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Chamber members’ businesses thriving


Business is growing after joining an accelerator programme

Two North East England Chamber of Commerce members are growing their businesses after joining an accelerator programme based in Newcastle’s Trinity Gardens.

Holgate HR was set up seven years ago by specialists Caroline Dixon and Andy Holgate, who have 50 years’ corporate HR experience between them. Since joining the Entrepreneurial Spark Powered by NatWest community in August they have seen a positive shift in their business and have taken on their first member of staff, business development officer, Ruby McCambridge.

Caroline Dixon said: “We have reviewed the way we run our business since joining the programme. The advice we have been given by the Entrepreneurial Spark team has encouraged us to think about how we increase our client base, and will be working with the Chamber to promote our services and increase our profile.”

The services offered by Holgate HR include employment law advice, organisational development, recruitment, talent management and coaching support and they are also licensed to deliver Investors in People accreditation. They work with clients throughout the UK and all over Europe including leading global organisations.

Fellow Chamber member Life Saving Training was also awarded a space on the Entrepreneurial Spark accelerator programme and won a #GoDoEntAward to celebrate the end of the first stage of the programme, as some businesses are leaving. Helena said: “We were delighted to win the #GoDoAward of £3000 to invest in our business as it will really help us to push the business forward. The award recognised the hard work and dedication we’ve shown and the fact we had put ourselves forward for opportunities, challenged ourselves and stepped outside our comfort zones.”

Since starting the programme, this first aid, health and safety training business has added to its portfolio of services and courses with the launch of online training, covering Health and Safety and Health and Social Care.

Julie Digman, Chamber Essentials Portfolio Manager, said: “Both Holgate HR and Life Saving Training are great examples of our members taking their business to the next level. They are an important part of our ambition to help create a working north east, full of thriving entrepreneurs who are helping to power our regional success.”

Access to the Newcastle Hatchery includes physical office space located at NatWest’s offices in Trinity Gardens with superfast internet, a start-up Bootcamp, dedicated mentoring from NatWest, KPMG Enterprise, Dell EMC and Pinsent Masons as well as regular events, workshops and training, all free of charge.

Carl Haagensen, Entrepreneur Development Manager at NatWest, said: “Holgate HR and Life Saving Training have shown continued growth since joining Entrepreneurial Spark Powered by NatWest. Their commitment to bringing their businesses to the next level has been key to their success and we wish them every success in their continued development.”