Guest Speaker: Shak Asghar, CEO
Date of Presentation: 3 July 2024
In the heart of the Tees Valley, a seismic shift in the world of business support is emerging. Say hello to Like Us, an avant-garde business support agency set to revolutionise the sector and pave the way for businesses and entrepreneurs of the future.

The brainchild of industry stalwarts – Shak Asghar (CEO), Tracey Watson (COO), and Lynn Rutherford (CCO), Like Us is not just another agency. It’s a symbol of collaboration, innovation, and deep-rooted understanding of both the public and private sectors.

You might know Shak from his trailblazing work with Nudl – a beacon in Tees Valley’s business support landscape. With accolades aplenty, Nudl’s mastery in fostering business growth, securing pivotal finance, and embracing modern-day innovation has set the bar high. But Shak’s prowess doesn’t stop there. His Coconut Agency has crafted bespoke digital solutions for businesses, proving that in the world of business, the sky isn’t the limit – it’s just the beginning.

With a long history in entrepreneurship and business support, you might know Tracey and Lynn most recently from their involvement helping Tees Valley businesses to continue trading through Brexit and delivering DIT’s Digital Transformation and Free Trade Agreement support programmes. Their passion for supporting businesses has seen them extending their offering through Horizon, the only free magazine specialising in International Trade. Winners of business awards for Innovation and Female Entrepreneurship they truly understand what it takes to create a successful business, and how important it is for businesses to have access to the hands-on practical support that Like Us will be providing.

Pooling their collective expertise, Shak, Tracey, and Lynn have a shared vision. Shak paints the picture beautifully, likening their partnership to assembling a team of Avengers. “Our mission was clear: to gather the best minds, each an expert in their field, to reshape the business support narrative.

Their dedication stems from a shared journey – they’ve been in the shoes of the very businesses they aim to help. They’ve experienced the challenges, braved the storms, and now they’re here to ensure others have a smoother sail.

And now, with Like Us, CEO, Shak is geared up to steer the ship: “We are driving change – designing and executing initiatives on behalf of authorities and government departments nationally. We believe there’s a fresher, more effective approach, and it’s businesses that will reap the rewards.”

While TEES VALLEY will serve as the initial hub, the vision of Like Us transcends boundaries. They aim to be the beacon of change in a post-EU Britain, navigating the shifts in the funding landscape.

The modus operandi of Like Us is simple: to be game-changers. They’re not just content with winning contracts; they want to win hearts, minds, and most importantly, make a tangible difference. With services spanning from Start-up and Scaling to Digital Transformation and Securing Investment, their integrated approach promises to offer unparalleled support.

“We’re not just disruptors; we’re visionaries,” Shak adds with palpable passion. Drawing parallels with the unexpected rise of Amazon, he speaks of the entrepreneurial spirit: “Facing challenges head-on, adapting, learning, and moving forward. That’s what entrepreneurship is about. And right here in Teesside, we want to light that spark in every individual, whatever their background.”

“People LIKE US can do business – Businesses LIKE US can grow.
You, LIKE US, can succeed”

Are you ready to embark on a transformative journey with Like Us? Dive into a world of possibilities, innovation, and unwavering support. Whether you’re an authority, a business or an individual; with Like Us by your side, the future is not just promising; it’s extraordinary.