A North East business investment expert has been chosen to serve on the national advisory board for the Small Business Commissioner’s Office.
Dr Yvonne Gale is now acting as one of three independent advisors who provide leadership support and direction to the Office, which was set up in 2017 by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to help the UK’s 5.7m small businesses struggling with late payments.
The Commissioner supports small businesses to resolve their payment disputes with larger businesses, providing advice and helping bring about a culture change in payment practices and how businesses deal with each other.
Yvonne, who is chief executive at regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers, will serve on the board for the next four years.
She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW), holds both a Masters and a Doctorate in Business Administration from Northumbria University, and also holds the Institute of Directors’ Certificate and Diploma in Company Direction, for which she studied at Durham University.
Prior to joining NEL in 2003, she worked in financial management roles for a range of well-known businesses, including Newcastle Arena, Scotts Hotels, The Officers Club and Unitech Open Systems Ltd.
Yvonne has served as a board director for both NEL and a number of its investee companies, focusing on their strategy, delivery and appropriate resourcing, and was appointed as the firm’s chief executive in 2015.
She is already part of a panel of worldwide advisors working with the United Arab Emirates’ government on the investment of the £500m Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund, a UAE Ministry of Finance-backed initiative helping local innovators access affordable finance.
Suzanne Burke, Acting Small Business Commissioner, commented: “I’m delighted about Yvonne’s appointment on the SBC Advisory Board. She brings a wealth of experience to the role from working with both large and small businesses and I look forward to her contributing to the vital work of our Office.”
Dr Yvonne Gale added: “Having worked with and alongside a wide variety of businesses, I have a great deal of practical experience of dealing with the issues they face on a daily basis and this will be extremely useful in supporting the SBC Office’s invaluable work.”
NEL Fund Managers is currently responsible for two of the five funds that make up the £120m North East Fund Supported By The European Regional Development Fund – the £18m North East Growth Capital Fund and the £9m North East Small Loan Fund.