Budding entrepreneurs across the North East are being encouraged to celebrate their achievements and prepare to scale-up their businesses with the support of a new business network.
Startup Awards North East aims to connect entrepreneurs and business professionals, acknowledge the breadth of talent across the region and encourage more people to consider self-employment following the devastation of the pandemic.
FIRST, founders of Startup Awards North East, has extended the eligibility criteria this year, to include businesses operational for up to 4 years, to give people an extra opportunity to take part and make connections, that they may have missed out on due to the pandemic last year.
More than an awards ceremony, participants receive help and advice throughout the year to support their business journey, including access to free workshops, recognised qualifications, mentoring, funding, peer groups, networking, and 121s.
The Awards end in a celebration during the three-day event, where entrants can pitch their idea, build relationships whilst having fun with creative activities.
Charlotte Windebank, co-founder at FIRST, founders of Startup Awards North East, said: “The North East still has one of the lowest business startup rates in the country, matched with the highest youth unemployment rates and some of the most under-resourced communities in the UK.
“However, the tide is turning and recent announcements, including Treasury North, Teesside’s Freeport status and the new windfarm factory on the TeesWorks site have made the region an incredibly attractive place to do business.
“There is so much talent in the North East and we want to harness that, and the new-found energy the region has, and encourage people to take the plunge and follow their business dreams. Entrepreneurs are the life blood of the country and create positive economic activity and employment opportunities.
“By creating a network of support, like-minded peers and the opportunity to celebrate achievements we hope to engage with the next generation of North East success stories.”
Entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply for Startup Awards North East via the website, and all entries must be made by 12 April.