Principal Vicki Taylor, based in Growth Lending’s Manchester office, is responsible for finding new clients to benefit from the lender’s fast, flexible funding.
What’s your role at Growth Lending?
I’m a principal, so I identify opportunities to support local businesses by providing working capital or funding for acquisitions. I visit companies to learn about them, so I can tailor funding to their needs, and I network with people such as accountants, who might also look to support these firms. We cover a vast range of sectors, as long as businesses are B2B, and although I’m based in the north, we look at companies all over the UK.
What was your first job?
I started out in retail and worked at the supermarket Aldi for four years. My mum had her own business and I loved the fast-paced nature of retail, as well as speaking to different people every day. I then spent eight years in invoice finance at RBS, before taking a two-year secondment to coach entrepreneurs through the social enterprise Entrepreneurial Spark, which was very rewarding. I learned how to really listen, and depending on the size of the business, you can add a lot of value with relatively simple advice.
What appealed to you about Growth Lending?
I enjoyed working in invoice finance, but after coaching entrepreneurs, I wanted to find a hybrid role with an innovative business that operated in an agile way. Growth Lending has a fresh, exciting feel, and there’s a lot of flexibility in how we can structure our products. It’s great to be able to offer term loans through BOOST&Co, our sister company, too.
What item can you not work without?
When I’m working from home, I light a candle or burn some eucalyptus oil before I sit down with a coffee and log on. If I’m stressed, I also ask Alexa to play meditation music in the background. My husband says it’s like being in a spa. Unfortunately, there are no massages; I just have to work.
How do you spend your leisure time?
I love hiking, so if the weather’s right, I’ll head to the Lake District. I want to bag all of the Wainwrights, but I’ve only got 26 of the 214, so I have a long way to go. I also love ticking off Michelin-starred restaurants and eating out in the Northern Quarter: there are some good Korean and Thai places, and a food hall called Mackie Mayor where you can try different things. I like the idea of a relaxed day at home, but five minutes in, I realise I’m bored.
Which football team do you support?
I have split loyalties: I have to say Blackburn Rovers, because I come from that part of Lancashire, but I was brought up as an Evertonian, because my dad’s a scouser. I got back into football when England did well at this summer’s European Championships – I’d lost my mojo with it for a while, thanks to all the diving.
What’s on your bucket list?
I harbour a desire to visit Norway – I want to see some glaciers before we destroy the planet – and also Hawaii, because it looks picture-perfect. I’m obsessed with a TV programme called Forged in Fire, where people make their own knives, so I was recently given a voucher to forge my own. Having a samurai sword on the wall might scare off some introducers, so I’ll probably make a chef’s knife that I can actually use.
Given £100m to spend or invest, what’s the first thing you would do?
I’d buy a jet ski. My husband’s just got his motorboat licence and going jet-skiing on holiday is one of my favourite things. I’d invest most of the money wisely and donate to charity, but this would be my extravagant purchase. I’d keep it in Lagos, in Portugal; the logistics of having a jet ski on your drive in Manchester aren’t ideal.