A membership-based training provider in Consett is celebrating its first birthday, having supported over 100 individuals who run their own solo businesses.

The Savvy Solos Business Club, based at Viewpoint in Consett, was set up in November 2017 with the aim of supporting those who are either self-employed or run businesses alone with no other help or support.

Members pay a monthly fee to attend a three-hour training session based on the collective needs of the business owners.

Trainer Nicola Jayne Little, who runs The Savvy Solos Business Club, said: “It can be extremely difficult running a business on your own without a support network around you, so my vision when I started the business was to create a community group where like-minded solo business owners could help and support each other.

“We meet once a month and focus on issues such as digital marketing, sales and developing confidence.”

The Savvy Solos Business Club has supported over 100 sole traders and single-person business owners since its first meeting in January.

Nicola said: “We started with 40 members following an overwhelming applications process.

“Over the past 10 months we’ve welcomed over 100 members, and our current club stands at 82 members and we run training sessions in County Durham and Northumberland.

Member Danielle Stanley from Heddon On The Wall runs stationery business Under The Rowan Trees. She said “The only thing missing when I became self-employed was colleagues. I now have the most amazing and diverse bunch of workmates and couldn’t be happier.”

Whitley Bay based photographer Simon Lowe added: “I’m so pleased I joined The Savvy Solos Business Club. The opportunity to meet up with fellow business owners to share advice and support each other is excellent but also there’s the training Nicola provides which is always clear, focused and relevant, covering different topics each month.”

Nicola’s plans for her second year in business include adding a next-level tier to the membership club.

She added: “What happens when a solo business owner takes it to the next level and employs someone and are therefore no longer solo?

“I don’t want the support that has helped them get there to stop overnight, so my aim is to bring those members into the fold in mentorship roles, using their success to help others do the same.”