About the Fast Forward Funding Programme

The Fast Forward Funding Programme is a three-day programme, researched designed and developed by Manchester Metropolitan University and the Fast Forward Growth team. This three-day intensive training programme is delivered by industry professionals and successful entrepreneurs in major towns and cities across the North West of England.

The purpose of the programme is to provide the knowledge and tools to ensure that businesses have the best chances of success when seeking finance and funding solutions. Express your interest.

The history of the Fast Forward Funding Programme

For many years individuals have struggled to find finance for business ideas or growth capital to develop existing businesses which wish to develop further.

In 2011, Access to Finance Ltd (owners of Fast Forward Growth Limited) commenced a business research project designed to correct a market anomaly between businesses seeking finance and finance providers.   In 2012, Manchester Metropolitan University Centre for Enterprise (MMUCFE)  joined the project and provided additional resources to fully research the problem with a view to identifying a process which could resolve all or part of the problem. The programme was piloted from 2011 to 2013 at Manchester Metropolitan University Centre for Enterprise. In 2014 the programme was adopted by the private sector and will be running at various locations throughout the Northwest. Access to Finance Ltd. express their sincere thanks to the management and staff of MMUCFE for their support during the research and development of this exciting innovation for business.

The Fast Forward Funding Programme (FFFP) is designed to enable applicants to be introduced to an array of proactive funding sources by a learning based process which increases the knowledge and skill base of the applicant prior to seeking finance.

During the process, the applicants will be matched to the most suitable types of finance and finance providers. The FFFP has an extensive choice of Finance providers from the UK and Overseas. There is no minimum or maximum limit to the amounts of finance required. The programme is operated by Fast Forward Growth Limited, a subsidiary of Access to Finance Ltd

Programme Sponsors

Peter Collins

Founding Director and Growth Coach
Peter has won national awards for turning round troubled businesses. He has been a Director of over 30 Limited Companies and a Public Limited Company.

Mike Orme

Founding Director and Finance Coach
Mike is an experienced, qualified accountant who provides accountancy support as well as commercial and industrial experience to candidates on the Fast Forward Funding Programme.

Martin Lee

Leadership in Customer Service Ambassador
Martin has accumulated 37 years' business experience and brings a wealth of experience having held senior positions in the aerospace industry for 20 years and in the public sector for 10 years. Since 2008 he has owned a successful business specialising in ‘Leadership in Customer Service,’ working closely with the world-renowned Disney Institute. Martin is also a visiting lecturer at Chester and Wrexham Universities and a Member of the Who’s Who Group of Business Leaders.

Nicole Whittingham

Brand, Digital & Integrated Marketeer Ambassador
Nicole is an action centred Marketer. In 2001 Nicole led the Management Buy Out team of Wilson Cooke, a highly regarded Integrated Marketing agency and remains a current stakeholder and Director of the 23 strong team. With over twenty years of both digital and traditional Marketing working with an array of clients, Nicole has a passion to add measurable value for the clients and their businesses for which she works.

Phil Burrows

Ambassador for Education Technology
Phil is owner and managing director for the PC Edutech Group - providing IT for the Educational Sector and SMEs.

Sue Barnard

British Business Bank North West Relationship Manager
Sue Barnard is the North West Regional Relationship Manager for the British Business Bank and supports the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund Director in the delivery of NPIF with stakeholder responsibility for the North West working with the Local Enterprise Partnerships, ESIF Committees, Growth Hubs, Fund Managers and Key stakeholders.

Mark Law

Ambassador for Digital Strategy & Governance
Mark is Managing Director of Wilson Cooke Ltd, an independent, fully integrated marketing agency - the driving force behind the business strategy, growth and financial control. Working in the digital industry over 14 years, with an extensive range of digital experience from technical scoping, implementation and management - to high-level digital strategy and governance, managing large scale digital projects, including Thomas Cook Olympics 2012.

Paul Reynolds

Ambassador for Mentoring & Coaching
An experienced Director and General Manager, Paul has worked “on the ground” in over 30 countries worldwide in trading and commercial roles. He instructs bespoke group training programmes in Leadership and Personal Effectiveness, as well as coaching individuals and teams. His highly interactive and engaging style of delivery draws on his wide experience in the business world.

Jay Allen

Ambassador for public speaking and training
Having previously served in a specialist Rapid Deployment Regiment within the British Army, Jay has gone on to work at boardroom level with high street supermarkets as well as both public and private sector; predominantly within change management and conflict resolution.

Paul Spencer

Growth Accountancy Ambassador
Having qualified in 1994 Paul became an equity Partner in Haworths Chartered Accountants in 2000. He has over 20 years’ experience working with SME’s throughout the North West on all aspects of accountancy, taxation and corporate finance. He has a commercial outlook and works closely with entrepreneurs to assist them in achieving their objectives. He has been the lead advisor on a number of acquisitions and disposals of and has built up a quality network of professionals.

