Who we are and what we’re all about

We are a team of experienced, passionate and driven business support experts with a clear mission – to help enterprising individuals start and grow companies.

From chief executive to office angel, we understand the challenges that face new businesses in the region and we are equipped to help you achieve your business goals.

Having helped more than 2,000 businesses to start up in the last three years, we have a proven track record for delivering outstanding business support. Our commitment to delivering one-to-one support sets us apart from other enterprise agencies.

Through Start & Grow we are able to deliver flexible, intensive support for up to three years. As part of your ‘Start Up Team’ our business advisors can be a valuable resource. In this way we can help you build stronger foundations for business success, enabling you to aim higher and achieve more.


From our headquarters at Sunderland’s Business Innovation Centre we now deliver programmes across the North East of England.

TEDCO is a member of the Cavendish Consortium – a group made up of six of England’s largest and most successful enterprise agencies, together with the National Enterprise Network.

Each member organization represents the very finest the business support community has to offer, with a reputation for working closely with organisations from all manner of industries and sectors to achieve excellent results in business enterprise.

As Cavendish North East we currently deliver Start & Grow, an initiative funded by the Regional Growth Fund money and aimed at helping entrepreneurs to build successful and sustainable businesses.

Previously Cavendish Consortium members have delivered the Ready for Business programme, helping thousands of businesses across the region. Our new initiative, Start & Grow, runs until 2018.

At TEDCO, we are also proud to be delivery partners with Virgin Start Up, providing low-interest loans, advice, resources and support every step of the way of the pre and post start phase of an entrepreneur’s journey.

Meet The Team

Carole White

Chief Executive

Following an initial career in retail and wholesale, I have over 18 years of designing and delivering business support programmes. I have led winning teams to raise millions of pounds of investment to support new businesses to start up and grow. I am proud to head up the TEDCO team and am passionate about supporting entrepreneurship in the North East.

0191 516 6102 cwhite@tedco.org

Mark Johnston

Business Advisor

I have over 8 years’ experience in Business Banking with RBS, NatWest and Santander helping businesses grow and prosper from the start-up stage through to maturity. I have previously run my own business, and I am passionate about helping entrepreneurs achieve their business goals.

07885 801 376 mjohnston@tedco.org

Bill Hartshorne

Business Advisor: Investment Readiness – Covering North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Northumberland

An Ex Bank Manager of 30 years standing with a lending and managerial background. I have worked in business support in a variety of advisor roles for the past 12 years dealing predominantly with new business start-ups.

07885 801 378 bhartshorne@tedco.org

Gordon Hanna

Business Liaison Manager

My role as Business Liaison Manager within the Ready for Business programme allows me the opportunity to help and support clients along their individual journey into business. Having 16 years’ experience in running my own business and 12 years in account managing corporate clients on behalf of brands such as Mercedes-Benz. I enjoy helping new start-up business get established and grow within their chosen market.

07917 421 281 ghanna@tedco.org

Tracy Clarkson

Business Advisor

I started my career with humble beginnings in service sector industries, moving to London (to follow love) being thrust into the hustle and bustle of management. I experienced the dizzy heights of the small business roller coaster – just when you think you know where you are along comes another loop. Returning to the North East (there’s no place like home!), I ventured into training and then launched into self-employment with two small children in the mix. After 6 years of discovery I had a desire to share the experience and sold my business to become part of the business support community.

In 2013 to consolidate my 30 years of the highs and lows of everything from hairdressing to healthcare, retail to finance and new product development to manufacturing, I completed a Professional Diploma in Marketing accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing. I love coming up with solutions to help ambitious entrepreneurs overcome those irritating obstacles and hurdles that delay exciting plans coming to fruition. The Start and Grow programme is just for those go getters who have that burning ambition and drive; passionate about making the North East a great place to do business.

0191 5166 102 tclarkson@tedco.org

Nicky Burke

Business Advisor

I am a successful Entrepreneur with a passion for helping others turn their ideas into reality. I have experience setting up and running multiple companies for myself and working as a consultant. I set up my first business when I was 20 and won the North East Young Entrepreneur of the year award, just five years later another venture was voted best business idea in the North East and I won the Barclays take one small step competition winning a prize of £50,000 to invest in developing my business further.

I first joined TEDCO back in 2007 working as an Enterprise Coach and returned in 2015 as a Business Advisor. My role as a Business Advisor is to support clients to turn their ambition into a reality, breaking down any barriers they may have and get started in business. I help explore what finance options are available and support my clients every step of the way.

