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The If We Can You Can Challenge: Now open for entries!

The If We Can You Can Challenge is now accepting entries for 2017. Now in its 9th year, the competition has helped hundreds of early-stage entrepreneurs take their business to the next level. So, whether you’re looking for confidence, contacts or customers, enter your start up now to get connected! 

Open to any North East business less than three years old (with a special category for great business ideas); the competition is an opportunity for you to get the recognition and contacts you need to grow your business and your networks. 

2016 participant Louisa Rogers, Managing Director at start-up TrendListr Ltd commented, “The Challenge allowed me to get in touch with some real influencers in the digital and tech industry in the North East. These contacts provided me with invaluable feedback on both the concept itself and my strategy going forward. In addition to this, it was a chance to pitch to many people that I have subsequently met, and therefore a great chance to get the word out about what you do in a fast paced but fun setting before having any official ‘sit down’ meetings."

Charlotte Windebank, MD of organiser FIRST Face to Face said: "Last year with the help of our partners, we were able to reach out to 123 new business in our region and recieved over 100 offers of support from the North East business community. This year we want more people to be involved to create more impact and most importantly a lasting legacy for these businesses to thrive in our communities."



This year we will be focusing on three categories: companies that will make a big social impact, a ‘best business idea’ category and businesses that have high growth-potential which is sponsored by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Hub, There will be three rounds with the Ideas Prize final held in October and the grand final held at BALTIC: Centre for Contemporary Art on 15th November 2017.



Tickets for the live final are now on sale and information on how to enter and how to join in as a partner can be found online at


Are you running a business based in the North East that’s less than 3 years old? Do you have a business idea but not sure where to go for help?

For more information on how to apply or become a campaign partner please visit, for enquires, contact one of the team at



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