Jump to accessibility statement Skip to content

In the market to boost local business

Home / More / News / In the market to boost local business

Published on 18 January 2024

Adam Chorlton
Adam Chorlton

A group of Marketing students from the University of Sunderland have been helping north-east companies, charities and entrepreneurs achieve business success by providing them with a free consultancy service.

Working with the University’s Marketing Hub, a facility that brings together students, businesses and marketing academics to work on real-life marketing projects, 22 local businesses have successfully collaborated with 116 students since May 2023. 

The Marketing Hub provides a range of business support services including audits, planning and strategy, communications, social media, digital opportunities, branding and consumer behaviour.

Through the Marketing Hub, businesses meet with student teams to identify potential areas of business development; the students then work together to create an improvement proposal for the business to implement. All student work is overseen by the University’s professional business and marketing academics, most of whom have many years of practical industry and commercial experience.

Among the businesses to benefit is social enterprise consultants in Houghton-le-Spring, Social Enterprise Acumen CIC.

Describing the experience, Adam Chorlton, project manager at Social Enterprise Acumen CIC, said: “Working with the University of Sunderland Marketing Hub was an extremely beneficial process. Communication was open and every step was sign-posted. The students who worked on our project were creative, intuitive, and showed genuine enthusiasm for the work. I would happily work with the Marketing Hub team again.”

Other local businesses taking advantage of the free consultancy service on offer at the Marketing Hub include Port Independent Coffee Shop, Warriors Gym, Honest Utility Group and Vets4Pets.

Carol Stoker, Marketing Hub Manager, said: “The Marketing Hub has a dual role within both the University and local business community and acts in the same way as any commercial agency. From the students’ perspective, the Marketing Hub offers an opportunity to gain experience and develop their employability skills by working on a range of live projects, whilst the business community can gain access to the full complement of marketing and business consultancy services at no cost to themselves.”

The Marketing Hub is based in the University’s Reg Vardy Centre on St Peter’s Campus.

For more information, or to submit a business enquiry, email: carol.stoker@sunderland.ac.uk