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Helping tackle racism – how graduate Chantal’s fledgling business is taking off

Home / More / News / Helping tackle racism – how graduate Chantal’s fledgling business is taking off

Published on 15 October 2020

Chantal Herbert
Chantal Herbert

Chantal Herbert, 37, from Newcastle, graduates from MA Radio from the University of Sunderland later this year with a fledgling business that is already having a big impact.


“Throughout my two years at University I have gained so many skills and network opportunities I decided to start my own business,” said Chantal.  “I set the business up because of the lack of opportunities for women in the creative sector, and I hope to bridge that gap in some small way.”


Now, Chantal’s hard work paid has paid off, with a commission to create and design an anti-racist training guide and workshop, presented by the graduate, for local marketing company Crystallised.


Laura Rothwell, Managing Director of Crystallised, said: “We’ve commissioned Chantal to devise and create a range of training materials to support organisations in their journey to building anti-racist structures and practices.


“The process of working with Chantal has been enlightening and inspiring, we’re hoping we can continue to work with her on future multi-media training and development for our clients.”

The Internships and Enterprise project is receiving up to £2,207,656 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. ‌The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. ‌Established by the European Union, European Regional Development Fund funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding  

The Enterprise Place offers students and graduates the opportunity of up to 12-months free membership and access to: 

-      Professional, co-working office space in Hope Street Xchange 

-      Expert one-to-one business advice 

-      A place on our Start-Up-Skills course 

-      Workshops, events and networking 

-      Commercial editing software 

-      Dedicated business development support team 

-      The opportunity to join a community of entrepreneurs 

For more information about the Enterprise Place, go to: https://www.sunderland.ac.uk/more/services-for-business/start-a-business/ 


Hope Street Xchange 

Hope Street Xchange was developed by the University with £4.9m investment support from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP’s) Local Growth Fund and £2.23 million from the European Regional Development Fund. 

 Based on the City Campus it links the University to the region’s small business community by supporting fledgling start-ups and offering space for existing businesses to develop and grow. From here businesses can access students and graduates with the skills they need - through a range of options including placements, internships and knowledge transfer partnerships – as well as connecting them with the University’s world-leading research base, sector expertise and specialised hi-tech equipment. 

The centre was initiated by Sunderland Business Group, which aims to support entrepreneurship and increase the number of business start-ups with support from the North East LEP. 

North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) 

 The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is a public, private, and education sector partnership that covers Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland local authority areas. 

 Its aim is to create 100,000 more jobs for the North East economy and to ensure that 70% of these jobs are better jobs. 

 A better job is defined as being in the top three Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) categories, which are: managers and directors; professional occupations; and associate professional and technical occupations. Measuring this means LEP can demonstrate higher skilled and more productive roles in our economy. 

 LEP develop and lead the delivery of the Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) which details how they will achieve this plan for growth for the North East. 

 For more information go to: http://www.nelep.co.uk/



Chantal has also started working part time as Young Women’s Network Coordinator for The Angelou Centre in Newcastle. The Angelou Centre offers support for black and minority women, and is one of the few black-led women’s organisations on the North East.


Chantal was supported to set up her business by the University’s DOSH (Development Office Scholarships) scheme, which helped her buy essential equipment which took her creativity to the next level.


The graduate’s business aims to provide professional audio production and design to commercial and third sector organisations, whilst providing work opportunities for women.


With the funding support of the University Chantal was able to buy equipment that led to her first commissions.


She said: “Without the funding I received I would be unable to offer a full audio production and design service. I have been able to purchase recoding equipment, an iMac and speaker monitors. This is integral to my business and it means that I will be able to take on any commissions.


“I’m very proud with the work I have done so far, and this funding has given me a massive opportunity to be successful in my endeavours.”


Like most start-up businesses Chantal has had to deal with the additional pressure of lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 


As well as funding from the University’s Development Office Chantal was supported by the Enterprise Place, the University of Sunderland’s business support facility which offers students and graduates access to co-working office space in Hope Street Xchange, Sunderland’s centre for enterprise and innovation.


Jenny Westgate from the Enterprise place, said: “Chantal has engaged in accessing our workshops and one-to-one business and marketing advice which has helped her gain a much deeper understanding of what she needs to achieve with her new business.”


Chantal added: “I am beyond grateful to the University and I cannot express how thankful I am for all of their funding support. I urge any Sunderland student with a business idea to join The Enterprise Place and apply for a DOSH scholarship.”


To find out more about Chantal’s business go to https://titsupcreative.wordpress.com/. Some of Chantal’s recent work, I Am A Ghost, interviewing women who have suffered abuse during lockdown, is available on the In Your Place podcast: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1126565/4470761-i-am-a-ghost

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