A fast-growing business support group has announced the appointment of an experienced Operations Director as it plans for continued growth across the North East and beyond.

MINT Business Club, which was founded by entrepreneur Nicola Jayne Little six years ago, has confirmed Liza Johnson will be the new director at the helm of day-to-day operations.

Liza brings a wealth of expertise to the role, having run businesses since she was 16 including the hugely successful The Tea Enthusiasts which she co-founded with her mum, and The Business Enthusiasts which she founded two years ago.

She will lead on the continued growth of the group, which has helped over 500 people develop and grow their businesses, while Nicola will focus on behind-the-scenes work including business and partnership development.

Liza said: “I am incredibly honoured to have been asked to join Nicola and her growing MINT Business Club team, having been a member myself since the start.

“I have some exciting and ambitious plans for the group which I will be working on over the coming weeks and believe my entrepreneurial vision and coaching experience coupled with Nicola’s business development acumen are the perfect combination as we look to take MINT on the next stage of its journey.

“In 2020, at the peak of the Covid pandemic, even experienced business owners like me struggled. However, Nicola showed up in the little box in my office every day and told me everything was going to be ok, and I believed her.

“Nicola has put her heart and soul into MINT and I will always do my best to honour that.”

MINT Business Club was founded in 2018 when Nicola became frustrated by the lack of follow-on support when funded training courses ended. She developed the concept of combining regular training with additional mentoring, networking and socialising – a place where business owners could find their team and grow their businesses.

Since then, it has attracted hundreds of members from a diverse range of sectors who share a like-minded desire to succeed and support one another.

In 2021 Nicola launched Celebrate Difference, a support organisation helping neurodivergent business owners and has seen growth on such a scale that it has led her to the decision to bring Liza into MINT.

Nicola said: “Over the last twelve months I’ve been going through a lot of soul-searching and looking at what is best for MINT Business Club and our wonderful members.

“I feel that the time is right to hand over the reins to Liza, who shares my passion and enthusiasm to help fellow business owners to be the best they can be.

“I’m still going to be there in the background, strategically discovering new opportunities for the business and for our members.

“But in the meantime I’d like to thank everyone who I’ve worked with for letting me into their business lives. It continues to be truly humbling – there is nothing better than nurturing.”