very much on impact, not hours performed, and staff can work when and where they choose, so long as the job gets done. The environment of trust doesn’t stop there, it extends to all parts of the organisation, such as provision of complimentary food and drink, which is available at all times of the day, as well as office supplies straight from vending machines. On-site sleeping pods, foosball and pool tables, energy drinks, pick and mix sweets, coffee shops and of course one of their latest acquisitions, Oculus Rift video games are all aimed at keeping people engaged, enthused and performing at their optimum level. Whilst this may seem lavish or over the top to many, their culture is in fact acutely designed and contrived to drive the business and their staff forward, and they feel it is the single biggest strength they have.
The team of Facebook experts gave a tour of the headquarters and shared tips on how small and medium enterprises can make the most of the social network to grow their business.
Facebook’s team outlined a clear plan of recruiting well, setting clear expectations, creating a focus, driving the impact, cultivating growth through support, mentoring and development and then rewarding achievement.
Facebook itself was built as a platform that nurtures trust. It was one of the first social media models in which users were identified by their real names, rather than pseudonyms, and this encouragement of authenticity and honesty is reflected in the working environment.
In relation to the hiring aspect, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is reported as saying: “I will only hire someone to work directly for me if I would work for that person. It’s a pretty good test.”
All efforts are made to remove bureaucracy, with a flat system of working, allowing people to get on with their jobs. Whilst every member of staff
Gillian Marshall, chief executive of the Forum, said: “We don’t expect that all of the companies who joined us on the visit are suddenly going to make radical changes to the way they work, but this was a very useful insight into a different way of working.”
“Facebook management are strong believers in hiring the right person, and that is as much about aptitude and attitude as it is skills, because the culture of freedom and trust demands it. It is about bringing in the right people, setting clear goals and then leaving them to do their jobs, but there is also a strong element of accountability, feedback, advice and support when things go wrong, as they inevitably do.” Gillian said: “We had some great feedback from members, and one wrote to tell us ‘It was a
fantastic opportunity to see behind the scenes of a recognised global brand like Facebook, and to learn how they have kept their culture as they grew – I took away some really tangible ideas for our business as we take over the world in our own little way!’.” Rosie du Rose, executive director of customer service at Home Group, added: “I have to say I really enjoyed the visit. It gave me a real insight into some innovative thinking and what I really liked was that it was about the people and culture rather than the technology (people not pixels!). I found it truly thought-provoking and inspirational.” The on-site visit has proved so popular that a return trip is already in planning for next year, but not before the autumn sees visits to Ebac, The Lakes Distillery and Reece Group (see page 19).
JOIN THE REGION’S FINEST BUSINESS MINDS IN A CELEBRATION OF ENTREPRENEURIAL £75 SUCCESS!
(+vat) per person. Tables seat 10 or 12.
Friday 25th September 2015 7pm until late, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Newcastle.
FOR OVER 10 YEARS WE’VE BEEN HONOURING ENTREPRENEURS WHO HAVE STOOD OUT FROM THE CROWD, LEADING DYNAMIC, INNOVATIVE BUSINESSES AND MAKING A GENUINE CHANGE TO OUR REGION. THE AWARDS
BOOK YOUR PLACE
2015 will see entrepreneurs pay tribute to their peers with awards for:
Not restricted to Entrepreneurs’ Forum members, award nominations are open for all categories until Friday, 22nd May 2015.
Our black-tie awards dinner is a fabulous evening of celebration and entertainment where the cream of entrepreneurial talent and leading figures within the North East business community come together to honour our high achievers.
• E merging Talent (individuals who have been in business less than six years). • E ntrepreneur of the Year (strong growth and profit through innovation, teamwork and leadership). • L ifetime Achievement (an individual who has shown huge commitment over a significant period of time and has made a major impact to the regional economy). • M entor of the Year; a brand new award to celebrate the importance of peer-to-peer mentoring.
All you need to do to submit a nomination is send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, stating the award category, name and company for each of your suggestions.
This year the brand new Crowne Plaza hotel in Newcastle will play host to more than 250 key decision makers and business leaders, providing an inspirational setting for a fantastic occasion.
Opportunities to benfit from unrivalled business exposure among North East entrepreneurs and business leaders are available throughout the evening. Contact the Forum team for more information.
To book your place, or enquire about sponsorship opportunities, simply call the Forum team on 0191 500 7780 or email email@example.com.
Proud to be partnered by:
“If the Entrepreneurs’ Forum could be replicated throughout the UK we would have a stunning economy. What a dynamic group.” Justin Urquhart Stewart
Business Tracker Survey
A HEALTHY OUTLOOK FOR NORTH EAST ENTREPRENEURS How entrepreneur led businesses performed in Q4, 2014:
Sales & Profit continue to rise
64% witnessed an increase in sales (vs Q4 in 2013)
Confidence levels have plateaued
Employment is rising but finding skilled staff is biggest barrier to growth 53%
more optimistic about their business
Exporters performed strongly
saw employee numbers increase (vs Q4 in 2013)
saw export sales strengthen (vs Q4 in 2013)
(lowest level since Q2 in 2012)
53% reported an increase in profit (vs Q4 in 2013)
more confident in the economy
increased remuneration within their business
(down 10% on Q3 in 2014)
(vs Q4 in 2013, smallest proportion since our survey began)
70% forecast a rise in sales for Q1 in 2015 (vs Q1 in 2014)
of those surveyed export (vs 20% of UK SMEs)
38% forecast on increase for remuneration for Q1 in 2015 (vs Q1 in 2014)
EVEN AT TIMES TRADITIONALLY ASSOCIATED WITH ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY, SUCH AS THE BUILD-UP TO A GENERAL ELECTION, IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMAIN POSITIVE, ESPECIALLY WHEN THERE IS TANGIBLE EVIDENCE TO BACK UP THAT OPTIMISM. 6
It was fantastic to read in Barclays’ recently published Entrepreneurs’ Index that the North East has seen the biggest rise in high growth companies of any region in the UK. With 19.2% of the region’s companies classified in the report as high growth, it is still the lowest percentage of all parts of the UK. However, the 25.5% rise was still the fastest growth from all regions. Northern Ireland was the only other region to see a rise, but with that increase registering at only 2%, it
shows the North East is very much bucking the trend. By these figures and the official statistics released by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, at the end of last year, the region is leading the way in growth and startup business. At the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, we have more than 300 members, whose companies turn over £1.7 billion and employ 29,500 people.
