Impactful, economic CSR Award Partners


ONS figures show that the North East has the lowest business startup rates, and the lowest number of businesses per square mile in England. Last year, 82% of startups who entered stated they were not currently receiving any localised business support.

Which is where you come in. Partnerships are curated by project directors, working only with organisations that align to our purpose and shared vision for the North East economy:

Contact for more information on partner packages.

headshot of Suzanne Smith

Startup Awards North East is a powerful local initiative with a strong track record of attracting, inspiring and supporting some brilliant young businesses. We are delighted to be partnering with them again this year, both as Accelerator Partner and as StartUP Awards Social Impact Award Partner. We strongly believe that NEL’s and Startup Awards' shared passion and unique blend of expertise will again provide applicants with the inspiration, guidance and support they need to get them to the next level. We are always blown away by the quality of the applicants and we especially look forward to hearing from founders who are applying their skills and passion into solving environmental and social challenges.

Suzanne Smith
Marketing Manager
NEL Fund Managers

headshot of Jack Mullaney

PNE believes the next generation of businesses will play a leading role in shaping our communities and environments for the better. We support the Startup Awards North East to celebrate ambitious early-stage founders and connects them to life-changing opportunities and experiences. The awards play host to a fantastic programme of events, competitions and learning opportunities. This allows pre-start founders, new ventures and early-stage businesses to pursue growth, access workshops, mentoring, 1-2-1 business advice and networking, providing them with an environment to collaborate and develop new ideas. We would love to see applications that share our passion build a sustainable future and make a positive social and environmental impact for people and places across the North East and beyond. Good luck!

Jack Mullaney
Marketing and Engagement Manager

headshot of Shaun Fooy

The British Business Bank’s mission is to drive sustainable growth and prosperity across the UK, and to enable the transition to a net zero economy by improving access to finance for smaller businesses. We are committed to working with partners to give every small business the opportunity to prosper and grow, while boosting the long-term economic growth of the North East. We have seen some huge success stories in the North East in recent years and there is an active investment market ripe with opportunities for smaller businesses and investors alike. We are proud to be a sponsor of the Startup Awards North East 2022, and look forward to working with prestart, early stage and established start-ups from the region, supporting them on their journey to seek the best finance suited to their needs.

Shaun Fooy
Senior Manager, UK Network North East England
British Business Bank

headshot of Joanne James

As a Business School, we believe in lifelong learning and continuous professional development for all, regardless of where you are in your professional career. Whether starting up, growing a business, or progressing into a more senior role, we want to support leaders to become resilient and adaptable so they can influence and shape the future of work. We offer work-based Executive Education programmes that are focused on sustainable development. On these programmes, we hope to recruit the next generation of responsible leaders, which is why we are delighted to be the ScaleUP Social Impact Award sponsor for 2022. This year we hope to see a range of devoted business-focused individuals, who are dedicated to their impact on the future and our region – something we are immensely proud to support as a School and institution. Last year we had some great applicants and very worthy winners, and we look forward to seeing that continue this year.

Joanne James
Director of Executive Education
Newcastle University Business School

The Finals

The finals for each category (SkillUP, StartUP and ScaleUP) are split over the course of a day with each mini event opening up opportunities for you as partners to get involved based on your target audience, brand message and level of engagement. 

You will also be invited to partner only opportunities, be involved with a full marketing campaign pre, during and post finals with follow up introductions to partners and ambitious early stage founders, creating a legacy.

Request a partnership prospectus
British Business Bank

British Business Bank

"The StartUp Awards North East programme embodies the mission of the British Business Bank which is to drive sustainable growth and prosperity across the UK, and to enable the transition to a net zero economy by improving access to finance for small businesses." - 

Shaun Fooy, Senior Network Manager for North East and Tees Valley.

Scaling businesses are vital to the future of the economy as they grow quickly and employ significant numbers of people and have a large impact on the communities they operate in.

