bgroup swaps the boss with One North East

Siobhan Bales and Tim Pain at the b offices Siobhan Bales and Tim Pain at the bgroup offices

Two of the region's enterprise experts gave each other the chance to see business from a different perspective on Monday as part of Enterprise Week 2008.

North East creative agency and bdaily creators bgroup invited Tim Pain, Head of Business, Enterprise and Skills at One North East to swap jobs for the day with Managing Director Siobhan Bales.

For Tim, it was a chance to experience first hand what it takes to run a small business in the North East while Siobhan got a look at the work being done to support budding entrepreneurs and drive enterprise growth in a challenging economic climate.

Siobhan said: "From as early as 2001 when we launched the first enterprise centre at Durham University, we have been a constant creative force in communicating the message of enterprise and entrepreneurship to a range of audiences through our work with the national Make Your Mark campaign, as well as regional programmes with the East Midlands Development Agency.

"Being in the unique position of both running a business and communicating the benefits of entrepreneurship, it was interesting to approach enterprise from a different viewpoint altogether at One North East."

Working alongside the 22 staff in his one day tenure as MD of bgroup, Tim met with winners of the Blueprint business planning competition, attended marketing planning meetings and gained further insight into how the decisions made on a national and then regional level are translated into the business environment in the North East. Tim got under the skin of budget and cashflow management, as well as engaging with some of the legal complexities of a new business the directors of bgroup are launching.

He said: "In this tough economic climate, it's really important that One North East continues to support budding entrepreneurs and existing firms, to make sure they can access the finance, guidance and support that they need.

"This has been a unique opportunity to experience life within a small business at this time and to understand the importance of entrepreneurial thinking and innovation in developing new markets and products at the moment. I hope Si's experience of our work to tackle the issues which can prevent people from starting a business will also be invaluable in her role as an ambassador for enterprise."

As part of the one day boss-swap, a film crew followed both Tim and Siobhan throughout the day. The short film will be available to view at

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