When we canvassed them for our most recent Business Tracker Survey, the mood was one of optimism. The survey covered the final quarter of 2014 and saw overall sales up on the same period a year earlier, or being maintained, at 90% of the companies. The same percentage reported export sales up or the same. More than half were seeing profits rise, with more than a third of the remainder saying these, again, were being maintained at their Q4 2013 level. The majority had seen an increase in employment. Confidence among these members has reached a natural plateau, with the percentage that reported feeling as confident as they had three months earlier having risen for five consecutive quarters. 91% said they felt either more confident, or equally
as confident as they had previously. This close to a General Election, particularly one which is as difficult to predict as this, it would be hard to expect a higher percentage reporting confidence.
sectors, which is also encouraging. It must be noted that the report did indicate that the North-South divide is still evident, with the number of deals having flat-lined in northern regions, with a rise in the south.
This feeling is understandable in many respects, as we see such factors as falling oil prices and rising consumer confidence coming through.
However, with the percentage of growth businesses rising faster here than elsewhere, it is possible that this balance will be rectified as many of these younger companies come to fruition.
The Barclays report showed start-up activity in the UK remains very strong, with 8.6% of people in the UK involved in early stage entrepreneurial activity; that’s up from 7.3% in 2013. The number of exit deals resulting in individual wealth creation of £0.2m or more has also grown, year on year.
Whilst there are uncertainties lying ahead, such as when interest rates will rise and the potential for inflation to move in either direction, it is clear that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the North East, creating jobs and wealth that can help this region achieve its potential.
There are signs of growth in the construction, retail and property
COMPARED WITH FIGURES FOR THE SAME QUARTER IN 2013, ENTREPRENEURS RESPONDING TO OUR BUSINESS TRACKER SURVEY PAINTED A POSITIVE PICTURE OF ALL ASPECTS OF BUSINESS: •
Overall sales: 64% reported an increase, while 26% said levels had remained the same.
Export sales: 29% saw an increase, while 61% said they’d seen retention of Q4 2013 levels.
Actual profit: an increase was reported by 53%, while 35% said levels were maintained.
Employee numbers: 53% reported an increase in employment, with 35% saying levels had not changed.
Remuneration: 30% reported an increase, 68% said levels were the same.
Prices: 16% reported an increase, while 77% said levels had remained the same.
Capital expenditure: an increase was reported by 37%, and 51% said levels had remained as they were.
Help us to help you. We know your time is precious, but we would be extremely grateful if next time we send out the survey (6th July 2015) you could take a few moments to complete it online.
Our entrepreneurial business tracker survey is conducted and compiled by leading research specialist Acritas.
It takes less than 5 minutes to complete and not only provides insight into the performance and key challenges facing our region’s entrepreneurs, but also gives us the understanding we need to shape our event programme and raise the profile of entrepreneurship both regionally and nationally.
BENEFITTING FROM THE EXPERIENCE OF OTHERS. When Martyn Young joined the Entrepreneurs’ Forum in 2011, he took an important step along a path that would allow him to achieve the ten year plan for his forward-thinking printing business in half of that time. It had always been the plan to grow First2Print, a business founded when others in the market were closing down, and then sell it on, but the anticipation was that this would happen closer to the end of the decade. However, with the support of mentorship accessed through the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, the sale of a majority share of the business went through in November 2014. Martyn, founder and managing director of First2Print, based at the Business Innovation Centre, in Sunderland, is now managing director of Precision Printing North, part of the Precision Printing Limited group, which conducted the buyout. Since the buyout, the company has grown from 18 staff to 24 and is achieving international recognition for the way it operates and is bucking the trend of closures. In 2014, the firm achieved 42% growth, taking its turnover to a little under £2 million. The company is now on target to hit a further 100% growth in 2015.
Martyn said: “Mentorship through the Entrepreneurs’ Forum allowed me to access solid experience that confirmed our plans were suitable to achieve our goals and to sense check what we were doing. Using a mentor has helped me to accelerate some of the changes and growth within the business and complete our aggressive ten year plan in five years.”
such roles in house, the pieces were put in place to take the important step of selling the majority share.” The Entrepreneurs’ Forum’s strapline, ‘Together We Can Take On The World’ is a call to action for the organisation’s 300-plus members to work in a supportive environment that allows people to tap into a network that is brimming with experience. The Forum’s mentoring programme allows members to speak to those who have “done it all before”. As well as formalised mentoring sessions, Martyn said the network created by the Entrepreneurs’ Forum was conducive to members accessing the experience of others on a more casual basis, thanks to the networking opportunities it creates. Martyn used the same mentor from 2011 to 2014.
“My mentor helped me to confirm that the decisions we intended to make were the right ones and to put the people in place sooner than would otherwise have been the case. We had previously outsourced some key aspects of the business, which we internalised, such as appointing a financial director. By bringing
He said: “You do need people who have experience to advise you and guide your thoughts. We would still have achieved our ten year plan, but mentoring allowed us to drive our actions harder and faster.” “There are ways to draw on mentorship through the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, without having to make it formal.”
Mentoring through the Entrepreneurs’ Forum begins with a tailored matchmaking process, to ensure that the mentee is brought together with the right person to suit their goals.
overcome and where he envisaged his business heading. Even though the business he was referring to was completely different to my own, the amount of similarities we had faced whilst running a business was remarkable.”
Mentor and mentee are brought together to sign the Forum’s special Mentoring Charter, which states: a mentoring relationship should begin with the understanding that a Mentor does not know the Mentee’s business, but will listen openly and provide advice as they feel appropriate. Mentoring should be a partnership. For both parties it should be a respectful environment but also one which is challenging, inspiring and enjoyable. Mentoring should not be a chore, should not be stressful or unrealistic and nor should it include any element of inter-trading or sales. As the Forum’s mentoring programme is conducted altruistically, no financial recompense is expected, nor is it necessary to offer any. The Forum also hosts regular one-toone mentoring drop-in sessions, or surgeries, which complement these pairings. Normally, these sessions involve two or three mentors being available for one hour appointments. These surgeries take place on a monthly basis at venues across the North East.
