The Q&A: Julie Micklethwaite, Start Up Loans Manager

"It's a joy to work with business owners who are looking to make their dream a reality."

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

Six years, which I celebrated on 12 September. Prior to BEF, I worked at Yorkshire Bank for 33 years, where I started as a cashier before progressing to multiple managerial roles.

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

I want to be known as the ‘go to’ person for Start Up loans. That’s why I strive to deliver a professional, practical and helpful service to clients, referrers and colleagues.

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

Over the years, I’ve worked with many businesses that stand out for so many good reasons. Some offer innovative products and services while others tackle important social and environmental issues. Ultimately, every business stands out because they require someone to have vision, purpose and a desire to make a difference for themselves, their family and their community. It’s impossible to name just a few.

I play a small yet important part in delivering the funding that businesses need to get started. From there, it’s down to the passion, determination and hard work of the business owners. It’s satisfying to watch them grow and flourish.

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

My secret five-year plan is to help as many people as I can to receive a Start Up loan. It’s a joy to work with business owners who are looking to make their dream a reality. I’ve seen new businesses start, grow and flourish thanks to a Start Up loan from BEF.

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

I’m excited by the willingness of individuals to connect. 

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

Unusual ideas. It’s exciting to read a business plan that’s different to the norm.

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

Thorough market research is crucial, as is testing your product/service. It’s important to prove that there is sufficient and sustainable demand for your product/service. Also, only borrow what you really need to borrow. If, in the future, you need more money you can always take out a second loan. 

Five dinner party guests (dead or alive)?

The King, Elvis Presley; The Greatest, Muhammad Ali; the people’s royal, Princess Di; Mr Mission Impossible, Tom Cruise; comedian, Lee Mack.

Favourite technological advance to date?

The internet. It has transformed the way I connect with clients and colleagues, friends and family. It’s revolutionised the way I do business. From instant access to key business information to mobile email to online applications for a Start Up loan, the internet is the backbone of modern life.

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

Emley Moor Mast. It’s a comforting sight because whenever I see it, I know that I am nearly home.


Need finance to help start or grow your business?

To discuss any lending requirements that you may have, please call Julie on 07711 375596 or email julie.micklethwaite@befund.org.

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