An HR professional-turned-entrepreneur is expanding her dance studio business and transforming it into a social enterprise after only two months.
Helen Telford, 32, first turned to The Business Factory at North Tyneside Council for help with setting up Move It Studios - a dance, performance and fitness studio for the community in Wallsend town centre.
Now, she is making use of the initiative’s specialist services once more, as she converts the first floor of the building into an additional dance studio and opens up the scope of the business.
“Far from creating a traditional exclusive dance studio, I wanted to make the studio a real community resource that people can access regardless of circumstance or ability so I have been working with Toni Clark at The Business Factory to set up as a social enterprise,” Telford said.
“This way the business can encourage people in the local area to participate in more exercise and support those who otherwise couldn’t or wouldn’t participate in such activities to give it a go.”
In the past two years, The Business Factory has helped establish ten new social enterprises - businesses focussed on giving back to the community rather than maximising profits.
Cllr Frank Lott, North Tyneside Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for business support added: “We are seeing an increasing number of enquiries from individuals wanting to set up their own business and give back to a cause at the same time.
“The Business Factory plays a vital role in helping entrepreneurs with a social purpose ensure their businesses are both profitable and sustainable.
“In doing so, this will contribute positively to the borough’s economy as well as ensuring our communities remain strong.”