A Tyne and Wear technology specialist has been named as the only finalist from the region in a national award category that recognises the country’s top small business founders who create alternative routes to employment.

Mesma has been shortlisted from over thousands of entrants from across the country for the ‘John Caudwell Blaze Your Own Trail Award’ in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2022.

The awards, produced in partnership with Starling Bank, acknowledge and champion the hard work and uplifting stories of business owners across the UK, with an emphasis on their journey and resilience over financial achievements.

Mesma is seen as an outstanding example of an enterprising small business offering apprenticeships, vocational training, and diversity and inclusion initiatives that help to improve young people’s access to work. The winner will be announced at the Grand Final, held at the Grosvenor Hotel in London on 21st November.

The move comes as the firm brings in Evan Simons as a business development representative apprentice and Liam Imray as a software developer apprentice, whose apprenticeship training is being provided by Sunderland College and Baltic Training respectively.

Mesma is used by a range of organisations including regulatory and accreditation bodies to simplify complex quality assurance processes. This ensures management information is used to target resources in the areas that have the most impact on the quality of the end user experience.

The company, which currently employs eight people, continues to pursue UK and international growth plans that will see its annual turnover increase to £600,000 in the next 12 months. Current customers include Skills Development Scotland and the Department for Education.

Founder and CEO Louise Doyle, said: “Providing opportunities for the next generation of skilled workers is hard-baked into the way we do things at Mesma. So to be shortlisted for a national award that is intrinsically linked to our values is fantastic. Even more importantly, we hope the profile of the award results in other businesses reimagining their approach to job creation. If we can do it, so can they.”

Founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, Francesca James, said: “The quality of entries is consistently excellent year on year, but we have been especially blown away by the innovation, drive and determination demonstrated in the applications this year.”

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