Belfast Telegraph

Helping nurture talent of youth

The Belfast Telegraph Business Awards 2013 in association with British Airways are now open for entries. Nick McCafferty explains why Bibby Financial Services is sponsoring the Young Businessperson of the Year

Why have you chosen to sponsor the category of Young Businessperson?

It is well known that Northern Ireland has large numbers of bright, highly capable young people. This award helps cultivate and nurture the talent of those young people, our future business leaders, by providing them with the opportunity to showcase their talent and demonstrate their entrepreneurial skills. By sponsoring the category of Young Businessperson we are reaching out to the next generation of entrepreneurs, encouraging them to develop leading edge skills and in essence working towards building a knowledge-based economy fit for the challenges of the global market.

What are the qualities a young person needs to show these days to succeed?

With the austerity timeline now extended to 2018 it is inevitable that our young emerging entrepreneurs will bear some of the burden in their efforts to further themselves and their businesses.

A successful entrepreneur of any age needs to have passion and drive to succeed and must be brave enough to face the tough market conditions that lie ahead. With creative spirit and business savvy, a young entrepreneur can turn a great idea into a successful business venture in a short space of time. Think outside the box and consider how to succeed in business different to the traditional approach, from design and manufacture, in sales and distribution, to funding and credit management. My final piece of advice is to utilise the vast network of experience and support which exists whether it is Invest Northern Ireland, the network of Chambers of Commerce or the economic development officers in your local council and of course your fellow entrepreneurs.. They are all there to support your attempts at business success.

Are accolades like the Business Awards and an award for Young Businessperson of the Year important?

Yes. The Business Awards are an important avenue for businesses to gain the recognition they deserve for excelling in their field. This should encourage them to continue and prosper. It is particularly important for the Young Businessperson trying to grow their business. Awards can make a positive and lasting impression on new and existing clients. Winning such awards builds credibility which is extremely important to any businessperson, and even more so to the Young Businessperson seeking to establish themselves. It is a great confidence booster and starting point in building relationships with potential business partners and customers and for cementing existing relationships.

How is business in general for Bibby Financial Services and has it had to adapt in the downturn?

Business is good. Despite a turbulent year for many businesses, Bibby Financial Services is continuing to go from strength to strength in providing specialist invoice finance solutions for small to medium-sized enterprises.

Our funding availability to businesses across the UK has risen to a record £430m. More and more people are realising that funding their business does not have to rely on traditional methods of finance. At Bibby we have been tracking the performance of our 4,000 client base across the UK since 2007 and it is evident that SMEs who avail of our funding have been able to bring stability to their business and more importantly grow their business, contrary to market norms and despite economic conditions.

Nick McCafferty is regional sales manager for Bibby Financial Services

Click here to print your entry form for the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards 2013