FIRST is a network of services committed to connecting young people and startups to their local business community.
Established in 2014, the business has 3 core services:
FIRST Startup – enterprise skill development through workshops, networking events, competitions and business accelerator programmes
FIRST Breakthrough – a youth led matching service connecting 14 – 30 year olds to work placements, jobs, training and qualifications
FIRST Face to Face – an online events resource and networking event management consultancy
We are experts at engaging and communicating with audiences, supporting young people and startups and developing business relationships that are based on best practise, process and results.
Caroline Theobald CBE
Caroline accepted a Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion in 2007 and was awarded the CBE for services to business and entrepreneurship in 2016. She is the chairman of FIRST, the co-founder of Gabriel Investors and the independent chair of BQ Live debates on enterprise and entrepreneurship throughout the UK. Caroline has been the honorary consul for Sweden since 2007 and is also the honorary chairman of the North East chapter of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce.
Charlotte is a trustee of Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums and MD of FIRST, a network of services committed to connecting young people, professionals and startups to their local business community.
Since 2014, and alongside her business partner Caroline Theobald CBE, she has managed over 70 collaborative networking events and worked with all 5 regional universities to deliver startup business activities such as workshops, accelerator programmes and pitching competitions. She organises the If We Can You Can Challenge a startup business competition celebrating its 10th year that works in partnership with Entrepreneurs Forum, Sage UK, PNE Group, Brewin Dolphin and Mincoffs, amongst others, to engage and give much needed publicity to new businesses across the North East: www.ifwecanyoucan.co.uk
Christiana focuses on HR and recruitment as well as attending careers fairs and skills events. She creates and shares opportunities and signposts young people and startups to relevant programmes and people; ensuring learners and business are supported and that their needs and enquiries are met as effectively as possible. She is a people person with a positive outlook who is ready to help!
Alice has 4 years’ experience in the delivery of young person development projects with a focus on confidence building and empowerment. Key areas of knowledge and training are youth engagement, youth retention, safeguarding and behaviour management with a focus on NEETs, hard-to-reach young people and those with low confidence and anxiety issues. Alice specialises in creating and delivering bespoke enterprise workshops for young people aged 11-25. Alice is also responsible for volunteer recruitment and mentoring to support young people to coordinate and deliver projects.
Zoe is an innovating, intrapreneur who inspires new founders to pitch, network and explore their wider business communities through her project The If We Can You Can Challenge. Her skills are focused on audience engagement, project management, client relations and networking. She works with established businesses and enterprise support agencies to manage, connect and showcase high profile business events and entrepreneurs.
Jackson works on various projects to engage and encourage young people to take steps into starting up their own business or taking on their first job. He is a creative thinker and a fun workshop facilitator who has engaged 1000s of young people as a positive role model and motivating coach. He has more memorised ice breakers and team building games then most and has excellent skills in problem solving and project admin.