Paul McEldon Chief Executive of the BIC talks finance and entrepreneurship to bdaily.
Since the North East Business Innovation Centre was founded in 1994, it has helped over 4500 people start up on their own- an achievement chief executive Paul McEldon is incredibly proud of:
“It’s incredibly satisfying to help people realise their ambitions,” He said. “It’s often a long and difficult process for them but when it’s realised its very rewarding.”
The BIC can offer new start-ups and established businesses support in almost any area of commerce. “We can offer links to expertise in sales, money, legal issues. HR and marketing.”
The fact that the BIC is a social enterprise agency is something that Paul sees as contributing to its success:
“ The support services on offer are not only tailored to the clients needs, but are also designed to help the region prosper.“
When working with businesses, the issues of finance – or rather the lack of it – seems to be a common problem.
“Banks appear to be operating under stricter criteria when giving out finance,” Paul explained. “There’s a lot on uncertainty in the marketplace, and as various sources of public support close over the next few months, the amount of funding available is set to be stretched even further.
“We have yet to see the full effects of recent public sector cuts, and if there is another downturn, this could hit businesses in the region hard.”
In the course of our conversation, Paul frequently mentions the importance of equipping young people with entrepreneurial and enterprise skills.
“We are working closely with schools and universities to educate students about self employment as a viable career option,” he said. “University fees are rising and jobs are becoming increasingly hard to come by, so the opportunity to run your own business could be a more viable and exciting career option.
“We are seeing more people than ever looking to set up their own businesses, this is incredibly positive, but we need this number needs to continue to grow if the private sector is to support the economic revival.”
Despite all of the issues facing many businesses, Paul is confident in the region’s capabilities: “The North East has adapted well to recent problems, and while many efficiencies are still needed, new businesses can still succeed in this climate.”
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Paul McEldon .