Virgin boss Branson backs young entrepreneurs

BUSINESS BOOST ... Tedco's Carole White with Sir Richard Branson.
BUSINESS BOOST ... Tedco's Carole White with Sir Richard Branson.

YOUNG business brains in South Tyneside are entering Virgin territory – thanks to an enterprise agency’s link-up with Sir Richard Branson.

South Tyneside-based Tedco will work with the tycoon on his Virgin StartUp organisation, a not-for-profit company offering financial support, mentoring and business advice to young entrepeneurs aged between 18 and 30.

Sir Richard said: “I started my first business with a handful of coins out of a phone box at school, but it was the £300 from my mum that really kick-started our student magazine and sparked the Virgin adventure 40 years ago.

“Today, young people need that same help. I believe Virgin StartUp will provide it – with access to early capital, strong mentorship, advice and promotion.”

Tedco will be the main access point for people in the region looking to access funding through Virgin StartUp, and its team of advisors will help young entrepreneurs develop robust business plans to increase their chances of accessing funding.

The business support provider has won the contract on the back of its success in delivering the Ready For Business programme, which has helped to create nearly 2,300 new businesses over the past 12 months across the UK.

Tedco business development manager Carole White said: “Virgin StartUp has a natural synergy with our hugely successful Ready For Business programme.

“I’m delighted that Sir Richard has recognised how we can enhance his offering across the whole country with our regional experts. In our region, entrepreneurs and new business start-ups play a pivotal role in the local economy, and there is a real need to provide the relevant help and support and access to funding if we want these businesses and individuals to succeed.

“It is fantastic that someone with the experience and success of Sir Richard Branson recognises the potential of these young entrepreneurs, but appreciates the extra help, support and funding that they require.”

Tedco merged with the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) earlier this year to provide comprehensive business support across the region.

Now the partnership with the Virgin boss will give a boost to even more burgeoning business bids.

For more information on how Tedco can support your new or established business through the Virgin StartUp, Ready for Business and other programmes, call 0191 519 6102 or visit

Twitter: @shieldsgazchris