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Award for helping businesses to grow

03 March 2014


An organisation devoted to helping fledgling businesses to succeed has praised the work of a Teesside University employee.

Eileen Wicks, the University’s Graduate Enterprise Manager, has been presented with an award for Outstanding Contribution to Business Incubation by UK Business Incubation (UKBI).

UKBI is the membership association of organisations and professionals actively involved in enterprise, innovation and sustainable economic growth and the award was presented to Eileen in recognition for her work managing Teesside University’s business incubators.

In her nine years in the role, Eileen has helped hundreds of business start-ups and has transformed the University’s business incubation service from simply offering accommodation and equipment to a holistic support network with industry-specific mentoring and advice.

Her efforts have ensured that survival rates for businesses supported by the University are in the top-five nationally and, to date, the incubator has helped to create 268 new businesses and 451 jobs.

Eileen said: 'I’m absolutely delighted to have received this award, it’s a real honour to have been recognised.

'However, it really is due to the fantastic team I have at graduate enterprise – we wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without them.

'It also reflects the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of the businesses themselves.'

Kieron Broadbent, the membership manager of UKBI visited the University to present Eileen with a glass plaque to commemorate her achievement.

He said: 'We’re very pleased to present this award for Outstanding Contribution to Business Incubation to Eileen.

'It recognises the hard work done by her and her team to support small and growing businesses in the Teesside area.'

The University is currently supporting nearly 70 new businesses, including: • 32 in its residential incubator in the Victoria Building in Middlesbrough • 19 ‘virtually’ incubated businesses • 7 businesses hot-desking at the Darlington campus • 9 businesses at ‘follow-on’ accommodation at the Phoenix Building in Middlesbrough.

Successful businesses incubated at Teesside University include animation company Bloom Studio, visualisation studio Animmersion and – an e-publishing platform now based in Boulder, Colorado.

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