A talented young entrepreneur is celebrating the expansion of his creative company after a successful first year in business.
Alex Henderson, who is 21 and from Whitley Bay, launched NewGen Creative in November 2015 while studying TV and Film at Gateshead College, where he was also president of the Northern Stars enterprise society – an initiative within the college that supports budding entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses.
In just 12 months, NewGen Creative has expanded to take on a full time designer and a further two freelance staff who are currently studying at Gateshead College.
The company has also secured commissions to create promotional and corporate videos and social media content for a number of charities, businesses and schools across the North East including, Sodexo, Durham School and Fleet Recruitment.
Alex and his business partner, 21-year-old Justin Edlagan, from Gateshead, were initially offered rent free workspace at Gateshead International Business Centre, which provides incubation space for start-up businesses in central Gateshead. In just three months, demand for NewGen Creative’s services led them to take on their own office at the centre.
Alex, said: “I have always been interested in film making, however I would say my career got off to a couple of false starts and I had to think of a new way to approach achieving what I really wanted to do.
“My course and being part of Northern Stars at Gateshead College were the first steps. They really support entrepreneurship through different initiatives, as well as preparing you for the world of work through real-life work experience projects. The offer of help from the business centre made it affordable for us to launch our business, and we love working from our new office space.
“I’m very happy with how our first year has gone. We’re working with some fantastic clients and as well as providing employment opportunities, we’ve been able to help strengthen the upcoming talent in the region by giving young people a chance to build their portfolios through freelance projects. The business has really benefitted from having a professional base to work from and I’m excited to see what the future brings for NewGen Creative as we continue to grow our client base.”
During its first year, Alex and Justin were also granted a startup loan of £6,800 each from Transmit Start-Ups, the government’s flagship loans initiative which provides finance, business support and mentoring.
Alex said “Transmit Start-Ups gave me the opportunity to buy the equipment I needed to get NewGen Creative off the ground. I had the knowledge, skills and connections thanks to my time at the college, however we needed the tools to make the business work.”
Kevin Marston, assistant principal for Curriculum Innovation, said: “Alex was fantastic as president of the Northern Stars and a very talented student. I am so pleased to see him doing well and to see that NewGen Creative is thriving after its first year in business.
“Thanks to his hard work and determination plus access to the right support, Alex was able to launch his business in a professional environment with state of the art equipment before even finishing his course, which is a fantastic achievement.
“The entrepreneurial programmes run by the college are becoming more popular year-on-year and we look forward to helping many other students reach their career goals.”
Gateshead College’s Northern Stars enterprise society is for students that are serious about starting their own business. It is full of opportunities to learn more about what it takes to start a business, including lots of chances to network with successful entrepreneurs and attend seminars and talks.