J Dodds Fresh Fish & Seafood is the first of 100 businesses that Full Circle North East aims to help during 2016.
Full Circle, which was set up by cousins Leanne Knight and Kirsty Campbell, offers support and advice on everything from benefits, employment, training and business start-ups.
The organisation is currently serving the Peterlee area, with plans to expand across the North East. The pair are growing their business with support services for business start-ups and qualified domiciliary care training.
Leanne Knight said: “It is a very exciting time for Joel as he opens up his shop, and for us as he is the first client we have supported with business start-up advice.”
Joel has been working in the industry for nearly 10 years. Starting as an apprentice deckhand on trawlers and potting boats, he started his filleting career with M&J Seafood and then with Hodgson Fish Hartlepool. He was awarded first place last year at the Tesco Fish Craft Challenge.
He said: “Kirsty and Leanne from Full Circle have been fantastic and supported me all the way.
“They were able to assist with areas of business that I haven’t got experience in so I could focus on sourcing products and arranging work that needed to be in the shop.”
Joel’s shop is based on Horden Front Street, County Durham; it will supply a wide range of seafood and sell prepared fish dishes.
Full Circle’s aim with its business support services is to boost entrepreneurship in the region, to encourage more people to launch their own business and increase the business start-up rate in the North East.