Why our networks matter more than ever

This month’s theme: Givers, gain… “Networking is simply the cultivating of mutually beneficial, give and take, win-win relationships. it works best, however, when emphasising the ‘give’ part.” Bob Burg – The Go-Giver

March 2020 will go down in history – and not in a good way. Before we move onto business (where we’ll avoid the C word) we’d like to wish you and all your loved ones resilience, strength and health in these testing times.It’s at times of crisis that people and businesses show their true character. This month we’re going to focus on the companies and organisations that have made necessity a force for good, whether that’s through determination, innovation or just straightforward giving.From factory construction in 10 days in Newton Aycliffe to The Grainger Market delivering 3,500 food boxes to local communities in a single week – it really makes us proud to be Northern and showcases positive network leverage at a time of need.

So we just wanted to remind you that the team at FIRST are here for you! We have six years’ experience working with startups, young & young-ish people in order to increase skills and confidence so if we can help in anyway please get in touch.

FIRST goes digital!

While our planned events and workshops have been postponed for a few months, to keep up the momentum for our Sunderland University Freelance Weekend, we held our first online workshop. Attendees from all over the world, currently studying at the University of Sunderland shared mood lifters, goal setting and motivation with the FIRST team.

This was the first time we delivered virtually and both staff, students and colleagues were impressed with the output; so much so we are exploring ways to reach more startups, students and young people to boost morale and support our community…. Watch this space!

Business strategy and growth plan support:

Fully funded by the European Regional Development Fund and in partnership with NEL Fund Managers, FIRST is offering a free diagnostic report along with a tailored workshop to assist ambitious founders with business growth.

Our latest podcast is out:

If you are looking for something to do while you are locked down, check out Batley & Windebank’s latest podcast brought to you by the MD of FIRST and her mate Lucy Batley.

Batley and Windebank – it’s a serious business is a podcast, unlike any other business podcast. We’re best friends, business owners and now podcasters! We delve into the world of commerce and shine a light on life and entrepreneurship in the North East whilst tackling some of those cringe clichés that are all too common. This month’s episode is: Reputation Reputation Reputation, CLICK HERE (also available on iTunes and spotify).

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