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FIRST FACE TO FACE #enterprise #NEbusiness #employment #jobsne #digital @FIRST_ftf @Char_FIRST

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We could and we did (set up businesses that is)! Our challenge to you if you’re an early stage business in North East England is to do the same and make the region known as a good place to do good business in! 

The If We Can You Can Challenge is now LIVE! This year we're calling out for entries from startups with high growth potential and early stage businesses that are likely to make a big social or environmental impact.  All business starts with a conversation so we also have a special category for great business ideas for pre-startup entrepreneurs who are ready to take the leap! Enter now, it's easy:

Shy bairns get nowt! – you’ve got to be in it to win it and our growing list of partners is there to offer the support you need to help your idea take shape or your business reach its potential.  If We Can, You Can!  We did, so can you!

The launch of the challenge and our revamped website is our hottest news for July, but we’re also busy getting ready for a new round of enterprise workshops in schools in North Tyneside with our partners North Tyneside VODA and the NatWest's Skills and Opportunities fund. Think popup shops, SOUP events and industry led challenges; at both ends of the business scale we’re also looking forward to September, October and November for business events focussing on scale ups and business growth so scroll down for the opportunities!


15/11/2017: The If We Can You Can Challenge: sponsorship opportunities

After the sell out success of last years' live final we are pleased to announce partners for this year include BQ Magazine, the North East Local Enterprise Growth Hub and Get Film.

If you'd like to increase your profile within the North East startup community, opportunities are available. For more information about this years' plan, email: and one of the team will be in touch!




A North East event dedicated to bringing the best of British design engineering and manufacturing expertise.

Book your free ticket to Manufacturing & Engineering 2017 at



13/09/2017: VentureFest Tees Valley

Tickets have been released for a new event dedicated to helping Tees Valley businesses to discover how innovation can help them to remain relevant, competitive and profitable.

VentureFest Tees Valley will take place on 13 September at Wynyard Hall. It will bring together hundreds of local businesses, investors, researchers and experts to inspire new ideas, solutions and collaborations

> Hear from inspiring speakers > Raise finance > Network with useful new connections > Ask questions of leading experts > Learn new skills > Showcase your products and services

Find out more


06/10/2017: Going for Growth

A half day event for local businesses and decision makers in North East England to reflect on EU support for jobs, investment and growth in our region.

The event will provide examples of how European funding has supported businesses in the region. Fund managers will be on hand to answer questions about the current ERDF programme which will continue to help SMEs access finance for start up and growth until 2020.

Delegates will shape a message to our elected representatives about the type of support we require to underpin our economy in a post Brexit Britain.

The event is free to attend and is organised by Europe Direct North East England with support from the European Commission. 

To reserve a place contact:
Europe Direct North East England
Tel: 03000 268 503


23/11/2017: Newcastle Scaleup Summit

Building on the success of the 5-day, citywide and multi-venue ‘Newcastle Startup Week’ festival in May, Plan Digital will be running a 1-day ‘Newcastle Scaleup Summit’ at the Live Theatre on Thursday 23rd November 2017 to help people learn how to grow and take their business to the next level.

For more information and tickets; CLICK HERE


Going for Growth: Business development residentials

Going for Growth is a 3 day residential training course open to North East organisations (including Charities, social enterprises, sole traders and limited companies) who would like to develop to the next stage. Funding has been secured so to secure a place call Andrea on 07792102367 or email