Doncaster’s wonder woman Leanne in national awards

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A Doncaster woman who has helped more than 400 small businesses across South Yorkshire gain financial support has been recognised nationally for her great work.

Leanne Pilkington, 31, is a finance manager at Doncaster-based Finance For Enterprise. She is one of four such workers from across the UK to be shortlisted at the 2017 National Enterprise Network Awards.

These awards recognise excellence in the delivery of enterprise support, promoting best practice, and improving the levels of services delivered by local and regional enterprise agencies. Leanne was nominated by her colleagues who appreciate her special qualities.

Responsible for supporting pre-start and growing SMEs to overcome funding shortages, Finance For Enterprise delivers a comprehensive range of tailored lending packages, designed to support new and growing businesses, as an alternative to bank lending.

Over the past twelve months, Leanne has played a key role in helping more than 400 companies to access over £5 million in business lending, resulting in new job creation, investment in new products and services, and providing vital cashflow to help the region’s entrepreneurs to succeed.

Leanne began her career with Finance For Enterprise in 2012, initially joining the company as an administration officer. She has taken on further responsibilities including overseeing the rebranding of the business from Donbac to Finance For Enterprise in 2014.

At the same time, Leanne has spent her spare time in the past three years studying towards an AAT Finance Qualification, enabling her to further develop her career within the not-for-profit organisation.

She will now go head-to-head with other shortlisted candidates from Suffolk, Lancashire and Rotherham at the 2017 National Enterprise Network Awards in London on December 1 2017.

Leanne said: “It was a complete surprise to see my name on the shortlist. Normally it’s my job to submit award entries, but on this occasion, my colleagues entered me without me knowing about it. After the initial shock, I feel genuinely humbled that my colleagues felt that I am worthy of being nominated and to receive a place on the shortlist is a terrific honour and I’m looking forward to taking part in the awards ceremony in December.”

Paula Foreman, Operations Director, Finance For Enterprise said: “Leanne really is a hidden gem within our organisation and I’m thrilled that her hard work and dedication has been recognised by our industry body.”