We operate a number of debt and equity programmes to support small business owners in the UK including Start Up loans, which offers a personal loan for business purposes of  from £500 to £25K alongside free mentoring and support to individuals who are starting a new business or who have been trading for less than three years.

For more information, visit The British Bank Website.

Find out more

Good work pledge

"At the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) we know small businesses are the beating heart of our economy and that raising our economy’s productivity depends on supporting the growth of new and existing businesses. Supporting businesses and start-ups is critical to our future and so we’re making sure our people have the skills, not just to start, but to keep on growing."

Caroline Preston, Economy and Policy Advisor, North of Tyne Combined Authority

Our £23.5m annual adult education budget is providing opportunities for everyone through a range of new inclusion, education and employment and skills programmes. This ensures that whatever the stage you are at in life, access to the right skills can give you access to a better future.

We also know running a business is complex and so, we are making sure business have access to right advice and the right experts. From helping businesses find the right digital tools to helping rural businesses thrive, our programmes are tailored to what we need to grow as a region.

But with all the support in the world, you can’t have a good business without good people - and that's where our Good Work Pledge comes in.

The pledge is NTCA's flagship scheme helping drive up the standard of work available in our region. Its aim is to 'make work better' so that our residents can live a decent, healthy and fulfilling life. This free to access scheme recognises employers doing the right by their people and provides simple guidance for those who could make improvements.

NTCA fully backs start-ups and growing businesses, they are the future, but we need them to be good employers, employers that take seriously the need to provide good work for their people. Wherever you are in your business journey, commit to providing good work for your current or future workforce and help us in our mission for change. You can see some of our members here. 

Get on the journey or sign up today
NEL Fund Managers

NEL Fund Managers

"NEL Fund Managers has been investing in and supporting North East businesses for over 33 years. In that time we've come across a huge range of interesting businesses across all sectors. They're what makes the North East business community special and we need new trailblazing startups emerging every year to ensure we can continue to cultivate a vibrant and diverse eco-system of SMEs." 

Carolyn McGregor,  Investment Readiness Expert, NEL Fund Managers

Starting out in business is difficult, but having access to initiatives such as the Startup Awards North East and the support, connections, and investment opportunities which come with it is what early stage founders need to succeed. This is our 4th year working with Startup Awards North East. Each year we're astounded not only by the quality of the business ideas and growth plans which are presented to us, but also by the journey each founder takes and the confidence and skills they acquire along the way. 

We're delighted to be working with the Awards again this year and look forward to meeting all of the applicants. In the meantime, all applicants are welcome to contact us to discuss investment and business support opportunities.

Find out more


PNE is proud to partner with Startup Awards North East as sponsors of this years’ SkillUP Social Impact Award.

PNE is passionate about helping build a sustainable future. Our organisation strives to create positive social and economic change, utilising over 40 years of experience in supporting entrepreneurs who want to make a difference. We recently won the National Enterprise Network Sustainability in Enterprise Award. 

We are proud to support socially conscious enterprises by sponsoring the SkillUP Social Impact Award and initiatives like our PNE Pioneers programme, which champions young entrepreneurs who want to make a positive social and environmental impact. 

PNE believes the next generation of businesses will play a leading role in shaping our communities and environments for the better. By sponsoring the Award, we will give a platform to startups and individuals who are passionate about making an impact for people and places across the North East and beyond. 

For more information on PNE and how we can help you achieve your business goals, please visit:

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Square One Law

On behalf of Square One Law, we are absolutely delighted to be sponsoring the ScaleUP Social Impact award at Startup Awards North East.

Square One Law was launched as a start-up in the recession of 2011 by a group of experienced partners, who saw an opportunity to break away from the traditional law firm model and create a disruptive, leaner, agile and more entrepreneurial business – so literally went back to square one.  Our culture is all about teamwork, providing a high-quality service and building long-term relationships with our clients. They like the fact we give a commercial opinion, not a list of legal options and provide high impact solutions so we become involved in the discussions around their strategic direction and the initiation of their projects rather than just processing the legal outcomes.

