PNE Enterprise Event Champions Starting Up Sustainable


PNE Enterprise hosted its second quarterly Get Growing Your Network event for aspiring entrepreneurs and start-ups in the North East. The event championed sustainable business, with Mick Armstrong, Head of the HERD at local start-up SeaPigs, delivering a thought-provoking talk on why businesses should aspire to lead environmental change and how they can make a positive impact.

SeaPigs has developed beach footwear designed to ‘love your trotters and our planet’. Putting purpose at the heart of their business, they aim to put an end to the millions of plastic flip-flops that end up in our oceans, on our beaches and in landfill.

Get Growing Your Network offers like-minded entrepreneurs in the North East the opportunity to come together, share knowledge and support one another in an informal setting. Joined by members of the business community, it is also an opportunity to make introductions, discover new business opportunities, and get professional advice and support.

Tracey Moore, Chief Executive at PNE Group introduced Mick, in her opening words commenting, “At PNE we are passionate about businesses like SeaPigs. The actions of businesses have a huge impact on our environment and our communities.”

During his talk, Mick shared why he believes businesses can be the key to driving environmental change and shared his advice on what it means to start-up sustainably. Mick highlighted that sometimes what feels like a simple fix isn’t always best choice for the planet, such as turning to recycling to solve our waste challenges, he said “If a tap is running and your kitchen is flooding, what do you do first, turn off the tap or start mopping up the water? Obviously, we would turn off the tap – but when it comes to plastic waste we’re trying to start with the mopping, focusing on recycling instead of seeking to end production.”

After his talk, Mick spent time chatting and answering the questions of the young entrepreneurs in the audience.

Attendees represented a wide range of businesses from the PNE Enterprise community and beyond, including Dale Parker from Buddy Bubbles, an eco-friendly dog grooming business, Hannah Wilson and Laura McManus, founders of Vogue featured fashion brand Harlow and Elle, and chocolatier Patricia Marques, who used the event to share samples from her Sweet Taart venture. Champions of entrepreneurship in the North East also attended, including Steve Bowden from Newcastle University, If We Can You Can Awards organiser Zoe Maylam and Sammy Sadler from PR company O.

Lee Longstaff, PNE Enterprise Project Manager, commented, “We set this event up to provide a supportive community for the entrepreneurs we work with and others in the region. It was fantastic to see that this event builds on the success of the first, with a speaker who provided valuable insight to entrepreneurs about how to pair purpose with profit.”

The next Get Growing Your Networking event will take place in the summer. If you would like any further information, get in touch with or 0191 230 6410.

SeaPigs is currently running a crowdfunding campaign. You can access more information on their Kickstarter page.