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Boost Your Business: Anne-Maria

As Administration Coordinator at PNE Group, a social enterprise based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Anne-Maria has worked with hundreds of start-ups, organisations and charities as a grant administrator for the Skills & Opportunities Fund, as a grant assessor and coordinator for PNE Enterprise projects and qualification coordinator for PNE Development. To learn more about business support options in the North East, Anne-Maria attended the 'Boost Your Business' business growth course in May 2018.
Continue reading to find out about Anne-Maria's learning experience and what she found most valuable about the 3-day course.
Can you give me an overview of your business, what does it do and what does your role involve?
PNE Group are a not-for-profit organisation and the parent company of PNE Enterprise and PNE Development. My role is incredibly varied, and I work across all departments and teams within the organisation. One of my responsibilities, however, is overseeing the delivery of qualifications offered by PNE Group's professional development brand, PNE Development.
What did you find most beneficial about the course?
I approached the course with the idea of exploring the qualifications offer that we have, in particular around managers of volunteer's qualifications and courses. For me, the most beneficial part of attending was meeting other individuals on the course, who came from a variety of different organisations across the region. Everyone I spoke to was very positive and willing to share their experiences and knowledge - it was a very collaborative working environment!
What impact will the course have on your role?
The course allowed us to thoroughly analyse a project and to reflect on ways we can improve our business models and attract more customers. Attending the course enabled me to think about and explore the qualifications PNE Development offer and how we can develop our services further. I found it incredibly beneficial.
What did you learn about growing a business?
From the course I learned that if you want to grow a  business, planning is hugely important, and knowing the direction of your business is key. Where you want to go, and what you want to achieve, should be etched on every business decision from the word go.
I also learned that in social media, success can be achieved organically, it just requires a bit of planning. You don't have to spend a lot of money to achieve results.
Why do you think it's important for established businesses to attend business workshops?
I do think it's incredibly important for established business to attend workshops because it allows time for reflection and action planning, to reflect on what is working, and what isn't and why. It may take people away from the day-to-day running of a business, but for one weekend, I think the skills and knowledge you learn in those days more than make up for it.
I also think that business workshops are an excellent way to network in a way that is more natural and easier for those who may find attending organised networking events daunting and personally difficult. I met so many different business owners on the weekend who were inspiring and dedicated to their professional goals.
Interested in also attending the Boost Your Business course? Get in touch with our Enterprise team at or 0191 230 6410.


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