New and established micro and SME businesses with ambitions to develop and grow are being invited to a free event to find out more about the North East Growth Hub.

The new digital platform, which provides access to business information, advice, knowledge and inspiration from the local business community and local, regional and national business support and finance providers, has been developed by the North East LEP in partnership with Escher Group, Cobweb and Daykin & Storey.

Businesses will be able to find out more at ‘Growth Hub Goes Live’ at The Sage Gateshead on the morning of 28 April 2016. The event, hosted by well-known radio presenter and consultant John Myers will focus on how the Growth Hub can provide clear and relevant information on the wide range of support available in the North East to help small businesses grow. There will also be an exhibition where businesses can meet support providers and have plenty of time for networking and discussion about funding and support options.

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North East LEP chair Andrew Hodgson said: “The North East Growth Hub is a fantastic resource for ambitious SMEs in the region who are looking for advice and support to grow their businesses.
“The online platform has dedicated sections for people and skills, innovation and technology, trade and export, finance and funding, sales and marketing, and advice for start-ups and running a responsible business.

“It is a key building block in our programme to bring more and better jobs to the North East, by linking businesses with relevant business community, public and private sector support to help them grow and prosper.”

Mr Hodgson, who is chief executive of subsea company Soil Machine Dynamics, and Paul Varley, who chairs the LEP’s Business Growth Board, will be speaking at the launch, which is targeted at businesses with up to 250 employees.

The event will also hear successful business growth stories from Julian Leighton of creative agency Orange Bus and other celebrated North East business people.

The Growth Hub is packed with information, guidance, news and events for growing businesses. Members can pitch questions to business support experts and the business community, find sources of funding, build new contacts and utilise the fully-searchable database of information. The platform is based on collaboration and is a place for businesses to communicate and share their ideas, knowledge, expertise and opportunities.

‘Growth Hub Goes Live’ is a free to attend event and runs from 8.45am until 1.45pm for businesses, with breakfast and lunch provided. Business support providers will be invited to stay until 3.15pm to discuss the best way to get the most from the Growth Hub.

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