AMONG the profusion of current success stories in North East business stands the Business & Enterprise Group, whose reputation has been built on helping many of the firms around it.
Seeing the annual Top 200 list of great businesses from the North East is something we all look forward to. It is a measure of the contribution this region clearly makes to the economy of the UK – and one that rightly makes us proud.
The past year, too, has seen the Business & Enterprise Group transform itself into an independent business services group with a national footprint – growing organically and through acquisition.
We now count among our customers household name clients such as Marks & Spencer, Heathrow Airport , United Utilities and npower as well as public sector bodies such as BIS, Defra, the Ministry of Defence and a number of local authorities.
To reflect that we are now exporting our skills and services, our name has changed from Business & Enterprise North East to the Business & Enterprise Group. But, of course, we are still firmly rooted in the North East – our headquarters is here and our success is reinvested into activity that helps businesses in the North East grow and succeed.
As one of the UK’s leading specialists in business improvement, we help businesses to be more competitive, productive and efficient through the work that we do in the areas of business advice and engagement, leadership and management, international trade, supply chain development, procurement, access to investment and high growth acceleration.
The North East is home to a wealth of businesses that sit at the heart of the economy – helping to address the crucial issue of creating private sector jobs that help to rebalance the economy of the UK.
Our businesses develop and manufacture world-leading products and services capable of competing in a global marketplace, with new ways of working that help to position the North East internationally as an area with a reputation for creative solutions and innovation.
During the year ahead, the Business & Enterprise Group will be working with as many of those businesses as possible to help them grow and realise their ambition.
Last year alone, the Business & Enterprise Group supported more than 20,000 companies and helped create over 5,800 jobs in the North East. It also helped to secure more than £70m in Olympics contracts via Complete North East.
The Business & Enterprise Group’s commitment to its staff in the North East was recognised when it was named as number 52 in the Sunday Times national top 100 best companies to work for list 2010. It is up 14 to 149 in this Top 200.
:: Alastair MacColl is chief executive at the Business & Enterprise Group