Samantha Davidson “His advice was really useful especially around planning - not just for the long-term, but having monthly, three monthly or six monthly plans to drive the strategy forward. When you run a business you wear so many different hats, but he reminded me that you should play to your strengths.” Sara Davies, who founded Crafter’s Companion, has been on both sides of the fence when it comes to the less formal side of mentorship with the Entrepreneurs’ Forum.
Another Entrepreneurs’ Forum member to have benefited from mentorship was Samantha Davidson, founder of strategic marketing company Horizonworks. Samantha received mentorship from Brian Jobling, Forum board member and founder of Eutechnyx. She said: “Meeting Brian was extremely useful. I chose him because, for me, it wasn’t about talking to someone from my sector but someone who has grown a business and taken it successfully through each stage of growth. Brian has attracted some of the biggest names in his industry and I wanted to learn from him how he’d done it.“
“I picked up a lot of advice from that dinner and it wasn’t especially formal like having a ‘business consultant’ come into my HQ and give specific advice on what I should and shouldn’t do, it was simply speaking with like-minded people that helped me a) develop as a person and b) grow my business.“ “So, when I was asked to speak at such a dinner I jumped at the chance. I felt confident knowing that even though the chances of somebody owning a business similar to mine at the dinner were slim that they had probably encountered similar pitfalls or difficulties no matter what industry they were in. And because of the help I had received as a mentee I felt I should give back by sharing my experience and acquired knowledge.” “To this day I still speak with business owners, whom I consider senior to myself, through the Entrepreneurs’ Forum to gather hints and tips from them. It is these conversations that are truly invaluable and keep me afloat and ahead of the game.” Members wishing to find a mentor, or to become a mentor, can take their first steps by completing one of the online forms available in the mentoring section of entrepreneursforum.net/mentoring .
She explains: “When I first joined the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, I enrolled to a private dinner, round table mentoring session. During the dinner a keynote speaker gave tips and advice on where his business was, certain obstacles he had faced and luckily
NEWS & BUSINESS UPDATES FROM ACROSS THE REGION has a remarkable 50 year history and we are delighted to welcome its sales and engineering staff on board with us for what promises to be a very successful future.
BEDE PLOTS RECRUITMENT DRIVE FOLLOWING MAJOR DEAL.
CROSBYS CATERING EQUIPMENT ACQUIRES JOHN DODDS. Crosbys Catering Equipment, a leading specialist supplier to the restaurant, bar and catering industry, has acquired the business of John Dodds of Gateshead – a long-established catering equipment supplier based in Team Valley, Gateshead. John Dodds was founded in 1965 to supply the retail meat trade with consumables and machinery, and gradually grew to supply the catering industry with equipment for the manufacture, cooking, hot and cold storage of foodstuffs and surrounding steel benches, sinks and other work surfaces, along with smaller sundry items such as tableware and furniture. Its customer base includes local authorities, large organisations, schools, hospitals, prisons, care homes, hotels, restaurants and takeaway outlets. With the advent of online sales, the need to carry large stocks at the firm’s operating base decreased, and keener margins were required to compete in the digital environment. During the company’s development, the family had also been building a property portfolio in the commercial and rental holiday sectors, which has since grown to become a full time commitment. This led the directors of John Dodds to decide between relocating to premises more suited to their needs, or to find a partner to take their business forward, enabling the family to concentrate on consolidating their property investments. As a result, the company entered into discussions with Crosbys, and a sale was agreed. Crosbys director Roger Crosby said: “John Dodds is a well respected, thirdgeneration family-run business which
the time being. We have always had a reputation for delivery of the projects we take on and we don’t want to ruin that by taking on more than we can handle.”
UTILITYWISE BEGINS MULTI-ROLE RECRUITMENT DRIVE. One of the UK’s leading business energy and water consultancies has begun a recruitment drive with many jobs opening up in the coming weeks. The company, who recently relocated to Cobalt Business Park, is rapidly expanding and forecasted to have 1,400 employees across the group by 2016. Utilitywise is recruiting for many positions, including energy consultants and customer care managers, who will have the opportunity to start at the new offices and benefit from full training. The biggest increases in job availability at Utilitywise will be for energy consultants where 20 to 40 new starters are being recruited every month. The customer care team is also due to be significantly expanded from the current team of 10 to 160 over the next 18 months. Utilitywise is a market leader in SME and the Industrial and Commercial sector. The company offers a complete range of utility management services to its customers to help them procure, reduce, monitor and manage their utilities. Utilitywise works with all types of businesses across the UK, from small and medium sized companies such as South Shields Indoor Bowls Club to large corporations like Joy Global and Costa Coffee. The North East based company was set up in 2006 and has seen swift growth and development, subsequently being floated on the stock market for an IPO in June 2012.
Founded in May 2012, software business Bede Gaming has begun a recruitment drive for up to 75 staff on the back of a multi-million pound deal with the largest UK-based casino and bingo hall operator. The Newcastle-headquartered firm, which currently employs around 120 staff, has set out plans for expansion following its recent contract win with UK gaming giant Rank Group Plc. Bede’s gaming platform will be used by Rank’s Grosvenor Casinos and Mecca Bingo brands, handling all online transactions, including player registrations, deposits, withdrawals and the reporting of game play. The deal will also see Bede supply some of its own in-house and third party games to Rank, as well as adding some of the games Rank has at its casinos and bingo halls to their sites. Bede, currently based in Gosforth but planning a move to bigger offices within Newcastle, will create at least 25 software and creative jobs this year following the Rank deal. It expects to start recruiting for a further 50 team members – mostly software developers – from next year, as the company continues to increase revenues. Annual turnover is forecast to be around £8m this year, up from £3.5m in 2014, while next year it is likely to be significantly higher again. Managing director Dan Smyth said: “Since we signed the deal with Rank we’ve had a lot of queries from leading European operators. In fact I believe we have more opportunities available than we could possibly deliver. But clearly Rank requires our full focus for
NORTH EAST FAMILYOWNED COMPANY ACHIEVES PLC STATUS. A leading, privately owned North East company has achieved PLC status, following on the back of a full 3 year rationalisation process across all of its business interests. Newcastle-based Malhotra Group PLC, which operates in the leisure, property and care home sectors, brought together its 26 companies and partnerships and consolidated them within one group. The Group, originally established through its founding company in 1991, has become a North East success story with a turnover that has seen growth year on year, from £19.5m in 2013 to £22m in 2014 and to a predicted £25m this year. Currently employing around 1,000 people, the Malhotra Group has already embarked upon a major five year expansion plan which should see staff numbers double by 2020. The shares in Malhotra Group PLC remain privately owned by the Malhotra family, although the opportunity for them to be bought by the public will be offered in the future. ”We have always had a plan to acquire and develop underperforming assets and bring them to their fullest potential’’ said Meenu Malhotra, group chairman. ‘’We now own prestigious buildings across a number of prime sites, as well as market leading care homes and leisure outlets, and our plans over the next 5 years will see the Group become a major force in these key growth sectors’’.
