Create North is managed by People Into Enterprise Ltd. Launched almost 20 years ago by Jane Shaw and Dave Howarth, we are now one of the North East’s longest established companies working to animate and support people to start and grow businesses. The starting point for our work is our belief that there are large numbers of the people in the region whose talents for enterprise lie dormant or under-exploited.
Making a Difference
We take special pleasure in drawing ‘new blood’ into enterprise – nobody is excluded from having good ideas and abundant energy but not everyone knows how to make the most of them. We know this because we’ve been through the process ourselves having started businesses as diverse as a river cruise service on the Tyne, community dance projects and heritage gift development.
Examples of our previous projects include;
- What a Difference a Day Makes: a series of industry specific events focusing on business opportunities for latent entrepreneurs to start new businesses.
- Enterprising mums: For mothers who have interrupted their careers to begin families and are ready to consider their working futures, but for whom returning full-time to their previous jobs is neither desirable nor practicable in terms of their new work/life balance aspirations. This programme is designed to highlight an alternative route to re-engagement with employment for mothers by building on making the qualities they exhibit as parents explicitly relevant to enterprise.
- Women Taking a Byte at Business: The programme aimed to support women’s enterprise by exploiting new opportunities that superfast broadband creates for them to overcome key barriers to participation including: lack of familiarity with business, being located in the ‘wrong’ place or only available at the ‘wrong’ time, having none of the ‘right’ contacts.
- Business Innovation through Enterprise (BITE): a business growth and personal development programme for female owner managers wishing to build their entrepreneurial capacities.
- Cascading Entrepreneurship: a programme designed to train intermediaries working within communities at grass roots level to develop their capacities to encourage and nurture the entrepreneurial talents and potential of the women they work with.
- Make A Difference – Civic Entrepreneurship: a programme designed to promote intrapreneurship amongst public sector staff with the objective of creating and adding value to service delivery, and identifying opportunities for externalisation.
- Collaborate to Innovate: a programme to support innovation and growth amongst social enterprises adjusting to a shift towards commercial income generation as public and private subsidies are phased out.
- Creative Cities: A programme designed to support sustainable business development within cultural industries based in urban areas.
The Creative Sector
Over the decades we’ve worked with several thousand people with the ambition to start or grow businesses. Of these, the majority have been people starting micro-businesses of the sort which dominate the creative industry sector – in this region 76% of these businesses employ 1-5 people and 38% of those employed in the sector are self-employed.
Our working practices are underpinned by academic research into what makes for a success in business – Jane has a Masters Degrees in Entrepreneurship from Durham University – and we’ve regularly been commissioned to develop and pilot innovative approaches to enterprise development including researching the needs and potential of dyslexic entrepreneurs, an issue close to home for us as it is for many people active within the creative industry sector.
We have worked widely across and beyond the region from our base in Durham. It’s a big area and we’ve developed strategies to ensure that people working at grassroots level in their communities have the tools and the confidence to independently support the enterprise ambitions of those they work with. For us, there is great satisfaction in seeing locally-based intermediaries pick up the baton and roll out their own business support activities.
Over the years, we have worked with most public sector organisations supporting economic development within the North East, and many within the social economy. These include; Arts Council England, Enterprise Agencies, Regional Development Agencies, the region’s universities & FE colleges, local authorities and organisations with specialist niches within the field such as; Crisis Skylight, North East Refugee Service, Helix Arts, bait, East Durham Creates and Women Into the Network.