Entrepreneurs reach top of the class after taking part in High Potential Startups

Entrepreneurs reach top of the class after taking part in High Potential Startups

5th May 2020

High Potential Startups has helped a team of North East entrepreneurs become top of the class after three schools in County Durham signed up to stock their new range of ethical, durable schoolwear.

Gateshead-based clothing brand, etika – headed up by Sean Murray and business partners David Beavis and Padma Kapoor – joined the North East Growth Hub’s High Potential Startups programme in 2019.

The intensive business support programme, delivered by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, helps up-and-coming entrepreneurs launch high-growth businesses with the potential to create more and better jobs in the North East. Through a package of support, including workshops, coaching and mentoring, entrepreneurs are helped to turn their ambitious business ideas into a reality.

etika was one of the first companies to sign up to take part in High Potential Startups. The company guarantees all its uniforms are made without child or forced labour and schools that sell the range of clothing benefit from either a 3% cash gift from sales, or uniform donations for families in hardship.

etika’s mission is to offer every child in the UK the opportunity to wear an ethically sourced school uniform and for schools to be able to give back through finance and education, and to communities in India where the clothing is made.

It hopes to educate schools, parents and pupils about ethical trade and the hidden human cost behind some of the clothes we wear.

David Beavis from the company said: “I think the most important thing we’ve gained from taking part in High Potential Startups is belief. It’s given us a vision and strategy to make our business happen and an understanding of the investment we need to resource it.

“The learning we’ve gained has enabled us to truly believe we can make our business a success, and more importantly, there are people out there that will work with us and collaborate to make it happen.”

Green Lane CE Primary School and St Mary’s RC Primary School, both in Barnard Castle, and St Margaret’s CE Primary School in Crossgate Peth, Durham, have all signed up to offer etika’s uniforms in its schools. etika aims to sell its clothing through a further 50 schools by the end of 2020.

Colin Bell, Business Growth Director at the North East LEP said: “etika is a fantastic success story for High Potential Startups and demonstrates what a positive impact the programme can have on a great business idea.

“The team came to us with a real passion and determination to create a scaling business in the North East, and through High Potential Startups, we’ve been able to help them turn their idea into a growing business.

“On behalf of everyone at High Potential Startups and the North East LEP, we wish them every success in the future.”

Do you dream of starting your own business? The third round of High Potential Startups is now open. Find out more now.