Business Support

Maria Ramsdale

What was your background before becoming an adviser and what industry experience do you have?

Maria Ramsdale

I have been an adviser in some shape or form for the last 12 years since joining Business Link in 2010. My industry experience is as varied, having worked for 30 years in banking and finance. During that time, I have covered many roles including personal financial planning adviser, mortgage manager, risk, and compliance. My last 17 years have been in commercial finance; I worked as a bank manager for Lloyds for five years, then worked as an access to finance specialist for the Manchester Growth Hub based in Lancashire. I then joined F W Capital and set up their office in Cumbria to develop knowledge about the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and just recently left to go back to what I love the most, working alongside businesses on their finance-raising journey.

Areas of specialism/interest

Being a financial analyst, I enjoy helping businesses improve their profitability and performance. This can lead to more cash generation which means they do not always need to borrow to achieve their business growth plans. I specialise in raising finance from small loans of £5,000 to large investments of up to £2 million.

Why did you become a business adviser? How long have you been an adviser/self-employed?

I first became an adviser 12 years ago but then only did a small part of this in my last role. I decided to make the break and became a self-employed adviser for Cumbria Business Growth Hub in June as this fitted with my lifestyle plans and gives me the flexibility to live and work where I want.

What do you most enjoy about the role?

Helping businesses understand the complexities of their accounts and explaining things in plain English. Also, how to prepare for finance raising. This journey is not always short; some clients I have worked with for years see their financial experience grow from strength to strength.

Your biggest success to date as an adviser?

One of my biggest successes was an investment I was involved in where the business has grown from a turnover of £700,000 to now £6 million. However, I get as much pleasure from seeing a start-up getting their first investment to make their dream a reality as a large business taking on a new contract and needing a large amount of finance.

What have you learned being an adviser?

Never to assume anything and always treat each customer with a blank canvas.

What type of businesses have been able to support and what support did you offer?

I am able to support any size of business from prestart to business exit wanting to raise finance or understand the mechanics of how to be prepared to raise finance.

3 interesting facts about you

  • I’ve have lived in both Spain and Greece
  • I once came through a border control in Africa with no passport or visa and only tins of fruit to liaise with the customer’s officer
  • I love amateur dramatics and have appeared locally in the Penrith Players