Sustainable Start-up Support Opportunity

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Aspiring North-East entrepreneurs hoping to kickstart their own sustainable businesses can still claim their share of £50,000 Sustainable Start-up Award funding.

PNE Enterprise’s Sustainable Start-up Award is offering grants of up to £1,000 to businesses that support the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by tackling environmental issues, reducing inequalities or improving health and wellbeing.

Launched in February 2018, the scheme has already provided ten North East entrepreneurs with the funds to develop their own sustainable businesses.

Charlotte Bailey and Sean Ali received the Sustainable Start-up Award to purchase eco-friendly packaging for their health food business, Super U, which will help them save 850 units of plastic packaging from entering landfill this year.

Charlotte comments, “With the Sustainable Start-up Award, we have re-designed and ordered new packaging for our products that are eco-friendlier. From this, we hope to increase our online sales and sales avenues by approaching high-end retailers.

“Being more sustainable is extremely important to Sean and me. For businesses to succeed, I do believe they need to be more sustainable and show that they are actively doing something to help make the world a better place.”

Isabella West also received the Sustainable Start-up Award to launch her e-commerce site, Hirestreet, which tackles textile waste by allowing customers to rent-and-return clothing.

She said, “The Sustainable Start-up Award has helped me fund the business myself, keeping it 100% privately owned. This gives me the freedom to continue to build Hirestreet in line with my vision. The impact will therefore continue to be felt as we grow organically over the coming months.”

Both businesses have now joined Get Growing, a PNE Enterprise scheme designed to help recently established businesses to grow. While enrolled on the programme, the businesses will receive one-to-one business support, valued at around £2,000 per business.

Lee Longstaff, project manager of the Sustainable Start-up Award and Get Growing, said, “We’re proud to offer the only start-up scheme in the North East dedicated to sustainable businesses. Since the Sustainable Start-up Award’s launch earlier this year, we’ve had some fantastic, high-quality applications from young people who are demonstrating social responsibility throughout their business operations.

“Our goal is to keep the momentum going, to support more entrepreneurs to start-up while also supporting those who have received the Sustainable Start-up Award to grow.”

PNE Enterprise, part of Newcastle-based enterprise organisation PNE Group, has supported over 10,000 North East businesses since its inception in 1980. The agency provides a range of fully-funded and paid-for business support including a two-day start-up course, one-to-one advice and mentoring sessions and Boost Your Business, a business growth programme.

To find out more about the Sustainable Start-up Award, and to apply, visit


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