Sunderland web design business celebrates seven year birthday as woman-led company is shortlisted for regional award

A female-led digital business based in Sunderland is celebrating seven successful years this month as the team are also shortlisted for a regional accolade.

Note: A thank you to Georgina Cutler who wrote this piece for the Sunderland Echo.

Bespoke web design and development company, Blue Octo is celebrating its success this month with a place at the final of the Small Business Awards and a birthday after founder Caroline Hagan started up the firm in 2015.

The company, which also supports clients with digital marketing, were selected as finalists of the Micro Business Of The Year category by the Federation of Small Business, who runs the regional awards.

Following the pandemic, Caroline says the business ‘took off’ as many companies went digital.

(L-R) Daniel Dixon, Caroline Hagan, Lucy Metcalfe, Liam Dutton

She said: “I started the business in 2015, after attending a startup business course with PNE so our business birthday is this month and we will be seven years old.“From 2019 it really took off and more so when the pandemic and lockdown occurred, as so many businesses turned to digital, this enabled us to grow the past 12 months.”

The small team, consisting of Digital Marketer, Lucy Metcalfe, Project Manager Liam Dutton and Senior Backend Developer Daniel Dixon, have been working alongside Caroline to support clients across the region.

Sadly, Blueocto were not crowned winners at the finale on March 21 but the team says the awards has helped to give the small Wearside business recognition.

Caroline added: “It was a surprise to find we had been shortlisted, as a micro-business it is big news and all the team were excited. It’s great to have that recognition – especially as a solo Director, and dare I say, a woman in a very male-dominated industry.

“To know we are doing good work and supporting our clients, is job satisfaction all round.”

Ms Hagan says the company now plans to continue to grow and hopes to be celebrating many more ‘successful’ years.

She said: “The awards were fun and we got to speak to some great businesses, sadly we didn’t win, but the competition was tight! Simply getting this far out of so many nominations is a blessing and we will continue to push forward and work hard.”

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