social impact report & annual statement

Picture a world where your small businesses can transform communities through wealth and job creation. This is the mission at the Business Enterprise Fund (BEF).

BEF has operated across the North of England for 20 years and we’re proud to be an engine of growth for the economy. In the last 11 years, we haven't just given out loans; we've ignited potential. We've injected over £108 million into small businesses, boosted the economy by £392.4 million, and helped create or safeguard 13,140 jobs. But it's not all about the money – it’s about making real dreams come true, creating jobs, and changing communities for the better.

We do this because we know that small businesses are not just part of the economy; they are the heart of innovation, the backbone of their communities, and the future of the economy. Sadly, small business owners and entrepreneurs are often shackled by the constraints of traditional finance; held back by geographical limitations, industry biases, and systemic inequalities. We help break those shackles.

Our story began in Bradford in 2004, not out of ambition to be just another financial institution, but from a vision to make a difference, to challenge the status quo of economic inclusion, growth, and impact. Over 20 years, this vision has not faded; it has only intensified, driving us to support an ever-growing number of small businesses across the North.

We offer more than loans; we offer a partnership that grows as businesses grow, a belief in someone’s dream. Understanding and aligning with each business's unique journey towards success is central to our mission. We offer Start Up Loans and small business loans, along with a commitment that every entrepreneur receives personal service from a dedicated investment manager.

Our roots remain deep in Bradford, where our City Hub headquarters provide a Grade A office space to local SME businesses. We’re here to make a big impact, to help small businesses make their mark, not just locally but all over Yorkshire, Humberside, the North East, the North West, and North Lincolnshire.

For more information on BEF, download our latest Social Impact Report.

North of England Map

Meet Our Team

Our service is all about the skills and knowledge of our people.

The Board

Stephen Waud

Chief Executive

Simon Jackson

Director of Investments

Alex Beardsley


James Mason


Katie Hurrell


Laurence Beardmore


Penny Hembrow


Tim Hamilton


Investment Managers (BEF Loans)

Doug Heseltine

Senior Investment Manager

Mark Iley

Senior Investment Manager

Chris Conroy

Investment Manager

Duane Walker

Investment Manager

Hilary Watson

Investment Manager

Simon truby

Investment Manager

Investment Managers (BEF North East)

Lee Vickers

Senior Investment Manager

Antony Nicholson

Investment Manager

Investment Managers (Start Up Loans)

Tim Burt

Senior Investment Manager - Start Up Loans

Jane Cusse

Investment Manager

Julie Micklethwaite

Start Up Loans Manager

Amber Kershaw

Associate Investment Manager

Christian Elvidge

Associate Investment Manager

Habib Karimi

Investment Manager

Abigail Bickerdyke

Start Up Loan Administrator


Shaun Connell

Marketing Coordinator

Administration Team

Tiffany Kilpin

Contracts Manager

Saharesh Naz

Fund Administrator

Our Partners

Collaboration is key. These are the people we work with to make what we do possible.

BEF partner European Microfinance Network logo
British Chamber of Commerce Logo
AD:Venture Business Support Programme partner logo