The company started building its portfolio in 1991 with the acquisition of the old Parrish’s department store in Newcastle, with the upper floors subsequently turned into student accommodation. By 2014 the Malhotra Group had taken over the New Northumbria Hotel and the Grey Street Hotel in Newcastle, The Three Mile Inn pub and restaurant on the outskirts of the city and developed a number of new care homes, along with running one of the country’s top back packers hostel, The Albatross.
MEDIAWORKS WINS BIG AT THE NORTHERN DIGITAL AWARDS 2015. Creative search agency Mediaworks walked away with two accolades at The Northern Digital Awards 2015. At the inaugural ceremony, which took place at the Royal Armouries in Leeds, the North East agency won Best PPC Campaign, as well as the prestigious Large Digital Agency of the Year award. The brand received the award for Best PPC Campaign in recognition of their work with Newcastle College. Making use of a range of search, display, video and remarketing targeting methods, Mediaworks created an effective campaign that delivered low cost per acquisition for the client. Judges selected Mediaworks as the Large Digital Agency of the Year as a result of the consistently high returns the company delivers to clients. The award also acknowledges the positive contribution Mediaworks makes to the industry more widely, as well as the excellent standards of work and high business levels the brand maintains. Speaking about the win, managing director Brett Jacobson said: “This is a fantastic achievement for everyone at Mediaworks. The team works tirelessly to deliver exceptional results for our clients and it’s great to receive industry recognition like this.”
ONYX GROUP CONFIRM SEVEN-FIGURE INVESTMENT INTO CORE NETWORK.
HOTEL DIRECTORS PUT HEART AND SOUL INTO RE-DEVELOPMENT
North East businesses are poised to benefit from faster and more resilient connectivity as data centre & cloud specialists Onyx Group announce a tenfold increase in capacity with their latest million-pound investment. In a move designed to help facilitate their long-term plans of becoming a £100m a year business, Onyx Group will increase their core infrastructure to 10 GB through the installation of a brand new network, significantly reducing latency levels throughout their data centre and managed wide area network estate. Neil Stephenson, CEO of Onyx Group, is delighted with the project’s completion and praised the company’s connectivity heritage; “This investment highlights our commitment to providing our customers with the most reliable, fast and secure network solutions available. Onyx understands that in an increasingly technological world, businesses now depend on reliable connectivity for their everyday business operations. This drives us forward to invest in our core infrastructure to ensure that we exceed the expectations of our customers.
Tavistock Hospitality has unveiled Poetic License Distillery Bar within the Roker Hotel, Sunderland’s first distillery, specialising in craft beers, cocktails and ‘soul food’. The launch comes after £500,000 of investment, which includes a full refurbishment of the former R-Bar with an extended outdoor terrace and soon-to-be in-house distillery. Mark Hird, managing director of Tavistock Hospitality said: “Poetic License Distillery Bar is something totally different for not only this area but the whole of the North of England. To have a bar using its very own handcrafted spirits is something that has never been done before. “We wanted to breathe some much needed life back into the seafront scene. We’re hoping it will re-ignite the Roker circuit and encourage people to come and spend their evenings in this area again, rather than having no other option but to travel in to the city centre or as far as Newcastle for an evening out.”
“As one of the first ISPs to be established in the UK, we were true pioneers of business-to-business connectivity and throughout the last 20 years we have continuously invested in our infrastructure. The dedication and hard work of our team has led us to us owning an enviable estate that includes a network ranked in the top 3% of connected networks worldwide.” The news comes hot on the heels of Onyx Group’s acquisition of Knowledge IT, a £10m move that established the company as one of the UK’s leading providers of IT services.
Poetic License Bar and Distillery is the third phase of investment from Tavistock Hospitality Directors, who announced re-development plans 12 months ago. This has included tea rooms and cakery - Let There Be Crumbs - and the Italian Farmhouse restaurant, plus a refurbishment of the hotel’s ballroom and other function spaces. Craft beers from Tavistock Hospitality’s very own Sonnet 43 Brew House in County Durham, and cocktails using artisan Gins, Vodkas and Rums produced in the Bar’s Distillery are featured on the extensive drinks menu.
If you would like to promote your business and share your latest news, simply forward your press releases to firstname.lastname@example.org.
DEREK SLACK MOTORS NAMED ONE OF 1,000 COMPANIES TO INSPIRE BRITAIN Launched in 2013, the LSE report was designed to celebrate those companies which serve as a driving force behind the UK economy and, as such, this edition identifies the UK’s fastest-growing and most dynamic small and medium sized businesses. Companies included in the list have demonstrated consistent revenue growth over a minimum of three years, significantly outperforming their industry peers. Tony Slack, managing director at Derek Slack Motors commented, “We’re delighted to be identified as one of the 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain for 2015. As a family-run business celebrating over 40 years trading, we’ve always made it our mission to provide the very best in customer service. “As the oldest SKODA dealer in the North East, plus Centre of Excellence for ISUZU pickups, our dealership in Middlesbrough is already undergoing significant investment in 2015 expanding our showroom, parts and service departments. “We have a fantastic team behind us, which just gets better,” added Tony. “It was particularly heartening that of the 1,000 UK companies recognised this year, 23 of them were from the North East, our dealership on Teesside included. We’d like to congratulate everyone else who made it into the report, especially all of the North East companies.” Xavier Rolet, chief executive, London Stock Exchange Group added: “This report is a significant part of London stock exchange’s broader campaign to support UK high growth companies in their journeys from start-up to stardom and to create an entrepreneurship revolution. I’m delighted that a strong alliance between UK Government, financial market participants, investors, entrepreneurs and companies has been created to support these inspiring businesses.”
