Sunderland web design firm celebrates seventh anniversary as woman-led business shortlisted for regional award

A bespoke web design and development company, Blue Octo is celebrating its success this month with a place in the Small Business Awards finals and an anniversary after founder Caroline Hagan started the company in 2015.

The company, which also supports its clients in digital marketing, was selected as a finalist in the Micro Business of the Year category by the Federation of Small Businesses, which manages the regional awards.

After the pandemic, Caroline says the business “took off” as many businesses went digital.

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(LR) Daniel Dixon, Caroline Hagan, Lucy Metcalfe and Liam Dutton.

She said, “I started the business in 2015, after taking a business start-up course with PNE, so our business anniversary is this month and we will be seven years old.” From 2019 it really took off and more so when the pandemic and lockdown happened. , while many businesses have gone digital, it has allowed us to grow over the past 12 months.

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

Unfortunately, Blue Octo was not crowned the winner in the March 21 final, but the team says the awards have helped give recognition to the small Wearside company.

Caroline added: “It was a surprise to find out that we had been shortlisted, as a micro business this is great news and the whole team was excited. It’s great to have that recognition – especially as a solo, and dare I say, female director in a very male-dominated industry.

“Knowing that we are doing a good job and supporting our customers is job satisfaction on every level.”

Ms Hagan says the business now plans to continue to grow and hopes to celebrate many more years of “success”.

She said: “The awards were fun and we got to talk to some great companies, unfortunately we didn’t win, but the competition was tough! Just to come this far from so many nominations is a blessing and we will keep pushing forward and working hard.

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