0191 5166 102 nburke@tedco.org

Judith Wheatley

Business Advisor – Darlington NEA

I joined TEDCO in 2004 as a Business Advisor, I have over 10 years’ experience advising businesses across many sectors. I deliver one-to-one coaching support to individuals wanting to develop their business ideas working with each individual to help them create a business plan showing they can run a viable business. I have worked on a number of projects during my time at TEDCO providing support to new and existing businesses, at present I am the central point of contact for individuals who have been accepted onto the New Enterprise Allowance scheme in Darlington.

07795 433 366 jwheatley@tedco.org

Allison Cowen

Business Advisor: New Enterprise Allowance – South Tyneside

I am a business advisor covering the New Enterprise Allowance programme and Virgin Start up Loans, with a background in business advice for the welfare sector before coming across to TEDCO Business Support Ltd. I have also previously owned my own company which gives me a good insight for clients today. I have had a varied career across many industries including, retail, banking and training which allows me to use these experiences to help clients looking to start businesses in these areas.

07885 801 377 acowen@tedco.org

Ross Laffey

Business Advisor

I am an experienced business coach with personal experience of running successful enterprises. I am responsible for co-ordinating all of our North Tyneside support delivered under the Business Factory brand.


Janice Ross

Business Advisor

Janice joined our team of Business Support Advisers in January 2014, after a successful period of working with us as a marketing consultant in 2013.
For almost 20 years, Janice has helped North East people to start up in business. She’s helped them with everything from the practicalities of registering with HMRC and setting up a bank account, to developing an easy to understand marketing strategy sharing ways to delight their customers.

Running her own marketing company since 2008, Janice says, “I love helping people to develop themselves and build their business confidence. I’m over the moon to bring this support to North Tyneside.”

In her spare time, Janice is National Chair of the National Women’s Network, a support organisation for women in business.

0191 605 3110 jross@tedco.org

Nick Turner

Business Advisor

Nick Turner joined the Business Factory’s Adviser team in June 2012.

Nick says: “Prior to becoming a business advisor, I had worked for myself for over 17 years – starting and running 3 separate businesses.

I can offer practical, real-world advice, because I know what it’s like to be out there doing it.”

0191 605 3110 nturner@tedco.org

Paul Brown

Business Advisor

I have 20+ years of experience working with pre-start and established businesses throughout Tyne and Wear to assist them to develop and grow, delivering both one-to-one and one-to-many support.

0191 605 3110 pbrown@tedco.org

Claire Garner

Claims and Finance Manager

I began my career with TEDCO as an administrator back in the early months of 2010, after a short while I moved into the operational side of the business. This is where I found my “happy place” and quickly developed new processes to ensure smoother and more efficient working and much to my surprise I discovered a love for business finance. I enrolled on a AAT course at the local college with the support of TEDCO and the rest they say is history. I now manage the claims and finance function here at TEDCO Business Support and have gone on to a Chartered Institute of Management Accounts qualification. I ensure the smooth running of all the programmes and operations here at TEDCO Business Support whilst keeping a very close eye on the purse strings.

0191 516 6102 cgarner@tedco.org

Laura-Kate Parkin

Administration and Finance Assistant

After 2 years’ experience in a private hospital, working as a ward clerk and gaining my NVQ in business administration and AAT accountancy, I began my career with TEDCO in January 2017. I work supporting the business advisers as well as helping the finance manager. I am also the first point of contact for clients looking to start their journey into business. My role develops frequently as I feel myself gaining more knowledge on a daily basis.

0191 516 6102 lparkin@tedco.org

Pauline Hepple

Business Administrator

An experienced Business Administrator who is the frontline support responsible for all project administration at the Business Factory.



0191 605 3110 phepple@tedco.org

What we offer

TEDCO offers one-on-one support provided by a dedicated team of business advisors and a range of pre start seminars available to clients who are taking the first steps into self-employment. This could be looking at an initial idea and developing it further, looking at how to start a business plan, business competitors, business marketing.

Are you eligible?

If you are looking to start and grow a business we’d love to hear from you. Our friendly team of experienced Business Advisors are on hand to take your call to discuss the support available.

Latest News

4 golden rules for every start-up business owner

It’s time to get back to basics with your entrepreneurial skills To be a success start-up business owner, you need to play a number of different roles. You need to be a decisive leader, a tech guru, a network pro, a forward-thinking entrepreneur and so much more. And...

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Latest News

4 golden rules for every start-up business owner

It’s time to get back to basics with your entrepreneurial skills To be a success start-up business owner, you need to play a number of different roles. You need to be a decisive leader, a tech guru, a network pro, a forward-thinking entrepreneur and so much more. And...

read more

©2018 TEDCO Business Support Ltd. All Rights Reserved. View our privacy policy Company Number: 08568533 | TEDCO Business Support Ltd | VAT No. 169 8629 44 GB. North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) Wearfield, Enterprise Park East, Sunderland, SR5 2TA, United Kingdom.