A Blyth businesswoman received tips from the top after meeting one of the country’s most famous entrepreneurs.
Victoria Graham set up Millsabelle last October after help from TEDCO Business Support and Virgin StartUp loans.
The support I received to set up my business has been invaluable. Being asked to create something for Sir Richard Branson was the icing on the cake.Victoria Graham, of Millsabelle
And last Tuesday she met Sir Richard Branson when he visited the region, presenting him with two baby blankets for his new grandchildren, twins Etta and Artie.
Victoria said: “The support I received to set up my business has been invaluable. Being asked to create something for Sir Richard Branson was the icing on the cake.
“Millsabelle was borne out of my love of creating something unique and the blankets were a chance to express my gratitude for all the help I received.”
“Without the Virgin StartUp loan and support from Bill Hartshorne, I’m not sure Millsabelle would be the business it has grown to today. I hope the blankets are put to good use by the twins.”
Victoria was given assistance from Keel Row shopping centre in the course of making the blankets.
Prior to Sir Richard’s arrival, Carole White and James Craft from TEDCO also took to the stage to deliver an information Q&A session with a select panel of local entrepreneurs and business mentors.
Carole White, chief executive of TEDCO Business Support, said: “The Virgin StartUp event was a way to get people talking about the many opportunities available to individuals thinking of starting up their own business.
“We know that with the right package of ongoing support and funding, anyone can turn a strong idea into a business and certainly Victoria and Millsabelle is testament to this.
“We hope that through our ongoing partnership with Virgin StartUp loans we will be able to continue to drive enterprise in the region and would like to take this opportunity to thank Victoria for the beautiful blankets she created.”
Sir Richard Branson partnered with TEDCO in 2013 to officially launch Virgin StartUp for entrepreneurs in the North East and Cumbria.
TEDCO is the main access point for people in the region looking to source funding through Virgin StartUp. Its team of advisors will guide aspiring entrepreneurs through the application process, offering additional help and wider enterprise support as part of the Ready for Business programme.