Starting out

Location: Clara Vale, Gateshead, but works throughout Northumberland, Gateshead and Newcastle.

Name of business: Spark Training.

Location: Clara Vale, Gateshead, but works throughout Northumberland, Gateshead and Newcastle.

Line of business: Training programmes for schools, colleges and businesses.

Director: Jacqueline Hobson.

How long have you been established?

Since October 2006, about eight months.

Where did you go for business advice?

Gateshead Council were fantastic. I was given guidance with my business plan and some really good advice.

How did you decide which line of business to enter?

It was a natural step. I have years of experience working as a drama teacher, and really enjoyed the shift into training, so it made sense to set up in my area of expertise. Within that role I trained drama teachers in Cheshire and then went on to become a business consultant, running training programmes. My unique selling point is that I am the only person in the North who is licensed to run the Fish Philosophy.

It is an international course which focuses on good customer service. I was asked to design and launch a programme for schools, which I have run for one of the Education Business Partnerships in the area.

How did you come up with the company name?

My husband came up with the name. I feel that it gives a positive message – spark of an idea, spark of imagination, sparkle etc. It’s also short and easy to spell.

What is the best thing about running your own business?

I love being my own boss as I can be creative in my approach and really focus on client needs. I also like to run my own diary, I have two young children, so my work now fits so well with being a mother.

What advice do you have for anyone starting out?

Don’t give up, it’s a rollercoaster ride but if you feel that you have something good to offer, then keep believing in yourself.

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