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Chairman's Update - 12th November 2023

Including: Saudi visit follow-up, PIE Charity and ABCurry Club.

Following his visit to Saudi Arabia last week, Ammar has had a busy week connecting, supporting and promoting the whole community in the North East.

  • As an immediate follow-up from his Saudi visit, Ammar has been arranging meetings with regional stakeholders including Universities, Venture Capital and developers looking for investment. This is in preparation for a return visit from a major family office in Saudi.

  • Ahead of Remembrance Sunday this weekend, Ammar and the ABC team have been preparing for our upcoming Armed Forces signing session at our ABCurry Club on the 23rd November at the Kingston Park Army Barracks. The Armed Forces Covenant is a voluntary commitment to support those who serve or who have served in the armed forces. ABC is proudly a Gold Covenant holder. Ammar also attended an assembly in full uniform for Remembrance Day as Honorary Colonel for the 101 Reserves Regiment.

  • Plans are also developing for the regional trade centre, Airview Park, that Ammar is creating to connect the North East with the rest of the business world. This week, Ammar met with Gurdit Singh to discuss potential collaboration through Airview and with Phil Andrew to put plans in place for the official opening.

  • This week the PIE Project Trustee meeting took place. Ammar founded the PIE Project in 2013 in order to provide real-life enterprise experience and qualifications to children in local schools. At the trustees meeting, plans for the next Big PIE Challenge were finalised. ABC are proud to raise money for the PIE Project each year at our ABC Awards Dinners. If you are interested in getting involved in the PIE Project as a PIEoneer or as a business, contact us on 01661 823234.

  • The continuing development and growth of Yohlar was also a focus of Ammar's week. After his visit to Saudi, Ammar has been working on further development of YohlarHealth and creating an Innovation Pathway for international markets. He also met with Dr Phil Veal to discuss rolling out YohlarDiscovery, including Lego Serious Play and a new Level 3 innovation qualification.

  • The SME CofE was excited to be awarded the contract to deliver the Start-Up support for the Northumberland Small Business Services programme from Advance Northumberland. This week, the SME team has been finalising the plans for launching our programme of support with the first online workshops taking place before Christmas this year. If you would like more information about these workshops, email us at

  • One meeting this week included plans for Ammar to host his own TV show - watch this space!

  • Last but not least, the team at ABConnexions have been hard at work connecting, supporting and promoting the whole community. ABC has grown significantly since it was founded in 2009, we are expanding our focus to represent all ethnic minority groups and focusing on helping to create, not only a diverse, but an inclusive business community in the North East, aiming to enhance innovation, provide support, and contribute to the region’s prosperity. Our ABCurry Club is a great place to start if you are interested in learning more and making new connections. To learn more about how to centre inclusion in your organisation, look out for our upcoming Inclusion as Innovation workshop - details coming soon!

At ABC, we believe in the power of inclusion and the strength that comes from creating partnerships. We are looking for new Board members to help us deliver this. If you are interested, please contact us at

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