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Business support programmes to help you start, grow and scale your business

Business support programmes for business in Gateshead

Business support programmes for business in Gateshead or considering locating here, start-ups and residents exploring self-employment

Local Women Local Enterprise

Millin Charity

The Millin Charity is a specialist provider of women-only enterprise support services for women who are thinking about starting a business and women led businesses who need support to be better prepared to build a successful and sustainable business.

The Millin Charity will be delivering our Local Women Local Enterprise offer from our Gateshead Hub based at the Greenesfield Business Centre. As part of this Project we aim to offer women the opportunity to become:

  • Enterprise Ready through a number of programmes they can take part in
  • Provide support to existing enterprises
  • The opportunity for a minimum of 5 enterprises accessing support to apply for grants to enable business growth

Local Women Local Enterprise will offer the following for women to take part in:

  • One to One Business Support including business structures, milestone and goal setting, financial planning, product costing, legalities, business registration, markets, marketing, productivity.
  • Bespoke and accredited enterprise training courses (level 1 and 2) accredited through NOCN.
  • A range of specialist workshops and expert one-to-one sessions that cover a range of areas including exploring enterprise, using social media, website development; basic bookkeeping; managing budgets; insurance and risk management; using online tools to develop your business and social media.
  • Trading at markets and developing online trading opportunities; we will support women to take their products and services to market and support them to develop their online profiles.
  • Mentoring opportunities through "Your Enterprise" Course linking women to female entrepreneurs who will support them
  • Networking and inspiring opportunities for women to come together.

If you live in Gateshead and would like to take part, please get in touch and we will carry out an assessment and eligibility and will support you to join the programme.

www.themillincharity.co.uk (opens new window)

Contact details for project

Kirsty McDine/ Shewley Haque

0191 499 8402


Business Energy Savings Team

The Business Energy Savings Team project provides energy audits and advice, technical support and grant contributions to help SMEs and Community and Voluntary sector organisations reduce their energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. This will help increase business resilience and adaptive capacity to meet net zero targets and support regional economic growth. The project is managed by Newcastle City Council on behalf of four local authorities.



Contact details for project

David Orr / Nicky Campbell



Business and IP Centre / Citylife Business Consultancy Support Programme


Our project aims to support the creation and growth of micro, small and medium sized enterprises, social enterprises and not-for profit organisations predominantly within Gateshead.

Business and IP Centre North East will continue to deliver free to access support to businesses, pre-starts and not-for-profit organisations via the 'BIPC Local' situated in Blaydon Library, Gateshead including one to one advice from BIPC's 40+ Experts in Residence, access to market intelligence and business information databases, Intellectual Property, plus enjoy a bespoke programme of practical events and topical workshops.

As part of this project, BIPC North East's Experts in Residence will be supporting eligible Gateshead SME's through the Citylife Business Support Programme, which includes providing a grant to SMEs enabling them to access an additional 12 hours of fully funded support from any one (or divided between two) of our Experts in Residence. The support would be delivered via a grant direct to the SMEs, enabling them to access Citylife Expert support.

www.bipcnortheast.co.uk (opens new window)

Contact details for project

Sarah Turnbull

07971 036 494 


Immex City - Digital Tech Cluster Development Programme

Immex City is a programme of support designed to catalyse the organic growth and scale-up potential of the North East's immersive technologies sector. This includes a series of workshops focussed on immersive technology adoption, start up and scale up programmes as well as showcasing activities to raise the profile of the region's immersive capabilities.

www.sunderlandsoftwarecity.com/project/immex-city (opens new window)

Contact details for project



Innovation SuperNetwork - Pathways to Innovation


Pathways to Innovation works with Gateshead-based businesses to understand the challenges they face when adopting innovative technologies or bringing new innovation to market.

The expert team at Innovation SuperNetwork will work with businesses to develop clear innovation action plans that give practical targeted support to ensure businesses, entrepreneurs and start-ups can achieve their innovation and growth goals.

The programme will include a combination of one-to-one support and events, providing opportunities for Gateshead-based businesses to connect, collaborate and gain insight from one another on key subject areas - from IP to valuing your business.

Also on offer is specific support to entrepreneurs who are looking to start their own business and need advice, funding and guidance to enable them to progress their start-up.

One key component of the support provided is access to finance. Innovation SuperNetwork is tapped into all the funding opportunities available to businesses and will work with those seeking equity investment to get them in front of funds, angels and VCs via our Northern Investor Hub, as well as providing advice on accessing grants and loans, for businesses at all stages of growth.

