ENTREPRENEUR Lynn Gate has seen an explosion in the number of female tenants taking space in her serviced office accommodation at Metropolitan House in Gateshead.
“We currently have 30 different businesses on-site and more than a third are owned and managed by women. Just two years ago almost all our tenants were men,” said Lynn. “It’s fantastic to see more women having a go and succeeding in business and I’m delighted that so many of them are choosing Metropolitan House.”
Lynn is no stranger to success herself. Starting her career as a sales assistant in a Newcastle department store, she always had plenty of ambition but never foresaw that one day she would be running a diversified property business and be landlord to more than 40 businesses on sites in Gateshead and Newton Aycliffe.
She said: “I started instinctively and maybe naively just sub-letting when I found myself with more space than I needed for my shop-fitting business. I didn’t make ridiculous demands on my tenants and it worked really well. The simplicity of it appealed to me and that early experience provided me with a fantastic business model to build on. My view is ‘why make it complicated?’ Many small businesses don’t want to commit to long-term leases or put their homes on the line – they just want to get going.
“We offer office-by-the-hour and a virtual office service alongside our easy-in easy-out licences and longer term leases so there is plenty of scope for tenants to upsize or downsize quickly. This model works precisely because of the flexibility and the support we offer and I’m now looking for similar edge-of-town premises to meet the level of demand we’re experiencing.”
Initially Lynn is looking to roll out the Metropolitan concept across other sites in the North of England: “I’m passionate about helping other businesses to grow and I’m constantly thinking about new and innovative ways of extending my business into new formats and new markets.”
Lynn’s optimism and energy extend beyond her own business and those of her tenants.
She invests a significant amount of time in the wider business community.
She is an active member of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum and acts as a mentor to several other entrepreneurs.
:: For more information about Metropolitan House contact operations manager Kate Beverley on 0191 495 6164.