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The 7 networking events every North-East business owner needs to attend

Business is as much about who you know as what you know. 

And networking events are a great way of meeting people who can take your business to the next level. 

You never know – you could meet your next client or customer, or even someone that could completely transform the future of your business. 

And if you’re on the lookout for help with anything, from managing your finances to building a new website, it’s the perfect place to meet a trusted supplier. 

To help you get out there and start networking, we’ve brought together the best networking events for business owners in the North East. 

We recommend you attend each of these events at least once to make sure you connect with a wide range of business from across the region. 

Founders’ Friday

When: The last Friday of every month

Where: Tuspark Eagle Lab, Newcastle upon tyne, NE1 5JE 

Paul Lancaster, the founder of Newcastle Startup Week, started Founders’ Friday in July 2018. Today, it’s one of the North East’s most popular networking events for startup founders. 

In Paul’s words, Founders’ Fridays are “a way for new, existing and potential business startup founders in the North East of England to come together with members of the wider business community to share knowledge, insights and support”.

The day-long event features guest speakers, masterclasses, workshops and breakout sessions with experts in marketing, sales, leadership and much more. 

It’s the perfect way to meet like-minded business owners from across the region and get expert insights into the key things you need to get right to grow your business. 

You can get updates on Founders’ Friday on its Twitter page and book tickets here – but be quick, as they don’t last long!

The Mussel Club

When: Three free breakfast events a month

Where: Across the North East

The Mussel Club has been running free, informal networking breakfasts across the North East since 2006.  

These events are more relaxed than a lot of networking events, with no formal structure or 60-second pitches in sight. This makes it a great event to dip your toes into the water when it comes to networking, as you’re guaranteed a friendly atmosphere with plenty of approachable people. 

The Mussel Club hosts three networking breakfasts across the region, so there’s bound to be one near you soon. Find your nearest event here

North East England Chamber of Commerce events

When: Multiple events a month

Where: Across the North East

The North East Chamber of Commerce is a gold mine of helpful resources and information for local business owners, and its networking events are no different. 

Alongside insightful workshops and hands-on courses, the Chamber also runs monthly networking events across the whole of the region. Each month, there’s sure to be an event close to you where you can go and network with other Chamber members in a relaxed environment. 

You can attend one North East Chamber of Commerce event as a non-member, so it’s well worth taking a look at the Chamber’s events schedule and picking an event that’s close to you. 

Network B2B meetings

When: Weekly breakfast meetings

Where: Across the North East

Network B2B has been running its networking breakfasts across the whole of the UK since 2005. In the North East, groups meet weekly in Durham, Tynemouth, Washington, Jesmond, Newcastle, Sunderland, North Tyneside, and Team Valley. 

A bit more formal than some of the other events on this list, Network B2B only allow one business of each kind in each group. That means you and one of your competitors won’t be stepping on each other’s toes over morning coffee. 

You can find the full list of Network B2B events here, and you can attend two events before signing up for a membership. Make use of this and go!

Derwentside Business Network 

When: The third Tuesday of each month (except December)

Where: Across North Durham

The Derwentside Business Network is the perfect place to find like minded business owners from across North Durham. 

The group meets once a month, and members are encouraged to  build trusting, lasting relationships with one another. 

What makes the Derwentside Business Network particularly special are the mentoring opportunities for new and small businesses to learn from more established entrepreneurs. 

You can see the Derwentside Business Network’s schedule of upcoming events here and attend the first for free. 

Durham 2sday

When: 8am–10am on the second Tuesday of every month

Where: Esquires Coffee Shop, Durham, DH1 3RD

Durham 2sday is a relaxed breakfast networking event hosted by Business Durham. It takes place in the heart Durham city centre on the second Tuesday of every month, is free to attend, and is a great place to meet North East entrepreneurs, executives and start-ups from a rich mix of sectors. 

The best place to keep up with Durham 2sday events is through the LinkedIn group, which you can also use to network with the group’s members. 

Durham Business Club

When: Two networking events a month – one in the evening, and on at breakfast

Where: Across the North East

Durham Business Club was established in 1981 to provide organisations in Durham a chance to network with one another. 

Over the years the organisation has grown from strength to strength, and it now hosts events all across the North East for hundreds of member businesses. 

You can attend your first Durham Business Club event free – take a look at its schedule to find the next one. You then have to become a member to attend more events, although membership is half price for businesses less than a year old. 


We’re proud to have helped launch a specialised networking business, NetKno, who not only share regular (and free) hints and tips alongside their strategic networking solution, but also have a running list of upcoming networking events – often tens each week! Ready to be empowered to get more from your networking? Look no further. We also recommend you keep an eye on our partners Business Durham’s business events schedule, as well sign up to its newsletter.   


So, there you have it – our pick of the five must-attend networking events for North East business owners. Each are the perfect place to meet potential clients or customers, get invaluable business advice, and start getting your business on the radar of other local businesses. 

If you own a business that’s less than a year old and based in County Durham, you can also join us on the Durham City Incubator for the chance to receive expert guidance on starting and growing a business as part of a like minded group of start-up founders. 

And if you’re after more resources that will help you build your business and grow as an entrepreneur, check out our pick of the best blogs, podcasts, and books for start-up founders

The next application deadline is Friday 6th May 2022

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