James Shelton

Marked Advantage - Employment Consultancy & Training
Marked Advantage - the UK's only end-to-end Talent Attraction Academy. James' aim is to help develop clients internal capability to talent attraction, whether branding, marketing, internal training of the management team, consultancy or system implementation. Their bespoke service allows them to understand what makes each business unique, to create an approach to the market that helps businesses attract the best people, whilst reducing recruitment spend.

Andy Collier

Financial System Development Ambassador
An economics graduate, Andy is also a Chartered Accountant who moved into industry shortly after qualification. Andy currently works as Regional Director for the FD centre, the leading provider of part time FDs in the UK.

Rob Munro

Head of Client Services for Innovation
Rob is an innovation specialist who works with senior teams to strengthen the innovation capability of their organisations. Rob spent 24 years in multinational companies where he created new technologies, built new businesses and developed staff capability.

Ian Currie

Co-founder & Chief Executive, Seneca Partners
Ian is co-founder and chief executive of Seneca Partners. He qualified as a chartered accountant in 1986 with KPMG and has been involved in corporate finance with Peel Hunt & Co, Apax Partners & Co and Altium Capital.

John Moon

Entrepreneur Ambassador
John is a consultant and entrepreneur with a proven track record of helping smaller businesses grow, raise funds, increase shareholder value and ultimately be sold for the benefit of all concerned.

Mike Phillips

Entrepreneur Ambassador
Mike owned one of the fastest growing businesses in Yorkshire until the sale of his videoconferencing company, in 2011. Since then he has been involved in consultancy work and is increasingly in demand as a motivational speaker.

Lee Collins

Entrepreneur Ambassador
Lee is an experienced owner-manager who has built up successful businesses, particularly in the retail and automotive trade.

James Parsons

Ambassador of Accredited Management Standards
James is a Management Consultant with 25 years' experience of working successfully with organisations to help them achieve ISO Management Standards.

Tim Murphy

Tim joined Seneca from NorthEdge Capital, where he was a founding Partner of the business which was established to focus on stressed corporate opportunities, he also currently sits on the valuation committee of a major US special situations hedge fund.

Chris Boothman

Commercial Insurance Ambassador
Chris has over 20 years' insurance experience, with an understanding of differing client requirements and the ability to provide complex business solutions to the small business market.

John Huckstepp

Ambassador for Industrial Human Resources and Health & Safety
John works with organisations across industrial, engineering and high risk sectors to protect brand reputation and improve business performance and stakeholder relationships.

Steve Bolt

Overhead Cost Control Ambassador
Steve has over 30 years' experience in the Finance and Insurance industry having worked for a number of FTSE 100 organisations - also dealing with a wide variety of industry sectors, providing guidance on infrastructure projects and new site feasibility surveys.

Michael McNicholas

Digital Solutions Ambassador
Michael has 40 years experience in technical B2B sales, marketing and business development, latterly being the Head of Commercial Operations for Norweb Metering.

Claire Nield

Strategic Marketing Ambassador
Claire has a First Class Degree in Marketing & Visual Studies, a Post Graduate Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a Masters Degree in Marketing with Distinction from Manchester Business School.

Dave Powell

Creative Communications Ambassador
Dave has worked in the creative and advertising sector for over 15 years. His expertise includes through-the-line integrated campaigns for leading UK brands and SMEs and covers the B2B, B2C and the third sector.

Mike West

Large Multi-National Business Ambassador
Mike has spent thirty-five years in senior management positions, consultancy and training and has global experience in Strategy, Marketing, Brand Development, Sales and Finance.

Jed Hassid

Professional Sector Marketing Ambassador
Jed is a Business Growth Expert, experienced in working with board-level decision makers to define and implement key business strategies and so drive shareholder value. His main areas of expertise include Strategic and Business Planning, Strategic Marketing and Business Performance Improvement.

Rachel Mallett

Finance Coach and Psychometric Testing Analyst
Originally from a financial background and working closely with SME’s Rachel first worked within an accountancy practice working to develop their clients to have financially stronger businesses.

Richard Wright

Entrepreneur Ambassador
Richard is an experienced SME owner-manager with a good track record, running a successful retail design and manufacturing business for over 20 years.

Peter Dickinson

Growth Coach & Digital Ambassador
Peter Dickinson is an experienced Digital Non-Executive Director, High Growth Business Coach, and Strategic Facilitator. Peter has worked with over 300 companies from a wide range of sectors and in all stages of growth.

Jon Davage

Legal Ambassador
Jon heads up Bermans Solicitors corporate department in Manchester. His expertise is focused on transactional and corporate structures & strategy work within the SME and owner managed sector.

James Morris

Tax Ambassador
James is head of tax for RSM in Lancashire advising entrepreneurial clients on tax-saving opportunities, risk management, and transaction structuring. James spent 11 years working in a Big Four accountancy practice, where he built a strong specialism in the tax aspects of mergers and acquisitions, international expansion and taxation of businesses with private equity investment.

