“Passion, creativity, and resilience are the most crucial skills in business. If you’ve got those, you’re ready to embark on the journey.” – Jo Malone, Founder of Jo Malone
As the world gradually comes to grips with the impact of the pandemic and businesses adapt, the need to develop entrepreneurial skills to rebuild and benefit from the changes is crucial for survival. As the three drivers of business growth remain innovation, access to new markets and digital transformation, we’re proud to announce that outstanding examples of these are happening across our business community.
But of course the most valuable asset of a business is it’s people and at the same time as innovating in product and service delivery we can also see a renewed focus on skills’ development. Lots of individuals, either encouraged by their employers or acting on their own initiative, are taking advantage of online resources to develop themselves personally and professionally. The new norm is all things virtual and we all need to skill up.
We’ve joined other providers at virtual job fairs, online workshops and networking events and seen their and our confidence grow in the new virtual world as we all become more comfortable with the online tools on offer.
Change is the only constant at the moment so we’d love to know what you’re doing to develop your skills and stay in touch with your staff, clients and community. We can all learn from each other and co-creation of new products and services is delivering benefits to all concerned. An example of this is the FIRST team’s online enterprise-skills’ workshop delivery in partnership with the region’s universities, colleges and companies.
These skills (and the confidence they will give you to think innovatively) are going to be so important as we come out of the pandemic. If you’d like to work with us, we’d be delighted to work with you and help make the region and even better place to start and grow a business, virtually or face to face.
Business goals – join the community
Are you beginning to shape your new business plans? Would you like to bounce your ideas off like minded business owners and explore which direction you should take your products and services? Not sure where to start? Join us & the team at NEL Fund Managers on the 11th of June for an online workshop with inspiring speakers and idea/strategy brainstorming along with a tailored analytical growth report for businesses registered in Durham, Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. Visit our events calendar here for more information and how to apply to be part of the event.
If We Can You Can Challenge update
FIRST have been inspired by the ENTRECOMP framework and have used it to re-brand & innovate the If We Can You Can Challenge, soon to launch as Startup Awards North East. The competition exists to celebrate & connect early stage founders to services, mentors, funding, new customers & peers. Working alongside our partners we will launch the new competition this summer culminating in an exciting 3 day event in March 2021. For more information on the new competition and how to get involved, contact Zoe via our website.
FIRST’s education coordinator Alice, has been volunteering at FareShare North East, helping to sort and pack essential food items to be distributed to over 200 charities in the North East. Helping out for just 4 hours equated to 288 meals being provided to vulnerable people across the region which just goes to show what we can achieve when we work collectively. Fareshare are urgently seeking DONATIONS, FOOD & VOLUNTEERS to help continue operations. So, if you’re able to volunteer. Alice told us she was “welcomed by a lovely team & felt fully safe in terms of PPE provided etc & would highly recommend the experience. If you’re unable to volunteer, please consider donating, even if it’s just what you’d normally spend on a couple of coffees!”
Thank you to all #IWCYC attendees
2019 #IdeasPrize finalist, Nikki sends thanks to you all for her new Laptop. At the 2019 If We Can You Can Challenge Grand Final, hosted at the Biscuit Factory in November. The 160 guests (you) pledged financial support via a raffle to help future applicants to develop their startups. Nikki said “The If We Can You Can Challenge was more than helpful with lots of new contacts made and it gave me plenty of new ideas as well as business leaders & advice from others who have travelled the path before, thank you for helping me.”