AN INITIATIVE has been launched to help start-up businesses across the Tees Valley access the support they need to survive and thrive in challenging conditions.

Start2Succeed focuses on enabling entrepreneurs to overcome the many challenges faced by start-ups, by providing the right support, advice and interventions at the right time for them.

It is being run by Middlesbrough-based Tees Valley Business Hub, which was launched last month and is led by entrepreneurs Matt Atkinson and Jordan Dargue.

Statistics show eight out of ten businesses fail within their first two years, with new enterprises currently facing significant additional challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Start2Succeed programme will begin with a series of business model index (BMI) workshops, to check the health of start-up businesses and maximise their potential to succeed, especially through the current economic storm.

The free workshops are geared around the needs of start-ups in the Tees Valley and will provide tailored advice, guidance and support on setting up and starting a business, with a longer-term vision to grow and scale quickly.

The first will take place online on October 22, with further workshops planned for November and December, as the recently-established Tees Valley Business Hub ramps up its support for the region’s business community.

The Tees Valley Business Hub, powered by the SME Centre of Excellence, was opened last month to provide dedicated and on-the-ground support to the area’s business community.

The venture is based in Boho, Middlesbrough, and provides support in areas including digital, new market entry and product development, to core back office functions including human resources, accountancy and marketing.

Mr Atkinson, chief executive of Tees Valley Business Hub, said; “We know from our own experiences of starting and growing businesses what a great place the Tees Valley is to be based, but we are also well aware of the many challenges a start-up business has to face, and particularly in the present economic climate where many are experiencing hardship and wondering whether they can continue.

“We are here to provide the tailored support to get start-up businesses through this difficult period and out the other side as confident ventures who know where they want to go and how to get there.”

Ms Dargue, the hub’s chief operating officer, added: “Through our workshops, we are tackling the issue of business failure head-on and helping start-ups to address the root cause of these failings and learn how to overcome them.

“By giving the right support and the right advice at the right time, we can help start-up businesses at a crucial stage of development get through the current economic situation and support them in realising their vision for the future, and our workshops are the first steps in doing that.”

For more information about the programme, workshops or to sign up for the Start2Succeed scheme, visit