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

27th September 2021

Northumbria University, Newcastle, has announced the first in a series of podcasts entitled: Why Small Business Matters.

Episodes will offer practical advice for owner-managers on key topics and provide a platform to hear from other businesses and entrepreneurs about their stories and experiences. The series is led by Dr Matt Sutherland from Northumbria’s Newcastle Business School, 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 focusses on the need for strong connections and can be accessed here. Dr Sutherland is joined by serial entrepreneur and TV programme maker Oli Barrett CBE, and well-known North East business woman, connector and passionate ethical business advocate Caroline Theobald CBE.

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

The Why Small Business Matters podcast series is being delivered as part of Newcastle Business School’s involvement in the Government-funded Help to Grow: Management programme – a 12-week management course providing critical skills and networks to help small business leaders innovate and thrive beyond Covid-19.

Guest Speaker profiles:

Oli Barrett MBE: Described as the most connected man in Britain, Oli Barrett is a serial co-founder who enjoys making useful connections between people and ideas. He created Tenner, the UK’s largest schools’ enterprise challenge, in which over 250,000 pupils have made money and made a difference in a month, starting with just ten pounds. He co-founded Volunteer It Yourself (VIY), the social venture, which has helped thousands of young people to fix 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 experience in television was working on the launch of Bob the Builder. He co-founded The Rainmakers (an innovation and incubation company) in 2004, which continues to operate out of San Francisco. From 2008, he co-created and led eleven international trade missions (including WebMission and the Clean and Cool Mission), to help companies succeed overseas. 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 the opening of shops around the UK. Oli hosts The Lens podcast with Business in the Community, which pairs senior leaders with future leaders, to discuss the future of work. He is a regular conference and awards host, for events across education, technology and entrepreneurship. He is on the advisory boards of Tech London Advocates, One Million Mentors and Troubadour Theatres, and is a Fellow of impact incubator and business builder Zinc.  His latest venture, The Connector Unit, founded in 2016, forges valuable and creative connections across a range of sectors and industries.

Caroline Theobald, CBE: Chair, First Face to Face Ltd, Chair of the Newcastle Business School Advisory Board, Northumbria University; co-founder and director, North East Initiative on Business Ethics (NIBE) Ltd, Honorary Consul for Sweden; Trustee, Newcastles of the World. Caroline Theobald is co-founder of First Face to Face Ltd, the successor to Bridge Club Ltd, which she established in 2000 to connect early stage growth entrepreneurs to money, management and new markets. Caroline is involved in several early-stage growth companies and co-founded Gabriel Investors, a north east group of female business angels. She is also an ambassador for a Tees Valley campaign to unearth hidden female talent and promote gender equality. A passionate advocate of responsible/ethical business she is also a founding director of NIBE and has recently been appointed to chair the Advisory Board at Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University. International interests are covered through her role as honorary consul for Sweden and chair of the North East Chapter of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce and Trustee of Newcastles of the World.

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