The Q&A: Rupert Shires, Start Up Loans Manager

"Yorkshire is a melting pot for people from all over the world, many who are working hard to fulfil their dreams and ambitions by starting their own business."

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

I’ve worked for BEF since April 2014. In the nine years prior to BEF, I worked for Bradford Chamber of Commerce for two years and as a Business Link advisor for seven. I’ve served as a director of See Ahead, a business that helps social enterprises, since 2011. I have 24 years’ experience working in the wool and textiles industry. 

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

Helping people turn their lives around and pursue their dreams. 

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

Making the right decisions on loan applications. Whatever the decision, it’s important to do what is best for the client in the long run.

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

The diversity of people.

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

Extensive market research always catches my eye. Good operational knowledge – a business plan should show the reader how the business will run. A good marketing plan – a client may have the best product/service in the world, however, knowing how to engage with potential customers/clients is essential. Finance – a client should know everything about the running costs of their business. 

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

Market research is crucial. Use it to assess if your business idea is viable. 

Five dinner party guests (dead or alive)?

Little Mix, the British girl group; and Keeley Donovan, the BBC weather presenter. 

Favourite technological advance to date?

Sat nav. It takes all the guesswork out of getting from A to B. 

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

Huddersfield Train Station.


Need finance to help start or grow your business?

To discuss any lending requirements that you may have, please call Rupert on 07827 318686 or email rupert.shires@befund.org.

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