Sarah Spence

Member Article

Ex-teacher turned playgroup entrepreneur finds success

An ex teacher now spends her days covered in paint and glitter after visiting The North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) to launch a new business idea involving children and art.

Nicola Wilkinson spent 13 years teaching in a primary school when she decided to set up her own playgroup, Artbugz, designed to introduce children to art and literacy.

After visiting the BIC Nicola was appointed business adviser Margaret Cook and now runs three classes a week which are jam packed from six months old to school age letting their creative sides loose.

Nicola said: “I have always had a passion for art, at the school I worked I was art coordinator as well as running the art club and I have trained at the National Art Gallery about how to use art to get children interested into literacy and storytelling.

“I introduce a theme every week based on a well loved children’s book so far we have included space, exploring colour and sea life.

“In a nutshell Artbugz is a creative and messy explosion of fun for children and parents.”

Nicola originally heard about the BIC from her stepfather, Ray Williams, who also received help from Margaret and even based his office on site. Nicola explains:

“After seeing the help Ray was given I met with Margaret over a six week period where she helped develop my business plan. Going from teaching to setting up my own business was very daunting I knew nothing about projected finance forecast for example, but Margaret explained everything and was always there on the other rend of the phone when I needed her. She was always there providing support.

“I came to the BIC in the summer and I officially became my own boss at the beginning of October. The best thing about being my own boss is that I can take my children to school in a morning and pick them up at home time being a teacher

“I had never been able to do that. It is just lovely being able to spend more time with them as well as having the freedom to explore new ideas with the business without having to ask anyone. I am so glad I visited the BIC and I am excited to see how my business grows.”

Margret Cook, business adviser said: “Its great to see Nicola’s business do so well in such a short space of time and I look forward to seeing her success continue.

“I urge anyone who has a business idea to visit the BIC and become their own boss 0191 516 6149 or email”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Sarah Spence .

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