Interview with Haroon Qammar

Meet Haroon, one of the LEP Growth Managers working with Leeds businesses. Haroon has over 15 years’ experience helping businesses fulfil their potential, grow and secure finance.

Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership: Unlocking the potential of Leeds businesses 

What support is available for businesses through the LEP? 

Many small businesses are unaware of the vast amount of local support available. We can help them navigate the landscape, make informed decisions and access support. 

Developing the skills and expertise of your workforce is one of the best investments you can make. From upskilling your staff, hiring your first apprentice or intern or inspiring young people to consider a career in your sector, the LEP has a team of specialist advisors who will provide impartial advice on the best options available for your business. 

We can also help make business investments go further with grant support to purchase new equipment, plant or machinery. Businesses often say that we have helped them progress with their plans much quicker than they could without the support.    

Can you tell us more about your role? 

I like to build long-term relationships with businesses to provide the necessary tailored support at every stage of their journey. Some firms lack strategic planning and struggle to answer important questions such as, where are we now? What does success look like? How do we get there? I work with businesses to help find answers to these questions. 

Networking is vital in business and offers many long-term benefits. I encourage businesses to develop local relationships and offer contacts to business support networks. 

In my role, I particularly enjoy meeting a diverse range of businesses, from food manufacturers to video production companies. These businesses are continually evolving and growing and I get to view their success through front row seats and be involved in their growth journey. It’s always good to see the impact of the work we’ve done together.   

What are the most common business challenges that you hear? 

Cash flow management is a well-recognised challenge for all businesses. Using a cash flow forecast helps track how much money is coming in and out of your business, provides an insight into the cash finance position at any given time and can help identify issues early before difficulties arise.  

Through the LEP’s Investment Readiness programme, businesses can learn about useful tools to support managing cash flow and access support to navigate the complex finance landscape and successfully apply for external finance. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, manage your cash effectively and most importantly, build a good team around you.

Haroon Qammar LEP Growth Manager