CHRISTINE NUGENT, BUSINESS TRAVEL CHRISTINE NUGENT DOESN’T DESCRIBE HERSELF AS AN ENTREPRENEUR, BUT TO HEAR THE STORY OF HOW SHE HAS BUILT A £10 MILLION COMPANY, BUSINESS TRAVEL, OUT OF A SMALL FIRM, CREATED AS A QUIRK OF NECESSITY AND PLUCKED FROM ADMINISTRATION, SHE CARRIES ALL THE HALLMARKS OF THE LABEL. She joined DMB Travel at 21, having worked in a number of agencies since the age of 16. The firm was originally owned by a contracting company, which grit blasted and painted ships and bridges, including Tower Bridge, Blackfriars Bridge, the QE II and the Tyne Bridge. “They were doing a lot of travelling as a company, so the managing director decided he would open a travel agency to book his own. I think it was just a good over the dinner conversation,” says Christine. “At the time, they had a big contract in Bahrain so there was a guy and myself that started it, and it was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the contracting company.” However, within a few months, the Bahrain contract came to an end. Christine explains: “We were left with no concrete business, so we had to go out to all of the contracting company’s clients to see if we could get business.” At the tender age of 23, Christine became general manager. Less than a decade later, in the autumn of 1994, circumstances forced Christine to raise funds from sources including the Northern Enterprise Fund and an angel investor, Vivienne McGee, to save the travel firm from administration. NEL was bought out of the business within three years and, eventually, Christine also bought the angel investor out, leaving her as sole owner of the company.
Although she has never had a formal mentor of her own, as a member of the Prince’s Trust leadership group, she has two mentee businesses, Melissa Robson Designs and yarn dying firm Mother of Pearl, both of which have received funding support from the charity.
“We can’t lose sight of how, when we started the company, the only differentiator we had was our focus upon service – we don’t have a product, we don’t own a hotel, an airplane, only our ethos of great service.”
So, tell us about how you took on the business at the start.
How important was having your own premises?
I kept four staff after the buyout, when our parent company went into administration. Because we had cross guarantees on the bank accounts, which were there to help us, it meant we were liable for them as well. So when they went into receivership, the receivers had no alternative but to put us into receivership too.
It was a massive change. At first, it just all felt too much for us, too big. Even for me, being in this lovely office upstairs with a lovely desk and chair, but actually it made us grow up. It lifted us all a lot and felt just right. In managed offices, when we had clients come to visit, we needed to sell the company more to them, always excusing where we were. Whereas, this building is very impressive so it almost gives us our credibility. I don’t think now, 30 years on, we need that, because we have our own credibility. We paid off the mortgage in here in three years as well.
Now the business employs 16 people in the beautiful Old Dispensary, in Gateshead’s Nelson Street, a building it owns outright, and has plans to continue its growth.
I bought the fixed assets, but I refused to buy the goodwill from the receivers. I said it was my goodwill and I wasn’t going to be buying it off anybody. I was 32 then and very naïve. We were ten years old and it was our busiest month ever, and we were in receivership. I’m quite sure we actually traded illegally for a couple of weeks. We were supplying currency to clients bought using my personal credit card; it was a really manic time. Our clients were great, I telephoned every one of them and we had masses of support. One even arranged to print our letterhead on their printer until we incorporated the company; and people were great about paying us on time. Then we had to find new premises and we went into Greenesfield Business Centre. We completely outgrew that, and the Dispensary, this office we are in now, was up for sale. We had looked at it and it looked like far too big a project; we were busy trying to build a business. And then 18 months on we looked again and the time was right, and we bought it from the council and completely renovated it. We could really make it purpose built for what we wanted.
How have you grown from that point to your current 16 staff? It’s been organic growth. Most of what we have has come from word of mouth, growth within our client base, getting into one part of a company and doing such a good job that we expand within the others. We’ve also been lucky in that we’re able to retain a lot of our clients. We’ve still got our first two clients from 30 years ago, which is Grundfos Manufacturing and Traidcraft. Six years ago, our largest client, Akzo Nobel, which had been a client of ours since day one and had grown with us, they were a third of our turnover at that time, merged with ICI so they were given a worldwide directive to use American Express, so we lost the account. That was a huge learning curve, I learned very quickly about gross margins. We currently have 90 clients, with our largest spending £2.6m with us each year. Four of our largest clients are in fact based in London and when I think about all of the clients we have there, they haven’t come through a single cold call; although we do have one or two like that.
We do get some cold calls and we have picked up some companies that way. It doesn’t matter where we are, geographically. Our largest clients have come from recommendations, from FDs who have been maybe local here and then moved jobs and taken us with them to their new jobs to sort out travel for them. They have been an expansion of a company here. For us, it’s all about trust. Some of our consultants have got 30 years’ experience and a wealth of fare knowledge meaning they can offer an unrivalled service. We also use bespoke management information to ensure control and monitoring of our clients’ travel policies. Often, travel is the second largest spend companies have after salaries so it pays for them to get it right. Having previously been through the issues surrounding the loss of a client which accounts for a large part of your turnover, do you have any concerns about reliance on a big client representing a quarter of your business? It is a concern, although we have a great, strong working relationship with them. It’s why we‘re working with GrowthAccelerator now; we want to add another £5m onto our turnover in the next three years. I have my son, Jordan, working with me as business improvement manager, and honestly, it’s been one of the best things we’ve done. We are looking to evolve the culture of a 30-year-old organisation. We are modernising, systemising, automating, and it’s great to have the combination of youth and the sensibility of experience between us. We are working really well together, because Jordan sees things in a modern perspective of what we really need. Our competitors are technology companies, they’re not necessarily travel agents. I’m not convinced I would have done it without him. It would have just felt like too much. How do you drive change in a business that is so well-established and what market changes have demanded the shift? We can’t lose sight of how, when we started the company, the only differentiator we had was our focus upon service – we don’t have a product, we don’t own a hotel, an airplane, only our ethos of great service. In 30 years this hasn’t changed and, whilst I am here, nor will it, but we do have to become more automated and look at efficiencies. The internet has obviously impacted heavily on business travel agents because clients can see, or they think they can see, what we have. A lot of the point-to-point tickets can now be done by the smaller clients themselves, that’s not where we add value. Where we do, is in the management and control of travel policies, adding benefit to larger clients who are doing too much travel to arrange it themselves. We offer a personal and professional service, with instant responses from well-trained consultants. That doesn’t happen with a lot of our competitors.
