PNE Enterprise Supports the Next Generation of Sustainable Entrepreneurs
Have a business idea that will help to create a more sustainable world? PNE Enterprise, part of PNE Group, is supporting the next generation of sustainable entrepreneurs through its recently-launched Sustainable Start-up Award. The scheme, open to individuals aged 18-30 and living within Tyne and Wear, is providing a unique offer of financial aid, supplying grants of up to £1,000 to new and emerging North East businesses that are demonstrating a positive commitment to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In the following blog, Lee Longstaff, Project Manager at PNE Enterprise, reflects on the first six months of the Award and shares his future aspirations for the Sustainable Start-up Award.
Since launching in February this year, the Sustainable Start-up Award has directly supported ten entrepreneurs within the Tyne and Wear region to start-up or develop their own sustainable businesses.
From homemade dog grooming products in recyclable packaging, to furniture made from reclaimed wood, and from ethical beauty stores to health food start-ups, the businesses we’ve supported since launch have been incredibly varied, but all have demonstrated a commitment to helping to create a more sustainable world in which to live and work.
Among the entrepreneurs the Award has already supported are Charlotte Bailey and Sean Ali, a young couple who applied for a £1,000 Award to purchase eco-friendly packaging for their health food products. Because of the Award, Charlotte and Sean estimate that they will save at least 850 units of plastic packaging from entering landfill this year. Charlotte and Sean met while studying at university where, after undertaking a business research project, Sean discovered the increasing market of super food smoothies, inspiring him to launch his own business. The result was the creation of Super U, a health foods business offering organic, gluten-free and vegan products.
Hard-working, driven, and socially responsible, Charlotte and Sean are a prime example of the type of entrepreneurs we want to support through the Sustainable Start-up Award. Building a brand founded on the value of sustainability has not gone unnoticed, as some of their products were showcased during a sustainable business segment on ITV’s ‘This Morning’ programme.
Entrepreneur Isabella West also received the Sustainable Start-up Award to launch her online clothes business Hirestreet. With the £1,000 Award, Isabella was able to launch the online platform for her business which combats textile waste by allowing customers to rent and return clothing for a period of up to 10 days.
With our £50,000 Award fund, we will support more young people to turn their sustainable business ideas into reality. And the support isn’t just financial. Suitable grant applicants will also be offered a place on our Get Growing programme to help them realise their business potential.
I’m proud to lead the Sustainable Start-up Award project, which is paving the way for young, sustainable Tyne and Wear start-ups.