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.

The TEDCO Team lives and breathes business support. All of us have an understanding of the challenges that face new businesses in North East England. Better still, we are equipped to listen to you and support you through the next steps towards your business start-up, or help you to grow a sustainable business.

Having helped more than 6,000 businesses to start up, 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.

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 Start & Grow UK (formerly 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 organisation 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 Start & Grow UK (North East) we deliver a multitude of programmes aimed at helping entrepreneurs to build successful and sustainable businesses. 

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

James Craft

Enterprise Development Manager

I have over 10 years experience of delivering business support for a range of organisations including, TEDCO, Business Link and RTC North. I have also been in Business Banking for Barclays and Santander for over 7 years. This has given me the opportunity to absorb a huge amount of experience of what it takes to launch a successful business but also how to grow and scale it. Over this time I have worked with some exceptional people who have gone on to launch incredible businesses, this is something I have a real passion for. I have also run my own business in the UK and overseas so I have experienced the highs and the lows of being your own boss.

My new role has me leading an exceptional team of business advisors who work tirelessly to support North East SME’s. A further part of my role is to manage existing contracts and to develop new opportunities for TEDCO in the future.

0191 516 6102 jcraft@tedco.org

Ross Laffey

Business Support Manager

I am an experienced business coach with personal experience of running successful enterprises. I am primarily responsible for managing all of our North Tyneside support delivered under the Business Factory brand as well as other exciting projects across the region..

0191 605 3110 rlaffey@tedco.org

Mark Johnston

Business Advisor

I have over 10 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

Judith Wheatley

Business Advisor

I joined TEDCO in 2004 as a Business Advisor. I have over 15 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 of them 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 acepted onto the New Enterprise Allowance Scheme in Darlington. 

07795 433 366 jwheatley@tedco.org

Tony Grainger

Business Advisor

As well as previously working in Business Support in the North East I also have over 30 years experience in Business Banking with Santander and Yorkshire Bank. In addition, I have been both a director of a company as well as a trustee of a charity so overall I have gained a great deal of knowledge which I am now keen to pass onto local budding entrepreneurs. 

It’s a great feeling when you support somebody on their journey from an initial business idea to a successful business venture.

0191 5166102 agrainger@tedco.org

Allison Nicks

Business Advisor

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

Steve Langdown

Business Advisor

I am an experienced business owner having been involved in the setting up and running of a variety of technology based ventures over the past 25 years. I have over12 years experience as a business advisor in the North East assisting Pre Start and Existing businesses with plans for both growth and sustainability.
I am practical and pragmatic and able to offer real solutions to clients needs when launching their business ventures.

07590 879 420 slangsdown@tedco.org

Janice Ross MBE

Business Advisor

I joined the team of Business Support Advisers in January 2014 and for over 25 years I have helped North East people to start up in business. I’ve 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.

I love encouraging people to develop themselves and build their business confidence.

And I can play the trombone!

0191 605 3110 jross@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

Jeff Thompson

Business Advisor

As a Business Advisor, I primarily listen to your needs and then help you to move forward. Having previously had my own small business and been part of an MBO team in a larger business I am familiar with challenge, failure and achievement. It would be great to assist you in making your vision a reality!

0191 605 3110 jthompson@tedco.org

Lee Casey

Business Advisor

I’m passionate about supporting small businesses in North Tyneside, having been self employed within the region for 20 years. Initially in retail and more recently in Digital Marketing and as an Enterprise Mentor. I like to help people create connections and nurture their networks.

0191 605 3110 lcasey@tedco.org

Nick Turner

Business Advisor

Working with pre-start, start-up and more established SMEs throughout North Tyneside, I enjoy working with entrepreneurs in many and varied sectors. I like to focus on the more financial aspects of business support, assisting clients to seriously examine the ‘nuts and bolts’ of their propositions.

0191 605 3110 nturner@tedco.org

Laura Dawson

Business Advisor

I am a multi award winning Social Media and Digital Marketing Strategist and Business Advisor with over 10 years experience in running and scaling on and offline startups from ecommerce to tech and all industries in between. I run my own digital businesses and love to coach others to do the same.

0191 605 3110 ldawson@tedco.org

Frances Graham

Business Support Officer

I work ‘behind the scenes’ on The Business Factory Programme, covering North Tyneside. I look after everyone who gets in touch, whether they need guidance to our workshops and resources, or a referral to an advisor, I’m here to help. My colleagues tell me that alongside Heather, I am one of the main cogs in the TEDCO machine, making sure our administration runs smoothly and that everyone is smiling!

0191 5166102 fgraham@tedco.org

Heather Howat

Senior Business Support Co-ordinator

I’m the first point of contact when you contact TEDCO HQ, I’m here to take you through the process of finding exactly the right support for you as you explore the world of working for yourself. I’ll guide you through booking workshops, accessing resources and will refer you to a specialist advisor when you are ready.

My experience as a PA in healthcare, construction and the voluntary sector means I can keep the admin machine rolling in the background so our systems work, and most importantly you feel well looked after.

0191 5166102 hhowat@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

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.

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