Having come through the ranks of the business at an early age, have you used a mentor? I did have a mentor who is not with us anymore, Neil Robinson, of Metro Radio. He would ring me and the deal was that we would go out for lunch and if I didn’t learn anything he would buy, but if I learned something I would pay. He never bought me lunch, which was great, but I didn’t know that was what he was doing at the time, I thought he was just being kind and chatting to me and helping me. It wasn’t like now, there is a big focus on mentorship, it’s very structured. Neil made me question myself, he didn’t actually give me advice, he just made me question things and it was invaluable because I was really young and didn’t really know what I was doing. Now I have the Entrepreneurs’ Forum where there’s always somebody to ask. I feel a lot less alone than I have ever felt, and it’s great for people like Jordan coming through, because if I had had that structured assistance in my 30s maybe things wouldn’t have been so difficult. What are your plans to exit the company, when the time comes? I don’t have any immediate plans to exit. I want the company to continue to grow; I want to fill my lovely offices. We only use about two thirds of the building and it was always my want to have every office filled. We just need to add to the turnover and because we’ve never done it in a structured way, it’s quite exciting, it’s a new challenge.
We are actively looking for new clients. We have no set sales and marketing team, it will be Jordan and I, but I’ve done this for 33 years and if I can’t go into a company and say ‘this is what you need to do’, I don’t think anybody can. Some of the team here have been with me for 30 years and we’ve also got great young people. We’ve just taken on three apprentices, which we haven’t done before but find that that is just a good route for us to even the balance. With three staff having served around 30 years each and a further four, each with between ten and 15 years’ service, what is the secret to keeping good staff? I’d like to think I looked after them, that they are part of the team where they share the same ethos, because unless you feel that service ethos you wouldn’t fit in here at all. They get on well with the clients and, because some of the clients have been with us equally as long, they have got that aspect of daily working with the same people, so I suppose they get a lot of job satisfaction. Finally, as a mentor yourself, what message would you give to other entrepreneurs? You have to love and believe in what you are doing, or it’s just hard work. There is no substitute for hard work, whilst staying true to your beliefs, no matter what. For us, we have always had a really strong work ethic and a great ethos in the company about service and it has paid dividends and rewarded us with a fantastic team and loyal clients. Make sure you are very passionate about what you do.
We’re Stronger Together
WE NEED A UNIFIED BUSINESS APPROACH TO UNLOCKING GROWTH
BY NIGEL MILLS, chairman, Entrepreneurs’ Forum
WHEN SIR JOHN HALL TOLD A GATHERING OF NORTH EAST ENTREPRENEURS THAT THE REGION NEEDED TO “START THINKING BIG… LIKE THE VICTORIANS” WITH BIG AMBITIONS, HE WAS QUITE RIGHT. Speaking at the Entrepreneurs’ Forum’s Chairman’s Dinner, Sir John was advocating the need to grow the regional population and for business to be at the heart of that growth, creating opportunities for personal and regional growth, leading the North East into a stronger future.
Sir John said: “In large parts of the area there are more sheep than people. I cannot give a precise figure, because I am not an economist, but I would like to suggest that a further one million people are needed in the region over the next 30 years; this will help to change the economics and culture of the region.”
He added that the North East lacked leadership in the private sector and action was needed to urgently kick start the region’s ambitions. “Much is and has been done, but we need to think like the Victorians. They were ambitious entrepreneurs and thought big.” “We need to look to other parts of Europe to bring in educated and qualified people for the industries of the future. We need the infrastructure of course, and more
The secret is to gang up on the problem, rather than each other. Thomas Stallkamp new towns and cranes on the skyline. People have confidence when they see progress, change and investment.”
and multipliers to the North East – and wow them with the undeniable truth of our regional potential.
His comments weren’t pie-in-the-sky, headline grabbing nonsense. I suspect Sir John has created more headlines through the course of his business career to not be desperate to create more through controversial comment. These were the considered thoughts of a man who, over 50 years, has created jobs and wealth here in the North East, not least through the hugely ambitious creation of the Metrocentre.
What we have here, in terms of culture, entrepreneurship and infrastructure, forms the basis of a region that can not only deliver now, but which can grow to support extra people, more businesses and greater growth.
