So these past couple of weeks have been a bit of mix; From health and safety inductions in the Boardroom to a conference in Durham. Last week was interesting as the new apprentices at North Star; myself included. Had an article featured in the latest issue of the local Gazette and how our company (North Star housing Group) is investing in it’s youth. So it’s cool to see yourself in the local paper.
Then week 5 came along which meant going to the Durham International Festival Of Enterprise. This involved a number of business entrepreneurs and their stories of how they got where they are today. Firstly however there was Rory Underwood, he actually played for the England international rugby team back in the 1990’s and played in a world cup final. He was there to talk about effective team working and if we are actually working in a team and not just as individuals within that team.
Next there was Andrew Tomlinson, the director of Andrew James, Started his company in 2005 with his cousin and it’s now worth 22 million, their business consists of a variety of kitchen equipment that might be harder to find in the UK. They started when they were at a dinner party where a raclette grill which had been bought in Germany by their guests as it was hard to buy them in the UK. They realised their could be a potential business idea. They then took off when they were able to find an international supplier, next they ordered 3000 grills and began to distribute them. It was in 2007 where they moved into their first business premises and were able to increase their amount of orders for their products. They moved into a bigger warehouse space in 2009 where they were able to hire new employees and apprentices. It was in 2012 where they developed themselves more by adding media and marketing teams and created their logo, website and really began to establish themselves as a company. They have now moved into a new warehouse which covers 125,000 square foot.
Fraser Doherty started his business at the age of 14 when his Grandmother taught him how to make her jam, now he sells his own product called superjam and sells it to over 2,000 supermarkets all over the world, his product is now in the National Museum of Scotland along with other iconic brands such as Iron Bru. He now has 2 books and his own beer called Beer 52. There were other speakers throughout the day but I’ve tried to keep this as short as possible