Aspiring North East entrepreneurs can get help
THE If We Can, You Can Challenge is developing a new tool for 2011 entrants that introduces entrepreneurs to other business owners in the North-east, in an effort to increase regional business relationships and encourage entrepreneurs to grow.
2011 entrants of the entrepreneurial challenge run with the Evening Gazette, as well as current If We Can, You Can community members, will have the opportunity to tap into unique business services through an online networking tool called Business in a Box.
The tool will encourage users to analyse which areas of their company need development and will subsequently set up connections with other businesses within the community that could offer their services.
Emily Pitkethly entered the If We Can, You Can Challenge in 2010 with her business Emily’s Ark, a company which specialises in the hand made production of textile animals.
She got involved with the Challenge in order to gain information and advice to help grow her business. After entering the challenge Emily quickly realised that a strong website that supported online sales was going to be a critical aspect of her business.
Using the If We Can, You Can community’s Business in a Box tool offered Emily an introduction to Dan Brady from Consilience Media, a North-east based digital, design and branding consultancy who was able to give the Emily’s Ark existing website a complete re-vamp.
Emily said: “I was so fortunate to get a quick and easy introduction to Dan, as I was desperate to get my website re-done but did not know where to start.
“It was also an added bonus that he was part of the If We Can, You Can community as he came highly recommended from other members.
“Consilience did such an excellent job. The website is an invaluable resource to the company now, with a great deal of our orders coming via online. If I had not met Dan and updated the website, the business would not be doing as well as it is now.”
Dan, founder of Consilience Media, said: “We quickly realised after meeting with Emily that her business was relatively new and unique, she had strong branding for her company but the website did not reflect the exciting nature of her business.
“After spending time with Emily to fully understand her business goals and the target market, Consilience agreed to develop the new e-commerce website, optimised to promote her distinctive products.”
This new business tool has been developed in response to positive relationships which the If We Can, You Can Community has established over the last four years. As a member of the Challenge, entrants are encouraged to take advantage of networking opportunities such as Challenge events and the Pick Our Brains panels organised by the Entrepreneurs’ Forum.