Who are we?

Leigh Sear

Over the last ten years, Leigh has developed extensive experience of leading and managing research and development projects for a variety of local, regional, national and international public sector organisations.

These include:

  • Local enterprise agencies
  • Local authorities and regeneration partnerships
  • Business Links
  • Regional Development Agencies [such as One NorthEast]
  • Small Business Service
  • UK Trade and Investment
  • Department for Trade and Industry
  • Department for Education and Skills

Leigh has worked with these agencies in undertaking needs analyses, policy evaluations, support and policy mapping exercises, reviews of current thinking and supporting strategy and policy development. He also has experience in supporting organisational development in small businesses and business support organisations through consultancy, teaching and professional development facilitation.

Leigh’s key area of interest and expertise relates to small business and enterprise development and entrepreneurship. Leigh actively contributes to the development of the small business and enterprise community of practice. Leigh is Vice-President and Board Member of the Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship in the UK; chair of the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative Research Advisory Group and a committee member of the Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Small Business Network of the European Foundation for Management Development. He also actively publishes articles and publications on issues related to enterprise and entrepreneurship.

Ruth Lowbridge

Ruth is an entrepreneur with over fifteen years experience working with, developing and supporting enterprising companies across the UK. She’s passionate about helping small companies realise their potential.

Ruth Lowbridge is an established business consultant, trainer and developer who has been running her own enterprising organisation for over fifteen years. Ruth has extensive experience of working with both public and private sector companies and organisatons both large and small. Her expertise in working with the small enterprise community has seen her own company RH Associates go from strength to strength and she’s bringing this expertise to her directorship with SFEDI.

Ruth is Chair of SFEDI Group.

Nat Hardwick

Nat is Executive Director of Brand and Technology for SFEDI, using his experience as an entrepreneur to help drive SFEDI forward. Nat is responsible for maintaining and promoting the SFEDI brand, image and strategic partnerships.

Nat has been running his own enterprises ever since leaving University over ten years ago, including an educational software company and web development agency where he coupled his knowledge of business with his love of all things digital. He’s also currently the Director of an independent music label and publishing company based in Newcastle.

Over the past ten years Nat has been involved in a number of initiatives for Small Businesses, most recently CODEWORKS NITRO, a digital project providing access to digital research and skills held in the North East Universities for small companies.

His involvement with SFEDI started when he contributed to the e-commerce standards for small companies and has grown to what it is today, Executive Director.

We also have a network of associates who have proven areas of specific experience and expertise which will enable us to develop a highly tailored solution for your organisation and partners.

SFEDI Solutions is part of SFEDI Group. For further information on SFEDI Group see www.sfedigroup.com.