To quote from a family favourite film – “a little sugar helps the medicine go down!”

This was very much apparent at our Global Ethics Day Event on October 21; several North East firms chosen for their ethical practices, explained their approach to the challenges we are all presently facing and lifted our spirits. For those who missed the event you can catch up at your leisure by following this LINK.

We are grateful to Yvonne Gale, CEO, NEL Fund Managers; Hugh Welch, Senior Partner, Muckle LLP; Kiz Crosbie, CEO, Mortal Fools; Andrew Hague, CEO, Newcastle Building Society, Kerry Patterson, Head of HR, Tharsus, John Duns, Co-owner and director, North East Times Client Relationships; Dai Hayward MBE, CEO, Micropore Technologies; Patricia Alexander, CEO, Shared Interest; Leanne Coatmann, Business Travel Manager, Hays Travel; and James Ramsbotham, CEO North East Chambers of Commerce. Sharing their stories, stating their values and the benefits secured by putting their values to the core of their business, especially in a year like 2020.

Entering another lockdown period and returning to school and university, really brings home the need to strive for normality by applying the values we hold dear as we rebalance and pivot during the COVID-19 outbreak. As we emerge from the pandemic, as we surely will, the challenge with which the government wrestles with is, how to increase demand in the economy and create growth whilst protecting our fellow humans.

In this adversity, we have all shown adaptability and innovation to continue work in different ways. This needs to continue, by creating productivity in what we do. How we treat the people in our business, whether takeholders, staff, customers, or suppliers, will show the type of business we run and the values to which we really truly embody in our businesses. This will reflect on the motivation to supply and produce, and our customers to buy.

Supporting one another is essential. Simply, by honouring the contract terms by which we trade is essential, particularly paying on time. For more on this see the blog by Simon Hanson, Federation of Small Businesses.

At the same time, providing help to those in need is essential. Not only in cases of personal hardship, but in supporting local businesses starting and seeking to overcome the impact Covid-19 has on our economy. Two of our directors, Caroline Theobald and Kevan Carrick have accepted the role of ambassadors in the Open North Foundation to secure funds and help in kind that can be given to businesses that have need a chance to progress and survive.

We all can progress by taking care about the people in our business, our network and paying fairly.

At NIBE, we are making good progress in supporting the many responsible businesses in the north east region and encouraging others. Our objective is to spread the message that this region is a good place in which to do good business.

NIBE Progress

We welcome as a new director:

Jane Reynolds MBE, North Star Ventures

Jane is the Business Development Manager, Northstar Ventures and looks after community engagement across the NELEP Area. Her role focuses on developing partnerships with businesses, local authorities and support providers. She can often be found attending industry events across the North East.

Prior to joining our team, Jane was Tees Valley and County Durham Business Development Manager at North East Finance. She has a wealth of business experience and excellent contacts across the North East, as a result of previous posts, which include organisations such as Finance Tree, connect and Bridge Club.

Jane has also worked overseas, in the US and Holland.

Outside of Northstar, Jane is currently Chairwoman of the Tees Valley Business Club. She works extremely hard to connect businesses in the Tees Valley area to new opportunities, sources of funding and to each other.

In recognition of this role and all Jane’s hard work, Jane was awarded an MBE in the June 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and the Tees Valley economy.

Jane is also on the Advisory Board of The Experience Bank. The Experience Bank is free to access and is run by business-people who want to support the economic development of the North East, by helping entrepreneurs to excel, by bringing on board the right non-executive.

Supporting NIBE

On the 23 September, as part of #CyberFest, NIBE collaborated with Newcastle Start-up Week and Dynamo North East in the debate; “Cyber Crime is Good for the Banking Sector”.

As well as the financial help from Northumbria University in Newcastle, our 100 Club Supporters and considerable voluntary support from our directors, we are very pleased to thank Robson Laidler, seconding Liam Crowe who has volunteered to act as our Treasurer and Company Secretary.

We hope to see you soon at one of our events; not only are they of interest and beneficial in business development terms, but they are also excellent networking opportunities.

Spreading NIBE wings

Business Leaders in the Tees Valley have long made a point of the importance of ethical business practice and how, particularly emerging from the pandemic, customers, suppliers and staff will remember those businesses who behaved well and those, that frankly, did not. And they’ll remember in their purchasing power. Led by our new director, Jane Reynolds MBE and our friends at Tees Valley Business Club we’ve now launched an ethical business network in the heart of the Tees Valley. This was launched at an event in April, at which TVBC member Caroline Theobald CBE on behalf of NIBE, facilitated a panel discussion on the importance of behaving ethically and responsibly in challenging times. This will be revisited on 26th November through a conversation with Irene Hays, CBE, Chair of the UK’s largest independent travel agent, Hays Travel. Please join us.

Forthcoming Events

We have a thought provoking programme of events for the remainder of the calendar year. You can find out more here. So please do, come along and join us at our next event. Meet people of like mind and our events are
a great networking opportunity. It is free. We would be delighted to see you and promise a warm welcome.

Kevan Carrick – Chair, North East Initiative on Business Ethics