Set sail for free business advice

A BUSINESS advice service is trying a different approach to encourage North Tynesiders into self-employment as well as those who have already started out.

North Shields-based The Business Factory will be holding a free Sail into Business event onboard Princess Seaways, docked in Northumbria Quay, next Thursday, November 22.

The event, held between 10.30am and 2pm, will be packed with seminars, information sessions and talks from entrepreneurs Carl Hopkins and John Elliot of Channel 4’s Secret Millionaire.

Contract manager Helen Gardner says it is the biggest event that Ixion Holdings has held, after taking over the running of North Tyneside Council and European-funded The Business Factory in April.

“The purpose is to very much encourage people to consider self-employment and to then work with us and meet the team of advisors,” she said.

“Carl and John will be coming along and talking about their experiences of being an entrepreneur to really encourage people to follow in their footsteps.

“In addition to them people who have already started out, will be coming onboard to share their stories. We have a number of support organisations from the area who will have a stand there including HMRC, three banks and three business funding organisations, supporting business start-ups and business growth.

“We always encourage people, if the will is their for self employment, even if they don’t have an idea, we can help find ideas.

“If they turn up at the event, do nothing, then in two years time it inspires them to say ‘I’m going try that myself’, that’s a result for us.”

To register for the week’s event, visit