New programme of funded activities aims to tackle business innovation challenges across Gateshead.

22 February 2024

A new programme will support the development of businesses and social enterprises across Gateshead.

Aimed at entrepreneurs and SMEs based in Gateshead, Pathways to Innovation tackles the main challenges businesses face when growing their businesses through process innovation; bringing new products and services to market; or seeking access to funding.

The business support programme, which is delivered by Innovation SuperNetwork on behalf of Gateshead Council, received funding by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) to break down some of the growth and development barriers businesses come up against. By recognising some of the key issues Gateshead enterprises face, the expert team at Innovation SuperNetwork will break down the barriers preventing businesses reach their innovation and growth goals.

Councillor Malcolm Brain, Cabinet Member for Economy, Gateshead Council said: “We are committed to supporting local business and fostering an environment in which businesses can prosper. Businesses in Gateshead can access a range of support services funded through the Council’s UKSPF programme. We are pleased to be working with Innovation SuperNetwork to encourage local businesses to access the specialist support available to develop their business and achieve their goals, unlocking growth and supporting a thriving economy.”

With a particular focus on key emerging sectors across Gateshead, such and Tech & Digital, the programme will support the development of clear innovation action plans for each enterprise through a mixture of one-to-one support and events, mixing peer learning opportunities with structured support interventions.

Businesses can access expertise on a range of topics including advice on accessing grants and loans, insight into subjects including Intellectual Property and where to start when Valuing your Business.

Entrepreneurs and new business start-ups can also access specific support aimed at helping them get their ideas off the ground. Innovation SuperNetwork’s experienced team will support them from idea formation through the initial stages of business growth.

Graeme Miller, Head of Innovation at Innovation SuperNetwork said ‘Having supported over 1,200 businesses across the North East with innovation development, we recognise that many businesses and entrepreneurs come up against a variety of challenges when growing their enterprises or launching new products and services. By working with Gateshead Council we are looking forward to helping local businesses expand their horizons. We welcome the opportunity to discuss any ideas for a new enterprise, growing an existing business, or developing new products and services.”

Throughout the programme, the business community in Gateshead will be able to come together to collaborate and share insights with each other and work towards key innovation challenges they face together. Pathways to Innovation will also work with those seeking funding and investment to identify finance and prepare to secure it by working with the Northern Investor Hub.

Find out whether you are eligible for support here:

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