Helping To Put North East Businesswomen On The Map!

Issue 102

At SASS media Ltd, owners Sarah and Sarah were delighted to discover that in 2022, the year they set up their business, they were among more than 150,000 new all-women-led companies founded in the UK.

This was more than any year previously, according to Finder’s recently published report, which also revealed that almost one in five UK companies (18%) are led by women in 2024 – more than 880,000.

However, the girls were less happy to discover that when the figures are broken down regionally, the North East is lagging behind the national picture, with 16.2% of businesses led by women.

At SASS media Ltd, we want to support more women across the North East to shout loud and proud about their entrepreneurial success.

We’re proud to support the Power of Women (POW) campaign on Teesside as well as Female Founder – not to mention our many female clients.

These include Stacey Nottingham, of Bombshell Design, who relishes the rise in female founders.

Stacey, who was born and raised in Thornaby, is something of a trailblazer, as she founded her creative design and digital marketing agency, Bombshell Design, 23 years ago.

“My Mum said I was always out in the backyard drawing,” she says. “Drawing was my life.”

At university, Stacey discovered a passion for digital art but on leaving higher education, she found competing for a job in what was then a male-dominated industry extremely difficult.

She had moved down to London where coincidentally, she got talking to an old school friend about how they both wanted to move back up north.

“We decided we would create our own jobs and set up our own business,” she says.

“At that time, there were no other design companies run solely by women in Teesside and a very limited number across the North East. In my experience, there wasn’t another company that did all we did at the time run by women.”

As we have explained before, SASS has the definition of a ‘lively spirited quality’ which we hope is what we provide to our clients.

For Stacey, the name Bombshell came from the definition – “a shocking and unexpected surprise” – albeit good ones for Stacey’s clients when they see her jaw-dropping designs!

Stacey now has a team behind her which includes a head designer, website designer, admin and social media executive and a recently appointed head of web and digital SEO.

Over the years, Bombshell has grown from a graphic design company to incorporate other services – branding, website design and development, SEO (search engine optimisation), social media marketing and printed literature.

The company’s services have widened to meet demand and development over the years and Stacey is set for continued growth.

It’s a trajectory SASS media also hopes to follow – and with the support of the likes of Female Founder and POW behind businesses such as SASS and Bombshell, anything’s possible.

Sophie McKenna, campaign manager for POW said: “The fact that one in five companies are now led by women demonstrates significant progress towards achieving gender parity in leadership roles.

“Additionally, the surge in new all-women-led companies showcases the incredible potential and entrepreneurial spirit of women.”

She added the statistics underscore the importance of promoting an environment that supports and nurtures female ambitions.

“Women in business serve as powerful role models for the future generation, inspiring them to dream big and break barriers,” Sophie says.

Max Freer, creator of Female Founder UK, says: “Female Founder UK was created to spotlight amazing females from the North East to inspire inclusion and equality to bridge the enterprise and entrepreneurial gap that exists between the north and south.

“We need to see ourselves reflected in all aspects of business and industry. The phrase you can’t be what you can’t see is very true.”

If you’d like to talk to us about marketing and PR for your organisation, get in touch.

Call Sarah Walker on 07896 894538 or email

Sign-up to our newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.