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
Lee vickers business and enterprise fund

BEF (Business Enterprise Fund)

The Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) provides loans from £500 to £250,000 to businesses, helping them begin, expand and flourish.

BEF is a Regional Delivery Partner for the Government’s Start Up Loans Programme which supports emerging and young businesses across Yorkshire, the Humber, and the North East with finance and support. BEF supports BEF, alongside FFE, deliver the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund’s Microfinance Loans across Yorkshire, Humber and the Tees Valley, a fund delivered by the British Business Bank.

As a social enterprise and a Responsible Finance Provider, BEF’s profits are reinvested into the loan fund and granted to organisations that encourage and build enterprise. Over the last 11 years BEF’s has invested £108m in lending, added £392.4 million of value to the region’s economy, and created or safeguarded 13,140 jobs.

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 High Growth 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.

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North East BIC (Business and Innovation Centre)

Established in 1994 with the aim of encouraging and supporting entrepreneurship, The North East BIC has created a unique community which fosters business success and inspires the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Our unique package of workspace, business support, events and a community spirit that champions business success has been at the heart of our ethos from day one and continues to be the golden thread that weaves our services together.

And it doesn’t stop there. As a not-for-profit social enterprise, we continually reinvest the money we make into launching new services and facilities to ensure the region’s businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs have the tools they need to succeed.

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British Business Bank

British Business Bank

"Startup Awards North East programme embodies the mission of 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.

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At the live finals Join Us

To meet the Award's incredible partners plus other leaders from the North East business ecosystem, book your place now at the live finals 18th June. 

Register for your ticket


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