Open to small and medium-sized businesses operating across all sectors in Gateshead, the programme will also include specific activities for growing sectors in Gateshead, including Digital and Tech.

supernetwork.org.uk/pathways-to-innovation/ (opens new window)

Contact details for project

Graeme Miller, Head of Innovation

07899 994 457


Yalla Lets Go - Jewish Community Enterprise Programme


Supporting Gateshead's Orthodox Jewish Community to set up and grow their own businesses

There's a genuine interest in enterprise amongst men and women in Gateshead's Orthodox Jewish Community. Several businesses have already been established and are ready to grow. Others are still at the idea stage, waiting for the right time to start.

We think that time is now.

It's never been more important for families to find new ways to increase their household income, and with so much talent and aspiration throughout the community, we think running and growing a business could be the solution for many.  

So, Yalla Let's Go!   

Yalla Let's Go! project is being led by the Jewish Community Council in Gateshead (JCCG). Yalla! is a Hebrew term which encourages positive action - let's go!

What's on offer?

This project is fundamentally about ensuring that people in the Orthodox Jewish community, whether they want to start a business or are already running a business, are supported to get access to the business support that is on offer outside of the community. The hope is that we will develop strong links and relationships that will really help in the short-term, but that these will be sustained long after the project has ended.

After registering with the project a client will have an initial chat with our Enterprise Facilitator who will help with the creation of an Enterprise Action Plan which sets out what type of support is needed most.

We have set up referral pathways with the people and organisations that are able to offer support. This referral pathway includes inviting anyone who will provide support to members of the community to attend a Cultural Awareness training session to enable them to understand the cultural and religious norms associated with the Orthodox Jewish faith, and to offer their commitment to aligning their service delivery to remove barriers to access. The Enterprise Facilitator will make a warm referral to the appropriate provider(s).

The Yalla Let's Go! project can also provide a small enterprise grant (average £500) to a small number of business owners in the community to help them to progress their business. We also hope to identify people who are willing to become a volunteer business mentor to people in the community who need extra input and support. We will also be holding culturally appropriate business skills workshops and networking events where we believe these will add to the support already available.

Employment as well as enterprise

As well as helping people to start or grow a business we are also hoping that Yalla Let's Go! will lead to new social enterprises being established that will provide employment and training opportunities in jobs such as book-keeping, website development, maintenance and facilities.

To find out more about Yalla Let's Go!, to get involved or offer your support please get in touch with Jonathan Klajn.

jccg.org.uk (opens new window)


Digitalising our Town Centres


Digitalising our Town Centres (DTC) support is available to town centre traders from across Gateshead, aiming to increase and improve digital skills within businesses. The aim is to help businesses adapt to changes within town centres and drive more traffic into stores and therefore town centres as a whole.

This project will work with town centre traders from across Gateshead to increase their digital skills and drive more traffic into their store and therefore the town centre as a whole.

Delivery will take place through a targeted programme with several key elements:

  • An initial diagnostic which would look at several key elements: understanding the business and its current business model; the volume of traffic that is entering the store; assessing any digital assets they currently have and assessing their non-digital marketing to analyse the different strands of their business and how/where customers are accessing their store.
  • For those with an existing digital presence, a digital audit will subsequently be undertaken.  Pending the outcome of the diagnostic, this will incorporate some desk based advisor work alongside direct dialogue with the beneficiary.  It is envisaged this will be conducted across approximately a three week period and will consist of the following core elements including digital market goals; website audit; SEO analysis, as well as others.

What the programme will cover

Support available includes a Digital Audit of the business, which features analysis of the company website and other social media, SEO analysis and assessing digital marketing goals.

Businesses will work on a one-to-one basis with an adviser for up to 20 hours to develop and then work through a Digital Action Plan.

Who can apply

Businesses based in the town centre areas of Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council who are keen to assess and develop their digital skills.

www.neeal.co.uk (opens new window)

Contact details for project

Sue Parkinson

07833 741 287


Business Scale Up Support

The project offers bespoke support to ambitious business owners looking to drive growth, profitability and wealth. It is delivered by a diverse team with broad experience and specific skill-sets, many of whom have successfully scaled and exited their own businesses.

It aims to help unlock potential, improve decision-making, develop strategy, build confidence, solve problems, and provide a single point of contact for business owners focused on growth and improvement by addressing challenges faced by businesses in Gateshead. In addition to the one-to-one support offered, a range of workshops, peer groups, webinars, and boot camps are available to complement this and also provide insight and motivation for those businesses not quite ready to scale.

www.scaleupnortheast.co.uk (opens new window)

Contact details for project

Glyn Selway, Project Manager - Scale Up North East

07593 929 006


Gateshead Startup Skills

This project will deliver startup skills support, designed and created to encourage and support pre-starts and startups in the Gateshead area. The project's aim is to inspire people to see entrepreneurship as a viable option and to help them build and grow sustainable and profitable businesses.

