Newcastle University graduate Catherine Hanlon has started a business with the help of the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC).
Catherine, 23 from Peterlee, launched In Harmony Music Tuition and Performance in April, offering private tuition as well as playing at weddings and corporate events.
After approaching the BIC in February, Catherine started working with business adviser, Ron Anderson, who supported her throughout the planning stage and helped her apply for the New Enterprise Allowance. Catherine explains:
“I am a very independent person, so having finished my degree, I decided to start my own business. I thrive on the freedom and control that it affords me, and knowing that what I’m doing is making a difference to people’s lives fills me with a sense of achievement.
“Starting a business can be overwhelming when you haven’t done it before, but don’t be put off, help is out there. Organisations such as the BIC offer all the advice and guidance you need.
“Ron was a great support, as I didn’t have the confidence to write my own business plan or do my own accounts, but he guided me through and made it a logical process. It’s also reassuring to know he’s just a call away if I need any help.”
Having also written three novels, Catherine is no stranger to hard work and already has plans to grow the business and have her own premises. Catherine continues:
“I love to keep busy and have plans to grow the business, my main aim is to be able to offer lessons for piano, guitar, clarinet, flute and saxophone from my own premises and one day to become a music exam centre.”
Shirley Hermiston, business support manager at the BIC adds:
“Catherine is clearly very passionate and determined to succeed in all that she does. She is a very talented musician and I am delighted she has chosen self-employment to enable others to benefit from her skills.
“Our business advisers are here for anyone wishing to start their own business and in need of advice and guidance.”