The Q&A: Doug Heseltine, Investment Manager

"West Yorkshire is home to a healthy manufacturing industry. It's great to know that the region can and does produce world class products that are used throughout the UK, Europe and beyond."

How long have you worked for BEF and which other roles have you held?  

I first joined the BEF team in 2015 while studying for an Economics degree at the University of Leicester. This two-week, work placement was the stepping stone to a full-time role at BEF which I started after my graduation in 2016. 

What would you say most motivates you to do what you do? 

Helping people finance business growth when high street banks are unable to do so.

What are some of the stand-out businesses you have supported at BEF?

Actionplas, a local manufacturer who is one of the UK’s leading speciality machinists and suppliers of plastic. They currently employ 30 people at their headquarters in Pudsey, Leeds. Their plans for expansion are ambitious, bold and set to create further jobs that will boost the local economy.

Cooper King distillery, an independent micro distillery based in York are a brilliant example of what happens when people follow their passion. Cooper King have a great story and product. Their spirits are underpinned by craftsmanship, honesty and ethical and green initiatives. All of this came to life thanks to a Start Up Loan delivered by BEF.

What are the goals you most want to accomplish in your work?

I’m learning, growing and becoming an Investment Manager that more and more bankers, brokers and accountants approach on behalf of their clients. I’m actively working on establishing myself as the first port of call for the region’s manufacturing businesses. 

What excites you about the part of the region that you support?

West Yorkshire is home to a healthy manufacturing industry. It’s great to know that the region can and does produce world class products that are used throughout the UK, Europe and beyond.

What key things stand out to you about an exciting business when you get the business plan?

If you’ve ever watched ‘Dragons Den’ then you will know that passion is contagious. A well written business plan will always communicate the all-important financials. It also articulates the passion, dedication and knowledge of the business owners.

Any words of advice for someone looking to start a business or grow an existing business?

Going back to Dragon’s Den; ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’. It’s important to have a plan that’s realistic, achievable and manageable. 

Five dinner party guests (dead or alive)?

Economist, John Maynard Keynes; actor and former WWE wrestler, The Rock; Manchester City’s top fan, Liam Gallagher; broadcaster and former international cricketer, Freddie Flintoff; and comedian, Peter Kay.  

Favourite technological advance to date?

Sat Nav. It helps me – a born and bred Warrington lad – to confidently navigate my way around Yorkshire. Real time traffic updates and speed camera warnings place it head and shoulders above the paper-based maps my dad used when he was my age. 

Best piece of architecture in Yorkshire or the North of England?

The newly developed Piece Hall, in Halifax.


Need finance to help start or grow your business?

To discuss any lending requirements that you may have, please call Doug on 07525 810697 or email doug.heseltine@befund.org.

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