Sadly, however, the response from at least one MP at the time showed an apparent lack of understanding among some politicians when it comes to grasping the role of business in providing jobs and wealth to the region, and the positive impact this has on communities. Entrepreneurs, not only at the level of Sir John, but those leading businesses across the region, drive growth in the economy. They start and build businesses that transform lives and communities. If, like myself and many of those I am proud to call my peers, you accept that entrepreneurship is so powerful and transformational, why doesn’t the whole business community get behind it and champion entrepreneurship in this region? A huge amount of work is going on in our schools, colleges and universities to promote entrepreneurship as a valid career path, and business leaders have embraced the drive for apprenticeships. But we also need to bring people here from outside the region to show them the opportunities. This can best be achieved with a unified voice of all business leaders. If business leaders create this combined voice and amplify all the benefits of private sector growth, backed up with the evidence at hand, we can demonstrate leadership and make a difference. This means reaching out to other parts of the country and overseas in a structured, methodical programme of activity, to bring opinion formers, decision makers
We have some very strong businesses and organisations active in the region, including the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, Institute of Directors (IoD), the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Federation of Small Businesses, Family Business Association and EEF, the Manufacturers’ Organisation, as well as being home to the only regional Chamber of Commerce, NEPIC and RTC North. These include vocal supporters of our region, such as Entrepreneurs’ Forum board member and regional IoD chairman Graham Robb, who I know supports the beliefs held by myself and Sir John. As Graham said when introducing Sir John during the event at which he was speaking: “This towering figure has created wealth, generated jobs, transformed lives and generated opportunities for tens of thousands of people throughout a business journey that is both magnificent and awe inspiring.” Sir John’s viewpoint is one which comes from long experience and knowledge, which can only be gained through decades as a successful business figurehead. We are not, as those who miss the point seem to think, advocating helicoptering in a million more people and then worrying about how to employ them. We are talking about driving investment within and into the region, in both business and infrastructure, to create the growth, which can then sustain increased numbers of people. We are talking about business coming together with a unified voice to support business-led Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), which can secure vital funding and powers for the region,
to make the North East more efficient and, ultimately stronger. It’s a voice to champion apprenticeships and entrepreneurship, creating real career choices. We have the ambassadors for business in the North East, not only in figures such as Sir John, Graham and the CBI’s Liz Mayes and Alison Thain, who undoubtedly knows the social and community needs of a growing population, but in those people who have already prospered and created jobs and wealth on their entrepreneurial journeys, illustrating just what can be achieved in a unified North East business environment. Among our membership, we have a wealth of such entrepreneurial talent, running businesses that employ increasing numbers of people and deliver products and services across the world. As support amongst business leaders grows for the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ agenda and devolved powers to the North, if we act together, in this unique way, the prospective benefits for the North East are very exciting. I will leave you with these words from Sir John: “In my lifetime there have been so many talking shops. You can talk for so long, but eventually someone needs to make things happen. The business community really need to get involved outside their businesses. We did this in the past when we formed the Northern Development Corporation (NDC), probably our most successful inward investment body.” “In my view the most successful bodies for change were the development corporations. They had money, leadership and powers.” “Why can’t we now emulate these today and create the North East Regional Development Corporation?” “There is so much talent in the private sector into which the region needs to tap. We have the skills and we have the talent. We have to believe in the next generation.”
To keep up to date with all the Forum’s latest news and view, visit www.entrpreneursforum.net
HOW OUR PARTNERS ARE SUPPORTING NORTH EAST ENTREPRENEURS The Forum is proud to be partnered by a host of corporate organisations who all support entrepreneurship and are experts in their field. As a fundamental part of our strategy, corporate partnership is a mutually beneficial, sector exclusive relationship between the Forum and a select number of the North East’s most influential businesses.
By bringing together entrepreneurs and corporate leaders to work in collaboration and share business experience, we believe we create the right environment for businesses to develop and grow.
Sharing our ambition to make the region stronger, each of our partners cares deeply about the North East and the people that live and work here; vying to make a positive contribution to its economic development.
Barclays shape their business banking around clients. With 325 years expertise moving, lending, investing and protecting money for customers and clients worldwide. They promise to give entrepreneurs the banking tools they need to help run their business effectively. www.barclays.com
One of the leading providers of wealth management services in the UK, Brewin Dolphin has been helping professionals across the North East to make a meaningful difference to their finances for generations. With a wealth of experience dealing with the ups and downs of investment markets and helping money work harder for their clients, they offer Forum members a free, no obligation financial planning review with one of their experts. Contact
Part of a global group of companies, Elanders UK act in strategic partnership with their customers to optimise and develop bespoke solutions to the processes that are critical to their business. Core services include digital print and digital services, offset printing, packaging printing and supply chain / logistics. To find out how they can help you email email@example.com
Gateshead College are proud to play their part working in partnership with business to develop the skilled work force of tomorrow and the next generation of entrepreneurs. With one of the largest funding contracts for Apprenticeships in the region, they offer free training, needs analysis, transparent funding advice and bespoke training. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Winners and runners up three years in a row at the Official Football Hospitality Awards, Newcastle United are known for a combination of top-class facilities, outstanding catering and service which ensures they remain at the pinnacle of Premier League Hospitality. For their latest Entrepreneurs’ Forum special offers, contact ashleigh.male@ nufc.co.uk
Described by Dr Vince Cable MP as “one of Britain’s best universities”, Teesside is the first - and only - modern university to have been named UK University of the Year. With nearly 30,000 students at award-winning campuses in Middlesbrough and Darlington, it is renowned for engaging with businesses and has been a centre for education and a catalyst for economic growth for more than 80 years. At The Forge they’ve got the people to help entrepreneurs make the most of all their knowledge, insights and networks. www.tees.ac.uk/theforge
Joining the Forum was definitely the single best thing we’ve done since starting Hedley McEwan - and in turn, that’s the best advice I can give to anyone starting their own enterprise. The knowledge I’ve gained and the connections I’ve made have been invaluable, and we simply would not be as successful as we are today had we not become members. Tom Hedley
Operating in the north and south east of England, Northumbrian Water Group is both ethical and customer focused in its ambition to become the national leader in the provision of sustainable water and waste water services. www.nwl.co.uk
The Port of Tyne - named UK Port of the Year 2014 in the National Transport Awards, is one of the UK’s major deep sea ports - a vital trading gateway to world-wide markets. Operating five business areas including bulk & conventional cargoes, car terminals, cruise & ferry, logistics and estates. Adding some £560m to the economy and supporting around 11,000 jobs. www.portoftyne.co.uk
Whilst introducing as many people as possible to The Lakes Distillery, from the outset it has been their aim to create not just world-class spirits, but a destination for whisky lovers and a key attraction for visitors to the Lakes. Since its initial conception they have also been creating exclusive opportunities for their own corporate partners. To find out more visit www.lakesdistillery.com
Onyx Group believe that in a technological world highly effective I.T. is core to business success. That’s why they pride themselves on delivering superior I.T. infrastructure and support. Currently Forum members can receive over 70% discount on their comprehensive enterprise class ‘Fibre Elite Broadband Service’. Simply contact email@example.com
Giving value and competitive advantage through the widest range of services available locally within assurance, advisory and taxation, PwC work with start-ups and early stage enterprises through to mature businesses planning their exit options, to offer advice and assistance. They can also introduce you to My Financepartner, their new accounting service, designed specifically for SMEs. If you’re interested in a free one hour consultation to explore any issues you may have, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ward Hadaway are one of the UK’s Top 100 law firms with a reputation for quality, innovation and a partner-led commitment to client service excellence. Whether it’s acquisition or disposals, raising finance, outsourcing agreements, employment concerns, or any other commercial or personal legal requirement, they are happy to offer north east entrepreneurs an hour of one of their partners’ time to use as a sounding board at no charge, with no commitment. Contact email@example.com
Hedley McEwan provides creative solutions to marketing objectives; that’s it, simple. They have years of experience creating advertising in all media - TV, radio, press outdoor, digital - and help to develop businesses and build brands through design. You name it, they’ve done it, and can do the same for you. www.hedleymcewan.co.uk
One of the UK’s leading energy and water cost management consultancies, Utilitywise help businesses to get the most value from their energy and water contracts, reducing their energy consumption and lowering their carbon footprint. Offering Forum members a no obligation appraisal of their current water and energy bills, they can help you to identify opportunities to recover overcharges on your bills and ensure you’re making the most of your current contracts. firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re interested in finding out more about partnership opportunities with the Entrepreneurs’ Forum call the team on 0191 500 7780 or email email@example.com
Refer a Friend
SHARE THE BENEFITS OF THE FORUM WITH YOUR PEERS…
Like many people in business I’ve faced difficulties and had set backs but now I’d like to use that experience and give something back by putting in time and effort to help others. When I think back to when I started in business, having someone who could have helped me, been a confidante or reference point would have been of huge benefit. I believe this can be best achieved through my involvement with the Entrepreneurs’ Forum.
