Three business women with over 60 years’ experience between them have recruited the next generation of Teesside talent to help their new company flourish.
Kate Baucherel, Sue Barnes and Niki Torrance launched Divario, an online marketing company, at the beginning of 2011 when they were made redundant following a company take over.
Now, after just over a year in business, Divario is flying high having been shortlisted for a prestigious award and taking on two Teesside University undergraduates.
Kate, Sue and Niki have worked together for the last ten years and often talked about starting their own business. But with redundancy, they turned a negative into a positive and formed Divario, which specialises in simple, effective and affordable online marketing for small and medium sized businesses.
The trio took residence at Teesside University’s Victoria Building in the Business Incubation Centre and have been able to tap into the University for support and guidance as part of the Teesside University Graduate Enterprise project.
They have also taken advantage of the talented students at the University by employing two undergraduates from the School of Computing - Joe Mitchell, who is in the second year of his BA (Hons) Web and Multimedia Design and James Drew, who is studying for a BSc (Hons) Web Development.
Joe said: “It’s been a great opportunity for us to be able to work here while studying for our degrees. It gives us real world experience and allows us to put what we are learning on the course into practice.”
Kate added: “The University has been incredible and supported us all the way. It’s extremely beneficial to have such high quality employees here on campus and we are delighted with the calibre of the students we have recruited.”
Divario are looking forward to another successful year in business and are currently completing an impressive website for one of their clients, Favello Art, whom they also helped to exhibit at the recent Living North Christmas Fair.
Divario has also been shortlisted for the Marketing Award in the Tees Valley Best New Business Awards 2011, taking place in February.
Sue said: “It’s been a great first year but this is just the start. We are taking things step by step but we are really looking forward to expanding and building our client base and the relationships we have.”
Niki added: “The support of Teesside University has been instrumental in helping us to get our business up and running quickly. The courses run by the Business Incubation Centre helped us change the focus of our skills from an established company background to address the priorities of a start-up.”
Graduate Enterprise Manager Eileen Wicks is delighted with Divario’s success.
She said: “It’s tremendously rewarding for us to see companies like Divario take off. It means the University’s package of business start-up services is really having a positive impact on new business growth in the area.”
The Teesside University Graduate Enterprise project is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government, securing £300m investment.
The project will make a major contribution to the ambition of the ERDF Competitive Programme 2007-13 and by increasing the numbers and survival of business start ups in the region and increasing business productivity.