Empowering Women: Kenton Skills and Wellbeing Group Elevates Passion Project into a Business, Pledging Percentage of Profits to Newcastle Dog and Cat Shelter




























Left to right: Christopher Bray Chief Executive Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter, Nellie the dog, Louise Crossley Founder Honeybear Makes, Vicki Stone Director Upstart Enterprise CIC.

As the cost-of-living crisis grips communities across Kenton and surrounding areas in Newcastle, Upstart Enterprise CIC has taken proactive steps to support women facing economic hardships. The crisis has not only strained family finances but also impacted physical and mental well-being, making access to employment opportunities and entrepreneurial skills crucial for survival.

Since its inception in 2019, Upstart Enterprise CIC has been dedicated to empowering individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds by fostering entrepreneurship at the grassroots level. Thanks to recent funding from Newcastle City Council and the Levelling Up initiative, Upstart Enterprise has launched the Crafty Queens initiative, aimed at promoting women’s well-being and entrepreneurship in the community.

Vicki Stone, Director at Upstart Enterprise, emphasizes the organization’s commitment to providing equal opportunities for all aspiring entrepreneurs. “We believe everyone should have the chance to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams, regardless of their background or educational attainment,” says Stone. “Through what we call ‘enterprise in disguise,’ we bring women together to empower each other, building skills while creating additional income through crafting and selling items.”

One such success story is Louise Crossley, a resident of Fawdon, who has transformed her passion for crafting into a thriving business named Honeybear Makes. Attending weekly sessions at Crafty Queens, Louise has not only honed her skills teaching the other women in the group, but also found support and guidance from Upstart Enterprise. Moreover, through Upstart Enterprise’s partnership with Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter, Louise now donates a percentage of her profits to support the shelter’s noble cause.

“Attending the women’s group has been a game-changer for me,” shares Louise. “I always leave feeling inspired and supported, and has given me the confidence to turn my passion project into a business. I’m grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter and give back to the community.”

Christopher Bray, Chief Executive at Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter says – “It is great to be working in partnership with the VCSE sector. The team love the work Louise is doing and we are very grateful she has chosen to support Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter.”

You can find Honeybear Makes on Facebook