While few would doubt the importance of profits in growing a successful business, not-for-profit organisations also play a crucial role in the region.
That’s why the Journal and its sister paper, The Evening Gazette in Teesside, are celebrating that vital contribution through the North East Business Awards 2014.
Last year, the category winner was the Sunderland-based North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC), which offers a wide range of support services for businesses of all types and sizes.
Located on the banks of the River Wear, its 14-acre site includes a range of flexible office and industrial space to let, in addition to meeting and conference facilities and a host of experienced advisers.
Designed to nurture business, the BIC first opened its doors in June 1994, and has accommodated over 500 businesses since then.
It has helped to create over 7,000 jobs, given 2,500 businesses in the Tyne and Wear area the opportunity to get started and has achieved a survival rate which outstrips the national average, with more than 75 per cent of businesses continuing to trade into their third year.
In the years the BIC has been operating, tenant companies have generated a collective turnover of £400m.
The sponsor for the not-for-profit award in 2014 is Gentoo, a ‘profit for purpose’ organisation that builds not only homes but communities.
Gentoo said in a statement: “The group operates by investing in people, the planet and property to make society a better place to live and to make a difference to the way people live their lives - what we call the Art of Living.
“In addition to being a major social landlord, we have a property development company, a design and build business, and a division to oversee our environmental performance.
“Future divisions include: a photo-voltaic, solar panel and specialist glass company, Romag; external facade business, Astley Facades; social investment enterprises; and care and support services.
“As well as our investment into housing, we continue our comprehensive social investment to innovatively tackle social and economic issues within communities.”
Group chief executive Peter Walls, recently named Durham and Wearside Executive of the Year, said: “We’re really pleased to be sponsoring the not-for-profit category and are looking forward to hearing the inspiring stories behind the entries.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to recognise the outstanding professionals in the many and varied fields, who are dedicated to helping and supporting people who are most in need.”
Entries for the category must be submitted by December 13.