A North East enterprise agency is providing free ‘get ready for business’ sessions for budding entrepreneurs across the region.

Pinetree, based in Birtley, County Durham, is providing the sessions across the North East, including Birtley, Middlesbrough, Darlington, Chilton, Ashington, Trimdon Station, North Tyneside and Blyth as part of their programme of support for those with a start-up business idea.

The half-day sessions, which are all lead by one of Pinetree’s seven dedicated business advisers, aim to provide participants with an understanding of the business planning process, as well as information on the financial assistance they can receive from Pinetree.

Those who attend will also explore why self-employment is an excellent option when it comes to careers and employment, as well as an explanation of the application process and the introduction to a detailed business plan.

The sessions, which are running throughout October, November and December, are completely free of charge, with the incentive of six free one-on-one business support sessions for everyone who attends.

Operations manager Andrew Airlie said: “We are running the business sessions to introduce people to the concept of self-employment and what it entails. By completing the session it forms part of the qualification for the next stage, one to one business support when clients are assigned to a dedicated business adviser who will work with them to develop their business plan. This will probably lead to an application for funding we do have access to our own loan funds and potential grant providers. The finance package will be tailored to the individual needs.”

Since 1991, Pinetree has been working to help a range of clients that include students, unemployed individuals, ex-offenders, people with physical and sensory disabilities, ex-service personnel, people aged 50+ and those individuals and businesses who have been refused mainstream finance.

Max Neely, who set up his mountain biking coaching business, Endevour, based at Hamsterely Forest, Durham, this year said: “The advice I received from the appointed adviser was priceless, I simply could not have followed my ambition to set up my own business without them.

“They took me through every step, including a business plan, pitching for the loan I needed to buy equipment and to set up my website, to help with understanding my accounts and registering with HMRC.

“I would strongly recommend Pinetree to anyone who has an idea for their own business as they will all go to great lengths to help and to ensure you can open and maintain a stable and successful business.”

More than 3,000 individuals and businesses have benefitted from the advice and support of Pinetree and its team. With a new ethos and greater emphasis on supporting new businesses in the region, Pinetree is looking to accelerate its client base and provide more people than ever with support and guidance to set up their own business.

Pinetree and the team can offer individuals and businesses a focused range of services – around business support, access to finance and managed office space. Pinetree manages funds of more than £563,000 and is able to offer loans of up to £25,000.

To find out more about the ‘get ready for business’ sessions please call 0191 4928215.