One of the North East’s best known female entrepreneurs is taking her event management business into a new era by establishing a new audio/visual division.
Nickie Gott set up She’s Gott It 15 years ago and has since turned the County Durham-based firm into a £1.1m turnover operation that organises over 50 major events around the UK every year.
The new division is being set up to allow the She’s Gott It team to have more direct control over every part of the events it runs, to allow the company to operate as a true ‘one stop shop’ and to contribute to a strategic growth plan that will see turnover treble over the next five years.
Regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers is providing the development capital required to fund the new division through a £150,000 investment from the Finance For Business North East Growth Fund that it manages.
As well as organising launch events, conferences, exhibitions and other celebrations for a wide range of household name clients, including Sage plc, Hitachi, JDR Cables, Visit County Durham and Nissan, She’s Gott It now runs its own range of events, including a spectacular annual Enchanted Christmas event at Hardwick Hall Hotel in Sedgefield which runs right through December.
The eight-strong She’s Gott It team is expected to grow as the new division gets fully up and running, adding to their event management, entertainment agency and themeing design services, while its resources will also be available on a consultancy basis for clients who want to run their own events, but who need technical support and/or equipment to make them happen.
Nickie Gott, who serves as chair of regional networking organisation WIN Ltd, has twice been voted North East Entrepreneur Of The Year and was awarded her OBE in January this year for services to women in business and female entrepreneurship in North East England.
She says: “After a very successful last three years, we took a strategic look at where the future growth opportunities were for the business and realised that setting up this new division made clear financial and logistical sense.
“Until now, we’ve used a range of sub-contractors to manage the audio/visual elements of our events, but by taking on these responsibilities ourselves, we get more creative control over exactly how we want to set things up and can take a more holistic view of how everything comes together to make the best possible experience.
“Our aim is to double our profit margin in the next two years, and treble turnover within the next five, and widening the range of services we can offer will put us well on the way to achieving both objectives.
“The creative industries in the North East are gaining an ever stronger reputation right around the country, and the businesses of which they’re comprised have a key role to play in securing strong future growth for the regional economy.
“We were aware of NEL through industry contacts, and working with them has been a very engaging and support process – the team has a real ‘can do’ attitude and worked with me every step of the way to get things done.”
Jane Siddle, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “She’s Gott It already has a strong reputation as being among the best companies in its field, and Nickie’s vision for where it can go in the future offered us a very strong investment opportunity.”
Aimed at regional businesses which are at a development and growth stage, the Growth Fund forms part of the wider Finance for Business North East Fund.
Managed by North East Finance, it will see £142m of investment capital injected into the region by the European Investment Bank and the European Regional Development Fund 2007-13 over a five year period.
NEL is looking to make around 130 investments over the five-year life span of the Growth Fund, and is actively looking to speak to ambitious north east companies with robust business plans.
For more information about NEL’s investment criteria, visit www.nel.co.uk or contact the investment team on 0345 369 7007.
The ERDF 2007-13 programme is bringing over £300m into North East England to support innovation, enterprise and business support. It will help create and safeguard 28,000 new jobs, start 3,000 new businesses and increase the region’s productivity by £1.1bn per annum.