Investment executive Jane Siddle on the things she enjoys about her job and her life outside of work.
I’m in a very fortunate position at NEL in that I’m given a constant opportunity to meet inspiring SME owner managers. The ability to help them through the investment process and provide the funds needed to finance their ambitious plans for growth is very rewarding.
I’ve been with NEL for almost 10 years now, and in that time, we’ve been managing the Finance for Business North East Growth Fund for the last seven. To have reached the end of that Fund in December 2016, and to have made such a positive impact by investing £30m into over 100 SMEs in the North East has certainly been a tremendous team achievement.
Qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in a local established independent accountancy practice provided me with a broad spectrum of SME sector experience. Exposure to different organisations is important for experience and developing a network of contacts you trust is essential.
There are plenty of business leaders nationally and locally who I follow in the press, but I gain my inspiration from my family, friends and colleagues.
My dad always told me to work hard and play hard, which has certainly stood me in good stead over the years. More recently my mantra is trying to “do more of what makes you happy”.
The main challenge in the recent past was mitigating the impact of the recession on SMEs in the region. Finding those companies with the motivation and willingness to progress with growth plans whilst experiencing uncertainty was certainly a challenge. Luckily we’re now on the other side of that, which is evident in the high numbers of enquiries we receive each month from North East firms looking for investment.
The alternative funding sector is evolving and changing so it is essential for us to be innovative and proactive as a fund manager. The NEL team has helped hundreds of North East businesses achieve sustainable success over more than 25 years. Going forward, we plan to adopt the correct blend of knowledge, reputation and innovation to expand upon our current funding offering and widen our investment criteria in order to assist yet more of our region’s growing businesses.
Outside of work I lead an active life with my young family. I’m a scout leader, rugby coach and Falcons season ticket holder. I also enjoy a bit of Crossfit.
I generally travel light – so that would be my mobile!
I do enjoy helping others so maybe something in the voluntary sector.
For more information about NEL’s investment criteria, visit www.nel.co.uk or contact the investment team on 0345 369 7007.