Gillian Bardin

Managing Director Taylor Patterson
Gillian was appointed Taylor Patterson’s Managing Director in August 2006 having previously been the Finance Director.

John Daly

Managing Director RSM Tenon Plc (Northwest)
Head of north west corporate finance for RSM Tenon plc advising entrepreneurial clients on business acquisitions, disposals, financing and growth strategies.

Mark Collier

Banking Ambassador
Mark Collier is NatWest's Commercial Business Development Director for Greater Manchester.

Walli Ullah

Digital Media Sector Ambassador and Investor
A successful entrepreneur with over 25 years experience in Film, TV and Digital Media.

Mark Hollingworth

Life Science Sector Ambassador
A Life Science specialist and Fast Forward Funding Programme Ambassador.

James Thompson

Director Taylor Patterson
James joined Taylor Patterson in July 2004 as a graduate trainee. He has since progressed to Wealth Management Adviser and was promoted to a shareholding Director in 2012.

Daniel Milnes

Head of Business Law
Daniel is a Partner and Head of the Business Law Department at Forbes Solicitors. He has a wide range of experience advising businesses of all sizes.

Jane Hopkins MBE

Women’s Entrepreneur ambassador
Developed a support network, along with events and initiatives that actively work to support all businesses started by women.

Oli Randell

Ethical Business Ambassador
Oli is a determined, energetic and innovative Entrepreneur, with a passion for building value, sustainability and competitive advantage in Privately Owned Businesses.

Jamie Dunn

Youth Entrepreneur Ambassador
Jamie set up his very first business aged 12. Now 21, with a successful business exit under his belt, Jamie works with a range of Governments around the World on developing Entrepreneur Eco-systems.

Melanie Bryan OBE

Social Enterprise and Women’s Enterprise Ambassador
Since founding WhyNotChange in 2009 she has provided bespoke support, training and events to help over 800 people.

David Roberts

Manufacturing Sector Ambassador
David Roberts, Strategic business development and finance specialist. Fast forward funding programme Ambassador.

Rakesh Maharaj

Energy and Environment Ambassador
Rakesh is the Managing Director of ARMSA Consulting.

Rob McGuinness MSc

Construction Sector Ambassdor
​Rob McGuinness MSc. Started life in a manufacturing research facility in 1969 specialising in construction products.

Josh Riddett

Young Entrepreneurs Ambassador
Joshua currently presides over the Lancaster Entrepreneurs, which under his aegis has seen a host of new corporate sponsors and affiliates ,tripling the available budget whilst nearly quadrupling the membership within the first 6 months of his involvement.

Adrian Stores

Marketing and Sports Sector Ambassador
Former Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (leading international body for marketing and business development - CIM) for its specialist consultants group for sports and leisure. Retains Chartered Marketer and Fellow status with CIM.

Mark Fahy

London Stock Exchange Ambassador
Mark is the recently appointed Head of New Business for Rickitt Mitchell, an Independent Corporate Finance Boutique based in Manchester. Previously Mark was the Head of UK Small & Mid-Cap team at the London Stock Exchange for over 14 years with specific geographical responsibility for the North of England, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Dr Joanne Phoenix

Ambassador - Medical Innovation and all sector growth companies
With a PhD from the Department of Medicine, University of Liverpool, Joanne has had extensive involvement with start-ups and early stage businesses since 2001.

Darren Westlake

Ambassador - Crowd Funding
Darren is the CEO and co-founder of Crowdcube.

Jennie Morgan

Retail Ambassador
Jennie has had a very successful career in the management and direction of fashion buying and retailing for household name companies, before starting her own business.

Saadat Khan

Ethical / Shariah Finance Ambassador
​Saadat Khan is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ethical Asset Management Limited (Ethical AM), a key global voice on the social benefits of ethical investment, headquartered in the UK.

Adam Patel

Ecommerce specialist Ambassador
Adam Patel is director of UK Good Deals Ltd. Adam drew his inspiration for starting his own business from his experiences as a child working for the family business.

Louis-James Davis

Digital, Creative and Health Care technology
Louis-James Davis started life as a musician and has played with many well known musicians on an international stage. In 2005 he was awarded the accolade of “Young Drummer of the Year UK”.

Lily Newman

Behavioural Strategy
Lily Newman is an ex-BBC Journalist, an accomplished Behavioural Strategist, Managing Director of Morgan James Consulting and lecturer in leadership and people management on the Goldman Sachs Business Growth Programme at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Julie Bowmer MSc, FCMA, CGMA

Business Analytical Intelligence
Julie is not only a Chartered Management Accountant and business woman but also holds a Master of Science degree in Predictive Business Analytics and is a business coach for Growth Accelerator.

Natasha Schofield

HR Consultant
Natasha holds a Post Graduate Diploma in People Management and is a Chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD).

Matt Hodgson

Member of the Institute of the Chartered Institute of Taxation
Matt is a member of the Institute of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, formerly an Associate Partner with EY and has more than 19 years’ experience working with ‘Big Four’ and mid-tier firms in the tax and accountancy profession.

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