North East SMEs are enjoying business growth through a NEPIC project aiming to successfully sell their products to the sector.
150 SMEs have engaged with the Business Acceleration for Small and Medium Enterprises over the last year.
The three year project by the North East Process Industry Cluster, is targeting 400 SMEs in the North East to help them grow their business with the local process sector or access resources to sell products or services to the sector.
The 150 SMEs engaged with the project collectively already employ 3000 people and they have a combined turnover of £300 million
NEPIC CEO, Dr Stan Higgins said: “If this was the data from a single company it would be one of the biggest in the region and be much more in the minds of the public and politicians.
“It shows just how important local SMEs are to the economy”
NEPICs BASME team have reported finding significant new sales for some SMEs as well as reporting the creation of 110 jobs.
One participant iTCHYROBOT - a 3 person web-design company based in Redcar - needed advice on trading to the Process Sector.
Ben Timney, Creative Director saidt: “It can be difficult for a small new business to break in to some industries such as the Process sector.
“Through BASME we were able to meet with large businesses and offer them our services; this has led to several exciting projects and some great business relationships.”
The project is fully supported by the NEPIC Industrial Leadership Team who regard BASME as a flagship programme to strengthen the industry’s supply chain in the region.
Felix O’Hare, the Regional Growth Fund supported BASME Project Manager, and a former Director of a significant Teesside manufacturing company, said: “Until I joined the NEPIC team I was unaware of the sheer scale and wide ranging expertise and capability of the local SME community.
“Even after a year of delivering the BASME project I am continuing to find local companies that I know can supply products and services into to my sector - but they simply do not know how to access it.
“I am proud of what the BASME Team are doing to help a number of these companies to find new business and grow in the region.”
Many of the participating SMEs will be attending the NEPIC Meet the Members event on the 4th June at Rainton Meadows in County Durham, where they hope to engage even deeper with the local process sector.
300 organisations will be represented at the 4th June event, with a planned schedule of 1-to-1 meetings with Senior Industry Mentors already being fully booked.
The day long exhibition will also be accompanied by a series of presentations from some of the recent, current and future investors into the region. NEPIC hopes that even more new business will be identified during the day.
Stan Higgins NEPIC’s CEO said: “Our pre-project pilot programme predicted significant levels of success for the BASME project but it is always satisfying to see how effective an experienced team of business people can be in supporting and mentoring local companies.
“All of our business mentoring staff are from the many sub sectors of the process industry, they have the contacts and knowledge to help every sort of business, as long as it has a quality service or product, to sell it in to our sector.
“After all across the Northeast the process industry is over 30% of the business economy.
“So if you are a Northeast SME and not selling to NEPIC’s members, your business could be missing out on a huge opportunity”