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Funding from UK Steel Enterprise has helped Matthew Pearsall to realise his dream of starting his own business on Teesside – a digital agency that aims to help others make a success of their business dreams too. 

Using his technical skills, passion for digital marketing and 15 years of experience in the IT sector, as an engineer and in sales and marketing, Matthew took the plunge and started Hype in July.

A £4,800 loan from UK Steel Enterprise’s Regeneration Fund, designed specifically to support start-up and small businesses, has enabled him to move Hype into The Hub in his home town of Redcar and to purchase vital software licences.

Hype’s range of services includes web design, video and email marketing, branding, graphic design and social media management.

In the first six weeks of business Hype attracted nine new clients, from the charity, leisure, fashion, technology, events and support services sectors and Matthew has already taken on a part-time copywriter.

“Things are going really well,” he said. “It looks as though I will be taking on a web designer as well before the end of the year.

“Digital support and social media is such a vital area for businesses looking to grow. It gives potential customers worldwide the information they need in the fastest possible way as well as creating the right image and protecting reputations.

“Unfortunately, a lot of small businesses still worry about costs but Hype is providing a local marketing service for as little as £40 per month as well as a free analysis and digital strategy. We also provide a ‘social listening’ service that shows all our clients how their business is perceived by the public.

“I really love what I do and it’s important to me that, as we grow Hype, we are also helping other local businesses and boosting the economy of Tees Valley. The funding and on-going advice from UK Steel Enterprise has been invaluable and has meant I could move a home-based business into office premises and purchase vital software licences,” he added.

Sarah Thorpe, Area Manager for UK Steel Enterprise, the Tata Steel business-support subsidiary, said: “Our Regeneration Fund can help new and smaller businesses with the relatively small amount of funds they need to buy vital equipment, pay rent or just to tide them over those early challenging stages.

“We saw a five-fold increase in applications last year across a whole range of business activities. Hype has made a great start and is also helping other young businesses to grow and create jobs in Tees Valley.”

PICTURE CAPTION: Area Manager Sarah Thorpe of UK Steel Enterprise with Matthew Pearsall who moved his digital agency start-up Hype from home into business premises with help from UKSE’s Regeneration Fund.