Ethical and sustainable thinking

"In a gentle way you can shake the world" Mahatma Gandhi

As part FIRST's Ethical and Sustainable Thinking month, this October, alongside PNE and NIBE we delivered Social Impact Success: Connecting and Growing startup communities event  at Ouseburn Farm.

The event gave Startup Awards North East Social Impact Award winners a platform to share their ideas, progress and the impact they have begun to make in just a few months since the Awards in June 2021. Packed with supportive businesses, customers and peers, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house whilst speakers shared their motivations, challenges and plans for the future.

As part of the event, Northeast Institute of Business Ethics gifted the winners with £100 each as part of the prize partnership from the Awards. On the night, guests also received a digital goodie bag which has been generously offered to share with you as part of FIRST’s wider network. Click HERE to access your goodie bag.

We’re putting plans in place for 2022 Awards so if you’re interested in applying register here or contact for partnership opportunities. 

Here at FIRST, we’re on a mission to empower and equip individuals with leadership and progression skills so that resilient jobs and businesses are created. If you share our vision of a world where young people, early stage founders and professionals can develop ideas, find opportunities, gather resources and turn their plans into positive action find out more about our current projects and events.


Making meaningful connections is what we’re all about! 

Next month we’re calling on all directors and managers from across the Tees Valley to jump onboard our 2-day magical bus tour to uncover some hidden entrepreneurial gems as well as peer to peer round table discussions, networking during tasty brunch and inspirational leaders’ lunch. Leaders on Tour: Tees Valley Event will provide you with ideas and opportunities to take back to your business, real time information on the funding landscape and finance available as well as make new connections to peers, customers, mentors and future collaborations.

Places are free to businesses from the Tees Valley so register now and join us on 4th and 5th November.

We've delivered the FIRST of this academic years Understanding Enterprise, with a difference!

This time we partnered with XL Health to deliver a face to face course to their new Kickstarter staff.

Lynsey Finlayson, Community Healthcare Project & Engagement Coordinator explains "Having identified we shared the same goals, I was keen to learn more about how this training could benefit our Kickstarters. We both wanted to support and encourage personal growth, recognising this to be an essential part of their journey with us. The training modules cover a range of relevant topics including self-reflection, exploring business ideas and public speaking. Running the course during their induction week, lead to more confident, productive individuals who have greater self-awareness and self-belief. We're very proud of their progress and are very grateful to FIRST for being an integral part of their development".

FIRST are currently recruiting for the next course in Understanding Enterprise which is open to anyone over 19 and is an online bitesize course starting 9th November, places are limited so register now or contact for more information.

Events, news, and opportunities from the North East ecosystem:

Northumbria University's award-winning business clinic. 

Supporting a diverse range of organisations and businesses through undergraduate and postgraduate student consultancy projects, students can assist you with marketing/digital marketing; strategic operations, feasibility studies, expansion, HR, hospitality and tourism, financial analysis, logistics and supply chain consultancy.

The service is aimed at supporting businesses who wish to grow and develop their business, but who may not have the resources, time or skills to tackle

the issue inhouse.

The consultancy service is free of charge and if you are interested in exploring how the Business Clinic could support your business please contact Nicola Burnip, Business Clinic Manager on 0191 243 7763 or email .

Innovation funding is still available, but time is running out! 

The North of Tyne Innovation Recovery Grant is still open for applications, but time is running out to secure funding for innovation projects totalling between £10k-£20k. The Grant provides a 50% contribution towards your total costs and is delivered by NBSL and Innovation SuperNetwork.

If you’re an SME based in Newcastle, Northumberland, or North Tyneside, then be sure to apply now to get help with your project. Apply now

FIRST choice for upcoming events

You may have heard some big news around St. James Park recently but have you heard about Steps To Projects? They will be exhibiting at Newcastle Careers Fair at St. James Park on 3rd November.

Steps To Projects are delivered by a network of North East Businesses and Charities to engage and support residents in North Tyneside who are unemployed. Together they run Building Steps for Young People to a Brighter Future which supports young people 18-29 years old and Steps To Employment for people over 29 years. It doesn’t matter which path your currently on by taking small steps you can shake the world!

  • North East Business Resilience Centre (NEBRC) will be on 21st October 8:30am – 10:00am and is an opportunity for new members to meet the team and find out more about what the centre can do for their organisation
  • Newcastle Roadmap to net zero- Zero Carbon Tour is on 22nd October 9:30am – 11:45am Shaping a brighter future is not something any one organisation can achieve alone. It requires collaborative and decisive action that will create a future of unprecedented business opportunities – finding new growth and talent, lowering costs and building greater resilience.
  • Climate Countdown to 2030: 9 years and ticking by RIBA North East will be on 3rd November 18:00- 20:00 during a rapid fire presentation series 9 speakers will present one action that needs to be taken to address the climate change emergency.
  • People and Culture Forum is on 10th November 8:30am – 10:30am at Quorum Park free workshop looks at the benefits of having a high trust organisation and some practical tips and activities that you can take back to the workplace.
  • Start-up Day 2021 will be held at BICIP North East  on 11th November between 1pm – 4:45pm this event is for businesses who want to learn more about the core principles and benefits of making their business sustainable, as well as keeping up to date on best practices.
  • Together we can take on the world is on 11th November 8am – 5pm and is the biggest entrepreneurial event in the region this autumn with 300 business leaders attending the conference. Tickets are available for £99 here
  • Ignite North East- Help launch startups and scale up their business and applications are now open.

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