Tune in to Northumbria’s new podcast series: Why Small Business Matters



Northumbria University, Newcastle, announced the first in a series of podcasts titled: Why small businesses matter.

The episodes will offer practical advice to owner-managers on key topics and provide a platform to hear other businesses and entrepreneurs talk about their stories and experiences. The series is led by Dr Matt Sutherland of Newcastle Business in Northumbria, who is part of a team of academics and professional partners who have spent the past decade working with over 400 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The first podcast focuses on the need for strong relationships and can be viewed here. Dr Sutherland is joined by serial entrepreneur and television producer Oli Barrett CBE, and Caroline Theobald CBE, a well-known North East businesswoman, connector and passionate advocate for ethical business.

Commenting on the series, Dr Sutherland said, “These podcasts are an extension of the support we already provide to businesses here in Northumbria. They offer small businesses and entrepreneurs the opportunity to share their stories and what it means to be successful, to hear how to overcome challenges and how to rebuild stronger after the pandemic. With our guest speakers, we hope to bridge the gap between industry and academia, and I encourage all small business owner-managers, start-ups and entrepreneurs to listen to our podcasts and find out all the help. available.

The Why small businesses matter a series of podcasts are being broadcast as part of Newcastle Business School’s participation in the government-funded program Help to grow: management program – a 12-week management course providing essential skills and networks to help small business leaders innovate and thrive beyond Covid-19.

Profiles of guest speakers:

Oli Barrett MBEDescribed as Britain’s most connected man, Oli Barrett is a serial co-founder who enjoys making useful connections between people and ideas. He created Tenner, the UK’s biggest schools business challenge, in which over 250,000 students made money and made a difference in one month, starting with just ten pounds. He co-founded Volunteer It Yourself (VIY), the social enterprise, which has helped thousands of young people start their own youth clubs. He is also the founder of TOTS (Turn on the Subtitles), the children’s literacy campaign. His first job was at Walt Disney World in Florida, and his first television experience was working on the Bob the Builder launch. He co-founded The Rainmakers (an innovation and incubation company) in 2004, which continues to operate out of San Francisco. As of 2008, he co-created and led eleven international trade missions (including WebMission and Clean and Cool Mission), to help companies succeed abroad. In 2011, he co-founded StartUp Britain, launched by the British Prime Minister and funded by the private sector. The campaign led to the creation of PitchUp Britain (with John Lewis and Sainsbury’s) and PopUp Britain, with stores opening across the UK. Oli hosts The Lens podcast with Business in the Community, which pairs top leaders with future leaders to discuss the future of work. It is a regular host of conferences and awards, for events in the fields of education, technology and entrepreneurship. He sits on the advisory boards of Tech London Advocates, One Million Mentors and Troubadour Theaters, and is a member of Impact Incubator and Business Creator Zinc. His latest company, The Connector Unit, founded in 2016, forges valuable and creative connections across a wide range of sectors and industries.

Caroline Theobald, CBE: Chairman, First Face to Face Ltd, Chairman of the Newcastle Business School Advisory Board, Northumbria University; co-founder and director, North East Initiative on Business Ethics (NIBE) Ltd, Honorary Consul of Sweden; Director, Newcastles of the World. Caroline Theobald is co-founder of First Face to Face Ltd, the successor to Bridge Club Ltd, which she created in 2000 to connect growth start-ups with money, management and new markets. Caroline is involved with several growth start-ups and co-founded Gabriel Investors, a group of women business angels from the North East. She is also an ambassador for a Tees Valley campaign to uncover hidden female talent and promote gender equality. A strong advocate for responsible and ethical business, she is also the founding director of NIBE and was recently appointed chair of the advisory board of Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University. International interests are covered by her role as Honorary Consul for Sweden and Chair of the North Eastern Section of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce and Trustee of Newcastles of the World.



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