social impact report & annual statement

The Q&A: Simon Jackson, Head of Investment

"I'm excited about the current growth plans for BEF and being able to get people to buy into what BEF does."

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

I have worked for BEF for 6 1/2  years. Prior to BEF, I worked at Yorkshire Bank for 27 years as a Branch Manager, Area Manager and Area Business Manager. 

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

I believe in BEF – who we are, what we do and what we stand for. 

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

Spark:York - this young, vibrant and socially conscious company have an innovative model that helps other small businesses to start up. It’s been a pleasure playing a part in their success. I look forward to helping them replicate their success in additional locations. 

Futureworks – Another socially focused company that brings a smile to my face. Based in a challenging community setting, they give much needed hope and employment to the young people they work with.

What are the goals you most want to accomplish in your work?  (Not so much the goals that are in your job description, but the goals you hold as an Investment Manager in your area)

To help BEF become the alternative finance lender of choice for businesses across the North of England.

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

Yorkshire doesn’t excite me as much as some of the places I would like to travel to. It is a place I call home. Its dynamism, diversity and location make it a great place to live and do business.

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

When the first page tells you all you need to know about the business and what it is trying to achieve.

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

Be realistic and take off the rose-tinted spectacles. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

Five dinner party guests (dead or alive)?

Civil rights activist, Martin Luther King; American author, Michael Connelly; adventurer, writer and television presenter, Bear Grylls; comedian, Ken Dodd; and former football manager, Bobby Robson.  

Favourite technological advance to date?

Of all the technologies that I rely on, the Livescore app and Bluetooth stand head and shoulders above the rest.

The Livescore app is one of the first apps that I install on a new smartphone because it provides real time updates on football fixtures. That’s everything I need for those moments when I’m unable to watch a match. 

Bluetooth is a driver’s best friend. It enables me (and others) to drive and talk without getting points on my license. It also allows me to stream my favourite songs to my car stereo. That all adds up to an enjoyable journey even when the satnav fails to bypass heavy traffic. 

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

Ribblehead Viaduct. It’s a monumental piece of architecture in a truly amazing location. It’s one of the seven wonders of Yorkshire.

Need finance to help start or grow your business?

To discuss any lending requirements that you may have, please call Simon on 07827 318680 or email [email protected].

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