WOULD-be entrepreneurs jumped at the chance to ‘sail into business’ when North Shields-based The Business Factory hosted its first-ever event on water.
It was the organisation’s biggest event so far, since the responsibility for running the North Tyneside Council and EU-funded initiative was taken over by Ixion Holdings earlier this year, and more than a hundred people attended on board DFDS ferry Princess Seaways.
As well as inspirational stories from North Tynesiders who have already taken the plunge into self employment, delegates got a chance to meet entrepreneurs John Elliott and Carl Hopkins, who featured on Channel 4 show Secret Millionaire.
Ixion contract manager Helen Gardner said: “They were brilliant. Both donated their time free of charge, because what they want to do is ensure people wanting to work in their own business do exactly what they have done and take control of their own lives.
“They were fantastic. We had some very positive feedback about both of them and also about the mayor.
“She hosted a chat-style show in front of the whole audience, talking to our three clients experiences of what working with the business factory has been like, discussed it in front of the whole audience.
“That’s inspiring in itself, it makes people think ‘if they can do it so can I’.”
The three local entrepreneurs who took part were Kathryn Ashcroft, of Katie Mae’s Cupcakes, Sirelle Swann, of Sirelle’s Mobile Beauty, and Rachel Dobson, of oh sew contemporary.
Helen said: “The mayor asked them all the questions, talking through their experiences, how the Business Factory has helped them, what their business is doing now and what their plans are for the future, to give the audience a feel for the reality of the three individuals.”
The event was backed by over 15 local business support organisations including banks, business finance providers, business support experts and financial specialists.
For information about the Business Factory, call (0191) 605 3110.