top of page


Brent Smithson


I worked on the UK Government's Business Support Helpline, providing guidance and signposting to pre-start, start-up, and established businesses across England. In our region I worked in the field delivering the Skill Support for the Workforce scheme, helping employers to access free training for their employees to unlock potential and upskill their workforce. I have also successfully run businesses in the retail and hospitality sectors.

My top tip for business is to invest in your people, your employees, these are the people that will drive your business towards success.

My favourite business quote is from Sir Richard Branson “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough, so they don’t want to”. 

I also like “You don’t build a business, you build people, then people build the business”

As a family we try to spend time in our allotment, however, with two young sons, we do spend a lot of time playing together on the X-box. I also love coaching and I am a level 3 (Uefa B) licensed football coach of the girls U14 academy team at Durham Regional Talent Club.

Untitled design - 2023-11-16T094604.873.png

Phil Davidson


I have over 25 years experience in Project Management. Working in a range of diverse organisations, from large financial institutions, central & local government, industry and business support. I project managed the pilot and subsequent establishment of a new Virgin Group company – Virgin StartUp, helping entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses.

My top tip for business is providing excellent service to your customers is crucial to gaining their loyalty and retaining their business.


Two of my favourite business quotes are:


“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning” – Bill Gates.


“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again” – Sir Richard Branson.


Outside of family and work, my main interest is sport particularly football, rugby and cricket. Regrettably, just watching these days!

bottom of page