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Liza Armstrong

Liza has overall responsibility for everything we do here at Hertfordshire Growth Hub. She has a long and impressive track record of working in the business enterprise and support sector. Passionate about business growth,  Liza was previously focused on supporting businesses in advisory roles, and then for leveraging the support available to businesses through our network of providers at local, regional and national levels. She has an extensive knowledge of the business support ecosystem and is a strong advocate of partnership working and bringing organisations together to support businesses.

Starting her career with a large finance house, Liza spent several years helping many small companies access financial support. Since then she’s dedicated her career to providing business advice, spending eight years with Business Link in London and six years at Hertfordshire-based Wenta, setting up and managing a business incubator and advising early stage businesses.

Having built up a deep understanding of the challenges SMEs face and the county’s business support ecosystem, Liza draws on this to work with our array of stakeholders and partners to shape the design and delivery of our services, making sure they’re meeting the needs of our diverse clients.

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Steve Armitage

Steve has over 25+ years’ experience of owning and running SMEs in the technology sector. He originally qualified as an aircraft engineer in the RAF before moving into the commercial sector in the 1980s. He has since worked as a manager and a director within SMEs in technical, operational & financial roles as well starting, running, and selling his own SMEs in the technology sector.

In 2015 he started working as a business advisor, working 1-2-1 with business owners to identify and overcome common issues that are creating barriers to growth for their business. His advice is practical and tailored to focus on what can be achieved with the resources available. Steve wants to help SMEs that are under pressure to not just sustain business levels but to exceed them to survive in a competitive environment. He is motivated by seeing people feel more confident about achieving their goals providing practical support for them to succeed.

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Wendy Gibbs

Wendy has been supporting businesses including social enterprises for over 14 years, working with pre-start, start up and established organisations providing impartial advice. Previously, Wendy had a long career in banking, working as a business development manager prospecting and acquiring new accounts and as a local business manager supporting a portfolio of businesses with lending requirements and advice. Wendy supports businesses to identify challenges to growth and offers solutions to overcome them.

She can provide support across a range of areas including business planning, raising finance, managing finance, financial forecasting, and social enterprises. Wendy enjoys seeing the development and positive changes within businesses as they grow, such as seeing them go from selling via online marketplaces to having their own e-commerce websites and supplying high street stores. She also enjoys helping business owners to find solutions and support, finding the appropriate resources available that they may not be aware of or have time to navigate. She loves a challenge!

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Kieran Thorpe

Kieran has worked across a range of private and public sector positions. Kieran’s background is in PR, and he has a wide range of experience working in business advisory roles since 2007,  including as a Business Information Advisor at Business Link East and Enterprise Information Advisor for Inspire2Enterprise, a support service for social enterprises in the East of England. He uses his knowledge and skills to help advise local SMEs in Hertfordshire and knows the issues these SMEs face and how to tackle them.

Kieran believes planning is the most crucially overlooked aspect that prevents businesses of all types from achieving their goals. He enjoys speaking to and working with business owners, helping them unlock their own potential. Kieran, a lifelong resident of Hertfordshire, believes that a strong local economy helps to support everyone in Hertfordshire and wants to be involved providing businesses with the support they need to thrive in what he thinks is a fantastic location for them to succeed.

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