SME Centre of Excellence launches with success at ABCurry Club



Ammar Mirza CBE at the ABCurry Club 9th March 2017.


The SME Centre of Excellence launched their services on Thursday 9th March at the SMEfest event. More than 100 employers came together to hear from key speakers in the region. The SME Centre of Excellence is a support hub for small to medium sized businesses, employers are able to access free advice and updates on key issues facing north east SMEs.


The SMEfest event, held at Newcastle College featured a range of speakers who shared their expertise in areas including HR, skills and training, finance, apprenticeship reforms and digital marketing. All attendees were able to take advantage of the suite of workshops on offer and at the end of the evening everyone were invited to stay for a free curry and networking, courtesy of the ABC Curry Club.


The SME Centre of Excellence was set up to support local companies to provide them with a service where they can obtain the right advice and support through strategically identified credible partners. Partners are available to offer advice on finance, HR, training and skills, employment law and other key operational areas to help SMEs with start-up, scaling up and sustaining their business.


Debbie McCordall, HR Consultant at Accentuate said ““It was great to present to such an engaging audience and I look forward to delivering a new HR related topic at the next event. The SME centre of excellence is a fantastic resource for businesses to tap into highly skilled local business people.

“As an HR Consultant I offer bespoke commercial solutions to SMEs which add value to their organisation such as change management, training and development, employment law, recruitment and provide strategic coaching to help businesses develop and grow.”


Ammar Mirza CBE North East LEP Board Member, Founder and Chairman of Asian Business Connexions, said: “The SMEfest event was full of bite size workshops from a range of industry leaders talking about skills, finance, digital and much more. The event was the first of its kind to give local businesses the opportunity to further enhance their network, learn from entrepreneurs and engage with the business services from the SME Centre of Excellence.


“The event was followed by the hugely popular ABC Curry Club featuring the InCredAbles.  This was a must attend event for anyone interested in starting, scaling up and sustaining their business.”


Angela Allan, Director of School, Health, Childcare, Business and Science at Newcastle College said “As hosts of the SME Centre of Excellence, we were so pleased to host this event at Newcastle College and play a part in supporting new and established SMEs. We are keen to continue supporting employers to identify and work towards meeting the training and skills development needs of their workforce.”


The SME Centre of Excellence services are available for any business who seeks advice, visit for more information or call +0844 2477704 or email

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