Helped Local Business To Evolve And Survive Pandemic

The Scaleup North East programme has been working closely with local SMEs to help navigate and overcome many of the pandemics business challenges.

With the support of both Unwritten Group and the Fabric Academy, the programme has been providing strategic business support to companies across the region.

Lily Ella was founded by Zoe Glover and had previously been selling clothing to the over 60s by way of catalogue. However, as a result of updated GDPR legislation and changing consumer behaviours during the pandemic, the brand needed to prioritise a more strategic approach to marketing.

To support this essential new focus, the Scaleup team introduced Lily Ella to integrated marketing agency Unwritten Group and its sister company, Fabric Academy, which offers a training course for emerging marketers. Unwritten worked with the clothing retailer to establish a marketing strategy that would effectively target customers, rather than passively building up a consumer base over time.

The programme also highlighted the upcoming first cohort of Fabric Academy to Zoe which would help to equip Lily Ella with the skills needed to implement the marketing strategy developed by Unwritten into the fashion retailer’s wider businesses operations.

Sarah Pavlou, who supported Lily Ella’s Scale Up plans said: “SMEs’ organic growth reaches a stage that prompts Entrepreneurs to move to a structured business process that overshadows the creativity and autonomy that motivated them to launch their business. This transition is however an important one and for it to succeed you need an ambitious, open minded and self-aware leader, and this is exactly what we experienced with Zoe and her team.”

Recalling her bespoke support from Scaleup North East and its partners, Zoe said: “I would absolutely recommend the programme and I think it’s vital that you are paired with the right person. Sarah’s background in retail and being a fellow, ‘woman in business’ has enabled me to share both my personal concerns and business challenges which she has been able to relate to and empathise with.”

Scaleup North East works with a range of local companies like Unwritten Group and Fabric Academy to support the local economy and ensure SMEs have the support needed to thrive. The programme continues to highlight the importance of SMEs taking a strategic rather than organic approach to marketing and business development.

RTC North RTC North ( is delivering Scaleup North East in conjunction with the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). The programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is aimed at supporting North East-based businesses that can demonstrate both the hunger and the potential to achieve high levels of growth.

Unwritten Group

Unwritten Group ( is an award-winning Newcastle-based integrated agency delivering the full breadth of consultative services. These include research and insight, strategy, marketing, brand, creative, digital, public relations, crisis communications, and strategic counsel.

Fabric Academy

Fabric Academy ( is a marketing training academy established in 2020 by Lisa Eaton, founder of Unwritten Group.The course has been designed to benefit people at all stages of their career. It aims to challenge existing practices and develop new skills among participants. Fabric Academy’s next cohort is open for applications and the programme starts on 26th April 2021.

Lily Ella

Lily Ella ( is a mail order and online fashion retailer, founded in 2013 by Zoe Glover. The products offered include classic and stylish day dresses, blouses and knitwear. Lily Ella pride themselves on using high quality fabrics and offering exclusive prints and designs that are updated every season. Lily Ella’s aim is for customers to look and feel good.