YEN’s autumn programme of events continued on Thursday, September 28th at Bradford’s Cedar Court Hotel as delegates turned out to attend a very successful Access to Finance evening.
Partnered with Leeds City Region (LEP), and Cedar Court Hotel, ‘Access to Finance’ brought together some of the best financial experts in the region: Melissa Liburd from – Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Faisal Khan and Elizabeth Smith from – NatWest Business and Jeremy Meadowcroft from – Business Enterprise Fund (BEF).
As delegates arrived they were able to chat with a number of exhibitors before the main event began. The team at AD:VENTURE attracted quite a lot of interest. Funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), AD:VENTURE offers support to LEP- based businesses during their first three years and provides assistance to those who are planning to start their own business within the region.
YEN Chairman, Nasser Malik opened the evening’s event with an introduction to our guest speakers and expertly steered proceedings by chairing the event.
An update on YEN Expo, our Bradford Business Conference planned for Monday 6th November, was provided by Sheraz Malik. Outlining the very high quality regional speakers line-up and events on the schedule. He also outlined the major enhancements to previous years.
Emily Cox welcomed the delegates on behalf of Cedar Court, and gave details of the services/facilities offered and the other hotels in the group – all based in West Yorkshire.
Mr Khan and Ms Smith emphasised how Banks were looking to lose the ‘Computer says no’ image that they feel has developed in recent years. Instead they are moving more towards a return to the practice of business owners speaking face to face with an advisor who is able to offer a tailor-made package of products and services based on their individual requirements.
Melissa Liburd, Service Manager for the LEP Business Growth Service presented the delegates with a wide range of services the LEP organisation has in its portfolio to help small or medium sized businesses grow. She explained how they provide support, grants and funding along with their network of partners.
BEF’s Jeremy Meadowcroft took us through how they were able to help SME’s progress and grow by providing loans when other lending organisations were unable to offer a full package of support. BEF has been a Yorkshire success story for the last 14 years, and well regarded by the Government.
A Q&A session followed the panelist presentations before the evening ended with networking when drinks and canapes were provided by Emily and her team at Cedar Court Hotel, Bradford.
An extremely successful event summed up perfectly by Mr Meadowcroft:
“It was lovely to meet and talk to people who are clearly interested to hear of alternative funding options for their businesses and who are willing to come out to listen to providers explaining how our lending delivers real sustainable traction to SME business owners in Yorkshire and the North East”.