The Q&A: Lee Vickers, Investment Manager

"I'm excited about being a part of the opportunity in Tees Valley and the wider North East region, to really sculpt a new era of business growth and success."

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

I started with BEF in June 2018. Prior to joining BEF I was with Santander for 10 years, helping local SME’s with their banking and lending needs. 

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

To see the entrepreneurial spark in every business owner given the chance to ignite and shine.

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

Northern Safety Supplies Ltd. It’s brilliant to see the continued work Liam and Jordan are doing. They’ve grown from their garage to become the fastest growing PPE and workwear company in the North East.

Having walked a mile in their customers shoes, Liam and Jordan know the service their customers want. That’s the service they offer to their clients and it’s a massive reason why they continue to grow.  

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

To ensure every business that requires help to grow and thrive, receives it, whether that be from BEF or other sources.

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

I’m most excited about being a part of a new era of business growth and success in Tees Valley and the wider North East region. Not only will this benefit the current generation, it will also help and inspire future generations to confidently adapt to the needs of the local economy.

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

Reading the business owner’s passion for their project/plan shines through every time. Genuine passion is infectious!

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

Don’t be put off by someone saying “No”. Embrace what you don’t know, have a plan and adapt it as your business grows. 

Five dinner party guests (dead or alive)?

Musician and songwriter, Keith Richards; actress, Eva Mendes; Comedian, Bob Mortimer; singer-songwriter, Johnny Cash and; actress, Scarlett Johansson.

Favourite technological advance to date?

Music streaming is a great way to listen to, and discover, music. Not so long ago we used to go into record stores to buy vinyl, cassettes or CDs. Now we can carry a record store worth of music on the smartphone in our pocket. All for a tenner a month. That’s impressive.

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

The decking in my garden which I personally installed.


Need finance to help start or grow your business?

To discuss any lending requirements that you may have, please call Lee on 07807 592948 or email lee.vickers@befund.org.

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