Leading business consultant and mentor joins LEP

One of the North East’s most experienced business consultants and mentors has joined the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to help increase the number of scaleup businesses in the region.

Justin Souter, Managing Director of business improvement consultancy Souter Consulting, has been appointed Growth Hub Connector, to drive the rate of scaling startups across the region through connecting entrepreneurs with support programmes such as High Potential Startups.

Raising the rate of startups who go on the employ people and achieve strong growth is critical to increasing the density of scaleup businesses in the North East by 50% by 2024, a target set out in the North East Strategic Economic Plan.

Colin Bell, Business Growth Director at the North East LEP, said: “Justin has a lot of experience working with early stage founders and corporate innovators to help them scale their businesses and develop the skills they need to continue that growth.

“Fast growing businesses are really important for our economy because they generate one third of new economic and better job growth, and they also tend to operate in international markets and drive innovation in their sectors.”

High Potential Startups provides entrepreneurs with a scaleable business idea access to workshops, coaching and mentoring to help them grow their business idea, bigger and better than they could alone.

They receive one-to-one coaching, introductions to potential investors, and the offer of a grant to help get their business started.

Justin said: “There has been a huge amount of interest in the High Potential Startups programme from very ambitious and talented entrepreneurs in our region. It’s shown there are some fantastic business ideas out there.

“As someone that has started and scaled their own business, I know how difficult it can be to take that initial leap. High Potential Startups is all about providing the help and support people need to test their ideas, understand their customers and take their business to market.”

There have been more than 115 expressions of interest for the first intake of High Potential Startups, which starts in October 2019.

Applications for the next intake of High Potential Startups will open in February 2020, with the second intake starting in May.

For more information about High Potential Startups, visit www.highpotentialstartups.co.uk.