North of Tyne Combined Authority provides skills support to new business owner. By Sara Williams

New business owner, Solomon Agginie, has taken the opportunity to develop his business skills with NBSL’s latest skills programme, Better Business Skills.

Blending his love of retail and knowledge of the natural cosmetics, Solomon has created a number licenced soaps using cold press, traditional methods of production to sooth specific skincare issues for his new business Baesha Soaps. A self-confessed hobbyist, Solomon was keen to turn this love into a commercial success given the demand during the COVID pandemic.

With online retail at Christmas providing confidence in his commercial venture, Solomon contacted NBSL to help gain business skills that could provide a sustainable future for the business. The programme, developed in conjunction with North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA), provided a tailored skills programme to support his emerging business, providing suitable sales and marketing knowledge to identify his specialist customer.


With sales, marketing and market research all under the spotlight, Solomon has been able to identify and understand his customer need in a highly competitive market giving him the best chance of success.

“Joining this programme has been amazing. I needed a little bit extra, I needed a little bit more – it’s been sensational. It gave me the roadmap I needed to go from hobbyist to professional” said Solomon.

Better Business Skills has been devised and developed by NBSL in conjunction with the NTCA to help re-invigorate businesses to confidently develop their abilities and skillset in business. Exclusively available to businesses – and individuals – across Newcastle Upon Tyne, North Tyneside & Northumberland, each participant receives tailored plan following analysis of the business and skills needs. The plan identifies opportunities and challenges prior to attending any sessions. Additional support sessions through peer groups are also developed to help best practice and an opportunity to get to know like-minded businesses for continued support. To access a place on this skills scheme, log on to

The NTCA is a combined authority with an elected mayor that was created in November 2018, when Parliament signed off on a £600 million devolution deal bringing Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside councils together in an unprecedented transfer of power and investment from Westminster to the North East. It is tasked with initiating projects to boost growth, create jobs, and create a more green, inclusive economy.

North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll was elected on a promise to support communities in the North of Tyne to create and build wealth, then keep that wealth in the region.

Mayor Jamie Driscoll in an allotment

Mayor Jamie Driscoll