To find out more about Square One Law, visit their website here:

University of Sunderland

Graduates play an important role in supporting the health and growth of our regional economy, and encouraging them to stay in the region is vital to both. The University of Sunderland has an excellent track record in delivering programmes of support which have graduate employability, and encouraging entrepreneurship, at their heart. 

Internships and Enterprise project is one such programme. The scheme delivers a wide range of support to both budding student and graduate entrepreneurs looking to start up, as well as funding to SMEs to recruit a Graduate Intern. Many of these are businesses with a social purpose and providing support for them to thrive and grow is an important part of our work. 

We have many talented graduates coming out of our north-east Universities and we would urge any business looking to recruit in the coming months to consider the University of Sunderland ERDF Graduate Internship scheme before the opportunity to access the European funding comes to an end this Summer.

Find out more

Newcastle University Business School

"As an institution, we see the contribution we can make economically, socially and culturally as core to our purpose. We want our graduates to have rewarding professional careers that create value to the North East and beyond. Newcastle University Business School has a proud history of delivering programmes with entrepreneurship and employability at its core."

Paul Campbell,  Head of Engagement, Recruitment & Marketing, Newcastle University Business School

Newcastle University Business School is delighted to support the Startup Social Impact Award. We are committed to embedding social and environmental justice throughout our activity and we are keen to show our support to individuals and businesses with the same ethos.

Starting your own business can be a lonely journey but with the connections the Startup North East Awards can offer, it can open up so many opportunities to you and to your business. Newcastle University Business School also offers many collaborative opportunities from consultancy projects conducted by our students to our internationally recognised leadership development programme, Captured, designed especially for small and micro businesses in the North East.

Find out more!


"We've been fortunate enough to have support from local accelerator programs, advisors and business connections, to move forward in our business and it's been invaluable to help us get to where we are now. So, we're keen to give back to North East businesses and see others benefit like we have. We chose to sponsor the award for high growth businesses because our ethos is about helping business leaders who are ambitious and who are audacious in their business goals."

Kieran James - founder of Stryde

Stryde work with ambitious growth focused businesses at the point where they are ready to scale and the founders need to focus their efforts on growth rather than opportunity costing activities like finances. We provide a finance leader for their business who can help manage their finance function, helping with systems, processes, accountancy and many other requirements needed to run a finance function efficiently. This finance leader becomes part of the leadership team of the business providing a second opinion to decisions, reliable financial information to help make decision making more scientific and ensure the finance function is working closely with the other parts of the business.

Scaleup Now

Riverside Marketing

"As a relatively new business myself, only three years old, I received a lot of support from friends, colleagues and peers when I launched my business.  It’s extremely hard to run your own business while also looking for new clients and completing the day to day paperwork so to have support from businesses who have been through the same process can be invaluable." 

Nicola Halse - founder Riverside Marketing

I am proud to be involved with the Startup awards to encourage people who are either thinking about starting a business or in the early stages to just go for it!  It is a daunting time, however, it’s good to know that by giving support you could be helping a new fantastic north east business. I have been able to offer marketing and sales support to new businesses through offering advice on social media channels, strategies, how to market their business using free tools and lead generation. 

I’m always happy to chat with new businesses and budding entrepreneurs who are looking to possibly launch a business.

Connect with Nicola

Just Williams

"At Just Williams, everything we do is tailored to your business’ growth – from thorough research and strategic thinking to effective networking. Your organisation can benefit from our wide network, range of skills, variety of services and strong relationships."

Jessica Williams, founder of Just Williams

Working with clients on a retained basis, the Just Williams team is made up of individuals with key skills and extensive proven experience in their fields.

Our team is designed with flexibility and authority in mind, to fit with your company’s ethos and ambitions. We identify areas of potential growth and generate qualified, tangible leads for your team to take forward.

Learn more


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