It was Strictly confidential – but now you can hear it from the Dragon’s mouth!

TV business guru Sara Davies will be a guest speaker at the Northern Echo/BUSINESSiQ Awards and she is “absolutely thrilled” to be a part of the celebrations.

Read more: All the categories for the first BUSINESSiQ Awards at Ramside Hall

The Awards takes place in April next year and is already set to be the premier event in the North East business calendar.

Read More: How to enter the 2023 BUSINESSiQ Awards The awards will be at Ramside Hall on Friday 28th April 2023 – with gongs for those who have gone above and beyond to make the North East the amazing place it is.

The Northern Echo: The Northern Echo The Northern Echo (Image: The Northern Echo)

And to help us celebrate the businesses in the North,TV Dragon Sara will be the guest speaker on the night.

Sara grew up in County Durham and still lives in the region. She founded Crafter's Companion, a crafter's supply company, whilst at university in 2005.

The Northern Echo:

With its HQ based in Newton Aycliffe the business now employs hundreds of people across the globe and now exports to over 40 countries worldwide.

Read more: First BUSINESSiQ awards will be held at Ramside Hall next April

With a string of business awards under her belt, Sara received an MBE in the 2016 New Years’ Honours.

The Northern Echo: Our venue is Ramside HallOur venue is Ramside Hall (Image: Newsquest)

In 2019, she joined BBC Two's Dragons' Den as the show's youngest ever female investor and became a household name in 2021 when she was a contestant on BBC’s hit show Strictly Come Dancing.

And In her capacity as an entrepreneur, she helps women in business and offers support and guidance to businesses as part of her mentoring role with the Entrepreneurs' Forum.

Sara said: "I'm absolutely thrilled to be invited to speak at the Northern Echo/BusinessiQ Awards to help to celebrate and reward some of the fantastic businesses from across the North East.

“It won't come as a shock to many people that I’m really proud to call the North East my home - I talk about it a lot!

CLICK HERE or scan the code below to nominate someone.

The Northern Echo: Scan this QR code to get your entry detailsScan this QR code to get your entry details (Image: Newsquest)

"Just one of the reasons that I'm so proud of our region is because it's overflowing with innovation and ideas being realised by hardworking, determined people with tons of tenacity. “It’s an honour to be here to recognise some of that amazing success.”

The business brand of The Northern Echo has championed the people and organisations that are redefining this remarkable place and putting it at the top of the list for investors and job creators.

And with campaigns like Level Up, we have provided volume to the voices of hundreds of businesses.

Now we are taking that support to another level with the first BUSINESSiQ awards - an amazing night of celebration and spotlights.

Across every category, we want to recognise the leaders bold enough to make the big decisions, their partners who build collaborations to support our future, the products and visions that are taking us forward at such a rate and the staff who make it all happen.