Geoff Thompson, Utilitywise It’s the people in the network that make the Entrepreneurs’ Forum unique; and we want you to help us bring even more of the region’s change makers together. The Entrepreneurs’ Forum brings entrepreneurs and business leaders together to help businesses grow and make the North East stronger. Opportunity is created when you meet people you didn’t know you needed to meet – our members – and our ‘Refer a Friend’ scheme is designed to encourage entrepreneurs to share the benefits of Forum membership with their fellow business owners.
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS When you recruit a new member you help to ensure the Forum continues to grow stronger and our region prospers. Once your friend has joined, as a thank you we will invite you to either one of our entrepreneurial conferences (Together We Can Take on the World or Fortune Favours the Brave) or a focus dinner as our guest, free of charge. Just ask your friend to quote your name when they get in touch either through www.entrepreneursforum.net or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t keep it to yourself, we’re stronger together.
Terms & conditions apply:
The referred Member must include the referring Member’s name on their membership application form. The offer of complimentary event admission is subject to the referred Member being fully subscribed before the event takes place. The cost of Forum members to attend a conference is £99 +vat and a focus dinner £75 +vat. Referrals cannot be shared or transferred. The referral Member must meet the Forum’s membership criteria.
Dates for your Diary
UPCOMING EVENTS AND A SNEAK PEAK AT OUR AUTUMN PROGRAMME...
“I’ve taken more away from this morning than I did from my last course, which lasted eight days…”
DANIEL ROBINSON, GUS ROBINSON (focus dinner) Thursday 4th June, 7pm – 10pm Middleton Lodge, Middleton Tyas
ONSITE VISIT TO UNIPRES Thursday 18th June, 8am – 11am Cherry Blossom Way, Sunderland
KATE HARDCASTLE: INSIGHT WITH PASSION Thursday 11th June, 6pm – 9pm Teesside University, Darlington Campus
PAUL WALKER: LIFE AFTER SAGE (focus dinner) Tuesday 30th June, 7pm - 10pm Jesmond Dene House, Newcastle
GETTING THE BEST OUT OF YOU & YOUR TEAM (exchange event) Tuesday, 8th September
ONSITE VISIT TO EBAC Wednesday, 16th September
NORTH EAST ENTREPRENEURIAL AWARDS 2015 Friday, 25th September Crowne Plaza Hotel, Newcastle
SUCCESSION PLANNING Wednesday, 30th September
FOCUS DINNER WITH GRAHAM WYLIE Tuesday, 6th October
ONSITE VISIT TO THE LAKES DISTILLERY Wednesday, 14th October
ECOMMERCE WORKSHOP Tuesday, 20th October
INSPIRING THE NEXT GENERATION OF ENTREPRENEURS Tuesday, 27th October
ONSITE VISIT TO REECE GROUP Tuesday, 10th November
FORTUNE FAVOURS THE BRAVE (Global Entrepreneurship Week Conference) Thursday, 19th November Redworth Hall Hotel, Durham
FOCUS DINNER WITH IAN WATSON, HADRIAN HEALTHCARE Thursday, 3rd December MORE AUTUMN EVENTS AND VENUES WILL BE CONFIRMED SOON. To keep up to date, book your place and find out more, visit www.entrepreneursforum.net Details correct at time of print – May 2015
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WELCOME TO OUR NEW MEMBERS WELCOME TO ALL OF THE NEW MEMBERS WHO HAVE JOINED US RECENTLY... ENTREPRENEURS: Andrew Turner Quality Hospital Solutions Tony Slimmings Prismatic Thinking Fiona Fletcher Echo Events & Association Management Cathi Harrison Para-sols Duncan McDonald Jordan Engineering Brendon Hayward OSBIT Power Ltd. Richard Gledson Sky High Sports Ltd. John Holmes Reprotec UK Ltd. Alex Hayward Phusion IM Ltd. Paul Farn Powerdial Ian Gilthorpe Square One Law Alan Fletcher Square One Law John Burns Diamond Business Systems Simon Andrews The Smile Spa Martin Barber Evolution LLP Harry Wilmot H E Woolley Ltd.
Where to find us: Entrepreneurs’ Forum Baltimore House Baltic Business Quarter Gateshead Tyne & Wear NE8 3DF
Joe Evans Ben Staerck Ian Storer Jas Gill Ean Parsons Paul Mason David Cliff Anne Ganley Jason Cochrane Rick McCordall David Lynch Joanna Chapman Gillian Rice Charlie Hoult Tonnis van der Sluis Richard Kirk John Porrett Atul Malhotra Mark Nigrelli
Marlish Waters Ltd. Furniture Clinic Corepeople Recruitment Ltd. Hadrian Healthcare Group Parsons Containers Monumental Training Gedanken Thompson Waste Ltd. Keltie Cochrane Olivia’s Artisan Foods Lynch Healthcare Orange Plant Tyne Valley Plastics Hoults Gaia Heat PolyPhotonix Unique Magazines Malhotra Group Glass House Group
Northgate plc Faltec Europe Ltd North East Finance
Elanders Barclays Bank
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Issue 3, May 2015
another creative communication by Hedley McEwan