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Business & Economy

Get ready for a growth explosion

North East-based businesses looking to reach the next level — and ambitious individuals who’ve hatched the next big thing — have been told ‘your time is now’.

Technology catalyst firm N17 Growth Partners is predicting a growth explosion on the back of the Bank of England’s belief that the UK’s economic recovery could be quicker than forecast.

With a portfolio focused on businesses that can deliver a positive social outcome, the ambitious team expects to see accelerated growth throughout 2021.

And N17 can already point to a successful approach across the region as key stakeholders in North East-based tech innovators GiveToLocal and Sleepstation.

“We’re convinced that the time is right to create more opportunities and to play our part in kickstarting growth in communities across the UK,” said N17 managing director, Neil Gardiner.

“There’s no point dwelling on the past and pointing to the negatives.

“Positive things don’t come from a negative mindset.

“We’re all about creating a wave of optimism and enthusiasm and helping people with ideas and ambition to ride that wave with us.

“N17 is heading towards its fourth year in 2021 and we’re full of confidence about the post-Covid era. We’re a business on the up and we’re here to help others achieve and sustain that positive trajectory.”

N17’s unique proposition offers direct access to the right expertise, experience and contacts.

It’s an approach that can quickly take new ideas from the drawing board to the marketplace or deliver the step-change an existing business needs to fulfil its potential.

“We’re not the same as a transactional consultancy-based model,” adds Neil. “In fact, we’re the very opposite of that.

“Where we can make a real difference is by providing insights and tangible action plans along with the resource to implement and support that activity.

“On top of that, we open doors through our network which can be with investors, funders or strategic partners.

“We see ourselves as helping to remove perceived constraints and obstacles and identifying and supporting an exciting route for the growth and development of organisations everyone would love to see thrive.

“Simply put, we are here to put great companies in a room with the right audience at the right time and with the right message. N17 offers far more than a one-size-fits-all consultancy model or access to an active investor network.”

N17 pitches itself as a proactive growth partner — filling the gap for businesses by deploying highly experienced individuals in key management positions, delivering practical support, industry know-how and a ready-made network of influential contacts.

“We can help people take a great idea to the next level and help existing businesses to scale fast by rolling up our sleeves and making things happen,” explains Neil.

“We don’t believe in copying and pasting the ideas that anyone can find in a book and charging for the privilege.

“Our focus is on assisting socially conscious and socially responsible businesses. We want to work alongside businesses that can demonstrate a commitment to positive social outcomes.

“Our live portfolio consists of three dynamic organisations in GiveToLocal, Sleepstation and Fintegrate.

“All three are at different stages of their growth but all three share that ethos of social responsibility.

“What’s also common to all three is the use of scalable technology that’s designed to help people. Never has it been more relevant to offer digital, remote support that can make people’s lives easier or better.”

Behind the scenes N17 has seen a surge in enquiries from ambitious businesses at a time when it’s committed to bolstering its own team to expand its portfolio and increase its positive impact across the tech sector.

And Neil is keen to consider proposals which can support those sectors hardest hit by the economic downturn caused by the global pandemic.

“We’re acutely aware that hospitality, retail and the leisure industries have been particularly hard hit during the last 12 months,” he adds.

“But in the case of an organisation like GiveToLocal there’s an opportunity to help businesses in these sectors recover at a local and a regional level.

“A key pillar of the GiveToLocal service is to help small business owners get back out there and to help them reconnect with their community in a meaningful way that’s really positive.

“With more than 77,000 affiliated clubs in the sports GiveToLocal supports there’s an exciting opportunity to build meaningful, impactful relationships at scale.

“We’re perfectly positioned to back the small businesses around those community clubs — the firms affected most by the pandemic.”

Neil and his team may be approaching 2021 in buoyant mood but he admits N17’s positivity has occasionally been countered with stark negativity.

“We expected it but we certainly don’t accept it,” he insists.

“It’s important to stay focused and to stay resolute. That’s been our attitude from day one but even more so during the last 12 months.

“We’ve built a team that’s able to deliver against the positive aims of the organisations we work with.

“We’re capable of delivering growth and success even when it looks like the odds are against it. If you want the future to be positive, then you must think positively.

“Focusing on that in the face of constant negativity isn’t easy but it’s necessary for all of us if we’re going to come out of this stronger.”

To find out more about N17 Growth Partners visit