Oldham-based WeDo launches new division to help fuel growth for SMEs

Date published: 01 February 2024

WeDo Business Services group has unveiled the latest stage of its expansion strategy with a new venture providing established SMEs and start-ups with asset-based finance to fuel their growth plans.

The new division, WeDo Asset Finance, is based out of the group’s headquarters in Oldham and is operating nationwide, with a goal of lending to more than 200 clients over the next 12 months.

WeDo Asset Finance is led by a trio with more than 85 years’ sector experience between them.

Rebekah Middleton has joined as managing director.

She was previously head of corporate at Bibby Leasing, where she focused on structured lending and larger asset refinance facilities.

She has worked in finance for nearly 30 years, including roles at Davenham Asset Finance, Time Finance, Close Brothers and GE Capital.

Stuart Berry, who worked in the asset finance industry for more than 25 years, has joined as operations director.

Emma Smith, who has 30 years’ experience in asset and trade finance, has joined as head of sales support.

WeDo Asset Finance is specialising in hire purchase funding and finance leasing for companies looking to buy assets such as vehicles, machinery and other equipment.

Among the sectors in which it is operating are manufacturing, food processing, engineering, forestry and agriculture, transport, haulage and construction.

Rebekah said many small businesses and start-ups have been struggling to obtain asset finance amid market uncertainty and global economic challenges.

She added: “We have identified a gap in the market for creative funding solutions provided by a knowledgeable, approachable and accessible team.

“We have the flexibility to provide tailored packages to suit the peaks and troughs of the business cycle, for example with higher repayments during peak sales periods and lower ones when things are predictably quieter.

“With an industry-recognised software platform and an experienced team, we are delivering from the get-go, with our first deals completed and a number of others in the pipeline.

“We are implementing a carefully-managed growth strategy to be achieved by accessing increased funding, maintaining a good quality book and developing strong and meaningful introducer partner relationships, while at the same time being able to offer access to the wider WeDo group’s services.”

The WeDo business was founded by Mark Lindsay and Chris Robinson in 2019 with just four staff and has grown rapidly through organic expansion and acquisition.

It has over 75 staff across offices in Oldham, MediaCityUK in Salford, Sheffield, Bromsgrove, Swindon and Feering in Essex.

Last year, the group launched WeDo Accountancy Services offering a range of services to SMEs and their directors, including annual and management accounts, bookkeeping, VAT and payroll services, self-assessment tax returns and advisory services.

The group also provides invoice and trade finance, start-up funding, HR, back-office and IT services to its client base.

Mark, the group’s chief executive, said: “The launch of WeDo Asset Finance is a further demonstration of our commitment to service all of our clients’ business needs to help them grow and thrive.

“Rebekah and the team have decades of experience, and they are dedicated to helping established companies, as well as new ventures, acquire essential pieces of kit or take advantage of new opportunities while freeing up their cashflow by spreading lending across regular affordable repayments at fixed rates and fixed terms.

“It’s an exciting addition to our portfolio and we are confident that the team will enjoy great success at a time when other funding routes are proving difficult for SMEs and start-ups to access.”

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