Newcastle University graduate Catherine Hanlon is just one of a number of budding entrepreneurs to launch her own business after receiving support from the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC).
Catherine, 23 from Peterlee, launched In Harmony Music Tuition and Performance in April, offering private tuition as well as playing at weddings and corporate events.
After approaching the BIC in February, Catherine started working with business adviser, Ron Anderson, who supported her throughout the planning stage and helped her apply for the New Enterprise Allowance.
Catherine said: “I am a very independent person, so having finished my degree, I decided to start my own business.
"I thrive on the freedom and control that it affords me, and knowing that what I’m doing is making a difference to people’s lives fills me with a sense of achievement.
“Starting a business can be overwhelming when you haven’t done it before, but don’t be put off, help is out there. Organisations such as the BIC offer all the advice and guidance you need.
“Ron was a great support, as I didn’t have the confidence to write my own business plan or do my own accounts, but he guided me through and made it a logical process.
"It’s also reassuring to know he’s just a call away if I need any help.”