In the next couple of weeks we're going to be announcing the return of our business support services (whoop whoop!) so to commemorate this joyous occasion, I thought I'd do a blog dedicated to the business support providers of the North East! 

Firstly I thought I'd let you into a little secret...there's actually quite a lot that goes on behind the scenes of the NE support ecosystem. The wonderful team over at the LEP who run the Growth Hub put on a quarterly event for the regions support providers. By bringing us all together we can keep up to date with what's happening via different programmes, what support people have available, and generally share best practice and network.

It's so important for us to know what support is available and to whom across the region, so we can best signpost people we meet to ensure they're accessing everything they can to help set them up for success.

The same happens just within Durham with Business Durham hosting regular get-togethers for support providers covering the county. Again, knowing what businesses can access and from whom is key.

This doesn't just apply to what you'd call 'traditional support providers' either, it also includes the amazing Universities, Schools and Colleges we have here in the region. There are so many ways they can benefit from industry, but also how businesses can engage and benefit from them. With initiatives such as Newcastle's Arrow Programme, or Durham University's open call for Business Projects for their MBA students, giving businesses access to bright academic minds is a game changer!

Basically, there's loads of support out there - I know it can seem complicated at times to try and navigate and find out what you can access and what you can't. But that's what we're all here for! Find someone who delivers support locally to you and ask them to signpost you to additional help, speak to your local council and go networking to find out what other people have tapped into.

We're really lucky to have the support available to businesses that we do, so make sure you're accessing as much of it as you can!