North East BIC's Louise Hardy with travel blogger Elaine Wilson.
Jane Imrie

Growth on the horizon for travel entrepreneur with North East BIC support

A North East-based travel entrepreneur is set to grow her business following support from the North East Business Innovation Centre (BIC).

Elaine Wilson, who formerly worked in marketing roles for a range of organisations, launched travel blog Eccentric England five years ago while visiting friends in Australia.

With support from the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC), Elaine joined cross-border exchange initiative Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, which enabled her to build her knowledge and commercialise her blog.

As a result of the programme, Elaine has been able to monetise her blog and form partnerships with organisations in the travel sector, particularly sustainable travel, as well as make international contacts for future business opportunities.

Elaine said: “Louise Hardy at the BIC was absolutely fantastic and helped identify three potential hosts in Seville, Athens and Venice before we settled on Venice and I decided to register for a place on the programme.

“I spent four months with a travel business there called VivoVenetia and it was a huge eye-opener for me. Not only did it give me an insight into the workings and different trends surrounding their travel industry but it really helped me develop my own business skills and learn how to commercialise my blog.

“Affiliate marketing, SEO and promoted posts are just a few of the aspects of blogging you need to master in order to make a success of it and the experience I gained from the Erasmus programme has really helped me develop those skills and improve my own business model.”

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