Nicola Jayne Little, a former teacher from Consett, formed MINT Business Club just over two years ago to help lone workers achieve their business targets

Her previous business, Digital Sparkles, delivered social media training, and Nicola formed the Savvy Solo’s Business Club, now the MINT Business Club, to look after micro businesses as well as lone workers. Their membership has grown from one to over 150 in two years.

Prior to the lockdown, MINT members met at monthly training sessions in locations across the region in Consett, North Tyneside, Newcastle and Morpeth in Northumberland. Now, businesses join live webinars in subjects ranging from content creation to branding and search engine optimisation to finances.

MINT Members can write blog posts on their website, and access members only training sessions; to get a taste, anyone can view their daily positivity videos and business challenges on MINT’s Facebook videos.

In “normal times”, MINT ran training and networking sessions three times per month across the North East, with a mix of business training and networking.

They pivoted online within 48 hours of the lockdown, and during April & May, they will run 2 years worth of training in 6 weeks by hosting 1 to 2 hour training sessions every day on business planning, pricing, content writing, social media marketing and more.

The members are running these sessions for the other members, therefore raising their own profile and challenging themselves to do different things for their business. Members who have never delivered a training session are now working with 30 or 40 people!
It is pushing their boundaries at a time when many of them have lost their business revenue overnight.

Every day, we run a #MINTMinuteChallenge on the Facebook page, giving members something small to focus on each day, with a daily dose of positivity as well.

MINT’s new director, Paul Smissen, said “We’re seeing even more people use our digital presence now to help their businesses and there’s a growing trend for our members to use each other’s services thereby generating sustainability for everyone.”

Some MINT Members:

Taylored Fit Physio have a converted Chapel in Langley Park, which had 30 people working out of it. Within 4 days of the lockdown, they were running their Pilates and other classes online, and physiotherapists Vicky and Mark have also been helping the NHS.

Lingua Form and Nattalingo, French language learning companies for adults and kids respectively, have both taken their training online.
Members delivering Content training include Amy Purdie from Whiteacres, Helen Bowman from In The Detail, Michelle Rose Marketing and Louise Heaps from The Word Kitchen.

MINT’s sponsors have rallied around to help members affected by the downturn in businesses due to the lockdown. Valued Accountants of Consett, and the NEL Fund Managers, have stepped in to help to fund temporary membership for some of the worst hit sole traders: many thanks to both companies!


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