Smarta's on-demand eLearning will be the core offering of the programme, delivered with useful resources to increase the number of startups and grow business survival rates.

A key mission of Smarta is to break down the barriers to self-employment, making the route accessible to all.

Participating startups and entrepreneurs in this project can also apply for grants of up to £1,000, which can be used for startup costs.

www.gosmarta.com/gateshead-startup-skills (opens new window)

Contact details for project

Rosa Mason

07543 307 634


Gateshead Business Innovation and Growth

This project is an innovation and growth programme to help Gateshead SMEs adopt innovation strategies (not just technological innovation) to improve resilience, productivity, innovation and digitalisation.

Aimed at, but not limited to, high value-added industries and growth sectors in digital and tech, creative and visitor economy, advanced manufacturing and energy. It will be open to all companies but priority will be given to those sectors.

The aim is to assist businesses with their growth strategies, to encourage innovation, scale-up, investor readiness, workforce development and growth.

Smarta will provide one-to-one coaching, consulting and signposting services to businesses in Gateshead that fit the profile and demonstrate an ambition to scale up. The businesses that they support are likely to have been through growth (more likely organic growth than accelerated growth through external investment) but need help with pushing to the next level, including raising investment.

www.gosmarta.com/north-east (opens new window)

Contact details for project

Rosa Mason

07543 307 634


Community Spark Enterprise Programme



Community Spark is a range of enterprise experiences designed to animate and encourage the development of new business ideas and new startup businesses within Gateshead.

A series of Community Spark events will provide access and opportunity for residents who would like to:

  • Learn about how to start a business
  • Find out about business support organisations, grants and finance
  • Build professional and community contacts
  • Hear from startup businesses who have set up in Gateshead

Business Accelerator:
The 'Get Investment Ready' Accelerators will provide information and inspiration for early-stage founders to be introduced to the key elements of business startup including real time funding and finance opportunities as well as marketing, legal and business know-how from leading experts from the North East business community.

Enterprise Educators:
A CPD accredited course for Gateshead based teaching staff within post 16 education. The CPD will focus on enterprise skill development, empowering teachers to light the spark of enthusiasm in young people about enterprise in Gateshead. The course will provide ideas for resources, activities, projects and initiatives which can be used with ease in educational settings and link directly with national curriculum outcomes.

www.youarefirst.co.uk (opens new window)

Contact details for project

Masud Raja - Partnerships Manager



Business with Purpose Support Programme

The programme provides an holistic offer, which could support a potential social entrepreneur right through their journey: from ideation, through business, market and financial planning, to support to establish the business. A small grant fund is available to assist with start up costs where these would otherwise prevent the business from starting.

Once established, the programme can support Socially Trading Organisations (STOs)wishing to grow, with strategic and operational management, income stream identification and diversification, securing investment and taking on staff. 

What will the programme cover?

Support available includes workshop provision and one-to-one support from business advisers experienced in working with socially trading organisations, or those who wish to start one. Assistance will also be available to apply for the start up grant where relevant.

Who can apply?

Individuals living in, or existing STOs based in, Gateshead and the North of Tyne area (Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland) are eligible to access this support.  

www.neeal.co.uk (opens new window)

Contact details for project

Sue Parkinson

07833 741287


Social Enterprise Network Gateshead

Social Enterprise Network Gateshead (SEN Gateshead) provides opportunities for established and budding social entrepreneurs to develop and grow.  Working with Project North East, the NEBIC will provide opportunities for social entrepreneurs to get together, share ideas and learn from one another through a series of action learning sets, business skills workshops and networking opportunities.

www.ne-bic.co.u (opens new window)

Contact details for project

Michelle Booth (Contract Manager)

0191 516 6138


Business Growth Fund

The Business Growth Fund is a £3.5m programme of investment funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund that supports business growth. The fund will support businesses with a capital project, which couldn't go ahead without financial support.

Businesses must be based in or looking to move to the Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council, Sunderland City Council, or North of Tyne Combined Authority areas.

The primary aim of the fund is to create employment and stimulate business growth. It will foster innovative processes to drive productivity, resulting in increased profitability, wage growth and employment growth in businesses, strengthening our economy and creating better jobs.

The Fund will attract £11.5m of private sector investment and aim to create a minimum of 268 new jobs in the areas.

www.businessgrowth.fund (opens new window)

Contact details for project


0191 716 1007


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