Image Source: Ed Webster
Chloe Shakesby

Europe's first 'Prosperity Hub' to launch in North East to support job opportunities

A new hub is being launched in the North East to help support job opportunities and growth in the region.

Intuit QuickBooks, an accounting software specialist, is launching its first Prosperity Hub in the UK in Newcastle.

The Hub will support job opportunities and growth in the North East by equipping entrepreneurs with the skills needed to start and build successful small businesses (SMBs).

Newcastle and the North East was selected as the home of Intuit QuickBooks’ first European Prosperity Hub, as it has the highest unemployment rate in the UK at 6.6 per cent, compared to 4.5 per cent in the rest of the country) and has the lowest number of SMBs.

The Prosperity Hub will be run out of Intuit QuickBooks’ existing Newcastle-based Customer Success centre in Concentrix, the global business services company. Concentrix currently employs more than 120 Intuit QuickBooks focused staff, driving £5.3m growth in the area between July 2019 and June 2020.

Over the past year, Intuit QuickBooks’ investment in Prosperity Hubs has translated to an 83 per cent return on investment through local economic growth, which could translate to £1.83m in economic growth for the North East for every £1 invested by Intuit.

Chris Evans, vice president and UK country manager of Intuit QuickBooks, commented: “With economic inequality rising globally, we launched our Prosperity Hubs programme in 2016.

“The mission was to generate economic prosperity for communities in need by creating new jobs, preparing people with skills of the future, and equipping entrepreneurs with the tools they need to start and build successful businesses.

“By July this year, the program had helped create 2,200 jobs in six U.S. communities and one in Canada.

“This is an amazing achievement, but we’re passionate about doing much more and we’re aiming to boost this number to 7,000 by 2023.

“That is why I’m so excited to be extending this mission by launching the first Prosperity Hub in the UK.

We looked at where we could create the most impact and chose the North East of England as it has the highest unemployment rate in the UK and a really tough small business landscape. We’re going to offer resources and training that can create new businesses and generate prosperity for people at a time when they need it most.“

Jamie Driscoll, Mayor of North of Tyne, said: “The North East is the place to invest. I’m pleased that Intuit will make their first full-scale investment outside of the US in our area. It is a statement of confidence and will create much needed jobs, and support career development. I look forward to working with them as they establish themselves in the North of Tyne.”

Lucy Winskell, chair of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “It’s great to see Intuit choosing the North East to launch its first prosperity hub initiative in the UK, which support’s the North East LEP’s focus on raising aspirations across the region to improve our skills base and entrepreneurial mind-sets.”

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