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Welcome to free support to launch your business

Start up and business support

Need help to turn your amazing ideas into reality? We have 25 years’ experience of helping entrepreneurs just like you.

They’ve gone on to do amazing things. Some have created successful companies you can see today, right here at the BIC’s business park.

Answers, inspiration and more

Our dedicated Start Up service is designed to get you properly prepared to launch your own business.
    
The path of the entrepreneur isn’t always easy. But with us by your side helping you to do the right research and the proper planning, you can do it.

We’re a friendly bunch and we pride ourselves on our straightforward approach to business support. We like to roll up our sleeves and get stuck in because we know that’s what your business needs. Hard graft and helping hands.

Get in touch with our team

Meet the team

Shirley Hermiston
How long have you worked in ‘start-up’?
Over 20 years working on initiatives to support new start-ups.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
Being reactive to the needs of our clients and seeing the difference our team can make in Sunderland.

What’s been your proudest moment?
Talking to someone I haven’t met before, mentioning where I work and they say ‘the BIC started me up years ago and I’m still going’. This gets me every time!

What’s the one piece of advice you always stick to?
Try to put yourself into the other person’s shoes, see things from their perspective, whether that be a customer, contractor or member of staff.

What would you say to someone thinking about contacting the BIC?
Every business starts from a germ of an idea and we’ve heard a lot over the years. Just email us if you’re nervous about calling. Everything is treated in the strictest of confidence.

North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) Business Adviser, Margaret Cook

How long have you worked in ‘start-up’?
32 years

What do you enjoy most about your job?
Meeting people from all walks of life.

What’s been your proudest moment?
Can’t just pick one. I feel proud when I get good feedback and have helped someone turn their dream into a reality.

What’s the one piece of advice you always stick to?
I always advise people to develop a business plan as a guide because if they don’t know where they are going how do they know when they get there?

What would you say to someone thinking about contacting the BIC?
We would love to have a chat about your business idea and help you move forward to achieve your goals.

Victoria Moodie
How long have you worked in ‘start-up’?
4 years at the BIC. 16yrs as an adviser. I have always enjoyed business so this is my ideal role!

What do you enjoy most about your job?
Meeting clients and talking through their ideas! I have made some great connections & some fantastic friends during my job.

What’s been your proudest moment?
Being told I was a client’s rock during a presentation he was giving (at the BIC!).

What’s the one piece of advice you always stick to?
Stick with it – that fire in your belly, that nervousness feeling you have, is a good thing!

What would you say to someone thinking about contacting the BIC?
We are open, we are friendly and we are here to help. There are no daft questions, we won’t judge and we are here every step of the way!


How long have you worked in ‘start-up’?
16 years as a Business Start-up Adviser.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
Seeing people succeed and earning their own income.

What’s been your proudest moment?
Helping to set up a business called Triotech, where 3 men being made redundant by a firm going bust, set up their own manufacturing business and are now very successful employing staff of their own.

What’s the one piece of advice you always stick to?
Always consider who your customers are. Who will pay for your service or product?

What would you say to someone thinking about contacting the BIC but possibly too nervous?
Contact us for a chat, we will never make a judgement on your business idea.

Janice Marsh
How long have you worked in ‘start-up’?
I have worked for the BIC for 20years.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
Meeting people and knowing that you can help them on their journey of self- employment.

What’s been your proudest moment / or a client that sticks in your memory the most?
Hearing that clients are still trading years later after contacting us.

What’s the one piece of advice you always stick to – do you have a golden rule?
Starting a business is like being responsible for a baby.  It’s not easy, needs a lot of attention and nurturing for it to grow.

What would you say to someone thinking about contacting the BIC?
We are here to help you no matter what your business idea is.

Strike now!

No matter how far along you are in your thinking, we can help.

And if you need something that we can’t provide here at the BIC, we’ll connect you to someone in our huge network who can.

  • Have a brilliant idea but don’t know how to make it happen? We’ll give you the knowledge and confidence to get started.
  • Need some specific support to fill a gap in your skills? We can do that too.
  • Fancy working for yourself but not sure what you want to do? We’ll explore your options together.

Choose your style of support

Entrepreneurs are busy people.You’re probably juggling all kinds of commitments and responsibilities between planning your exciting new business. That’s why we provide lots of ways to get support.

Build a support package that suits you. Pick and choose between:

  • Face to face meetings (currently over video chat)
  • Group workshops
  • Resources to read at home
  • Ongoing phone and email support

Get answers to your questions

  • How much money will I need to start a business?
  • Where can I find investment for my business?
  • How do I get a loan for my business?
  • Do I need a business plan to start a business?
  • Is there a proven demand for my products or services?
  • Can I turn a hobby into a business?
  • When should I quit my day job and go fulltime with my business?
  • How do I register a new business?
  • Who will help me get my new business off the ground?
  • Can I base my business from home?
  • Can I get help to develop a prototype?
  • How do I find a reliable supplier for my business?

Our Programmes

Success Stories from those we’ve helped

Get in touch with our team

Want to bounce some ideas around?

We are a Delivery Partner within the Enterprise Support in the North East 2 project. This is a business start up project being delivered across Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and County Durham to assist potential entrepreneurs to become enterprise ready and ultimately self-employed. This is part funded by European Regional Development Fund.

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