Levi Roots
Levi Roots.

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Cooking up a successful business: Dragons' Den star to launch multi-million pound business programme

North East LEP and RTC North

An entrepreneur famed for his journey from Reggae musician to successful business owner will be visiting the North East in the New Year to launch a new, multi-million pound programme which aims to dramatically increase the number of growing businesses in the region.

Levi Roots, who shot to fame after his appearance on BBC’s Dragons’ Den, will be the keynote speaker at the launch of Scaleup North East.

He will share the secrets of his success, as he went from bottling sauces at his kitchen table to securing investment and heading up a brand which is now a familiar sight on the shelves of all major supermarkets.

Colin Bell, business growth director at the North East LEP, said: “Levi Roots is much more than a TV personality, he’s a hugely successful business owner with a fascinating story to tell.

“Levi will be speaking alongside other experts in business growth as we launch Scaleup North East – a programme which will mark a real change in business growth here in the region – and we want everyone who has the ambition and vision to grow their own business to be at the launch.”

Scaleup North East is a new programme being launched by RTC North and the North East Growth Hub, with the aim of creating more than 6,000 new jobs and boosting the number of scaleup businesses in the region by 50 per cent by 2024.

Participating businesses will receive a tailored package, including one-to- one support from a Scaleup Partner who will help business leaders to take the next step in scaling their enterprise.

Since his 2007 appearance on Dragons’ Den, Levi Roots has not only seen his range of sauces and meals appear in major supermarkets and restaurants but he has also published six cookbooks, one business title, hosted his own BBC cooking show and opened his first restaurant.

“I want to spread the word that if a black Brixtonian Rastafarian can make it with just a sauce, then you can make it too.” says Levi.

Andrew Buckley, Chief Executive at RTC North, said: “Scaleup North East aims to have a transformational impact on the North East economy by giving our ambitious businesses the means to achieve the next stage of growth.

“If you think that you could be a part of this exciting programme – whether you have a business which has the energy and potential to take the next step, if you are part of an organisation that helps other businesses to grow, or whether you could help us to champion the thriving scaleups we have here in the region – then you should be at the launch of Scaleup North East.”

Speaking alongside Levi Roots at the launch event will be Irene Graham, CEO of the Scaleup Institute; Alan Laing, MD of Sage UK and Ireland; and Jacqui Miller-Charlton MBE of Miller International.

The launch of Scaleup North East takes place on 26 January 2018 at the Crowne Plaza in Newcastle. Places for the launch event can be booked at www.scaleupnortheast.co.uk.

Scaleup North East is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

The project received a £700k grant from the Local Growth Deal through the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

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