Who are we?

Our passion is to see local business owners achieve the success that they deserve.

We strive to see local business owners succeed.

E-Factor Business is the part of the E-Factor Group, a not for profit organisation, that is entirely dedicated to the success of SME businesses in the local area.  We provide support through qualified Business Advisors, local business networks, workshops and webinars, support in sourcing finance and grant funding, the provision of commercial property, links to the local supply chain and the unique Business Hive Club.

E-Factor Business Team Photo

Our Amazing Team

Our Advisors have extensive experience in dealing with all types of businesses and have the passion to ensure you succeed. Find out more by clicking below.

Tim Maddinson

Business Support & Advice Manager

After an early career in accountancy and 34 years’ experience running my own businesses, I have worked for E-Factor for the last 12 years, initially as a Growth Hub advisor and latterly as the team leader of a super-dedicated bunch of people who have the skills and experience to make a real difference to our local economy.

As part of E-Factor’s leadership team it is my responsibility to ensure that the company operates effectively, and that E-Factor Business continues to deliver its core aim of delivering professional and meaningful advice to regional SME’s and new local businesses. This involves work on the development of new services and initiatives aimed at improving the E-Factor provision for supported SME’s.

I have been involved with business since my early twenties and thoroughly enjoy being part of an organisation that promotes regional growth and entrepreneurial spirit.

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Gina Waterhouse

Growth Hub Business Advisor

I began my career at E-Factor Business as a coach helping individuals at the very start of their journey. Today, as a Business Advisor, I help businesses grow, access grants, and build resilience and love working hands on with SME’s. With over 20 years’ experience in business support, I have worked across all sectors in North East Lincolnshire, Greater Lincolnshire, and the Humber region.

As joint owner of a local manufacturing business, I understand the day-to-day challenges of running your own business and can work closely with you to help identify the opportunities & threats and support you in achieving your goals. I can tap into the many strands of support available through my role as Growth Hub Advisor for Business Lincolnshire.

Working with businesses to develop a thriving SME community, boost our local economy and support the creation of jobs is the best part of my role at E-Factor Business.

Super skills:




Rachel Appleton

Food Sector Business Advisor

I have over 20 years’ experience in the food industry, working for large international companies and local SME’s. I started my career as a Buyer at McDonalds HQ in London and then returned home to Grimsby to worked for a series of fish companies, holding a variety of positions such as Buyer, Planner, Head of Operations, Head of Supply Chain, NPD and Purchasing.  This gives me an innate understanding of the challenge’s businesses face on a daily basis.

My role at E-Factor as the specialist GAIN Food Business Advisor allows me to use my knowledge and experience to help support local businesses. I have worked closely with start-ups in the food and hospitality sector, covering the legal aspect of setting up a food business, all the way through to an established fish processing business looking to grow, pivot and diversify. 

I enjoy the variety that each day brings and love watching local entrepreneurs achieve their goals.

Super skills:




Gill Austin

Health & Social Care Advisor

I am a specialist Business Advisor for the Health & Social Care sector. I have over twenty-five years’ experience working across the health and social care sector in public, private, charity and voluntary services, all aimed at supporting positive changes and improving quality of life.

My role with E-Factor is to support clients across the diverse sector that is health and social care, to better understand their needs, help them navigate the challenges they face to continue to grow their business and to help them plan for a successful future.

I have a genuine interest and passion for the health and social care sector and the people within it, people driven by a passion to make a real difference to the lives of others, and feel privileged to have an opportunity to help in any way I can.

Super Skills:




Kevin Franklin

Growth Hub Business Advisor

I have over 30 years’ experience working as a Business Adviser and Coach with National Training Organisations, Specialist Education and Charities, Manufacturing and Small Business sectors. My role at E-Factor Business is as a Growth Hub Advisor through the #GrowMySME programme, helping with all aspects of business development.

I can provide strategic, unbiased, and objective one-to-one support both to individuals starting up in business, and to established businesses to help them grow, scale up, or diversify their business model. Perhaps you want to put a good business plan together to raise finance or are looking for new strategies to grow the business. Whatever your needs, I can help, whether it’s acting as your sounding board, or providing the tools and connections to help you succeed.

As the saying goes, ‘two heads are better than one’, and I really enjoy bringing new perspective, vision and ideas to the businesses I work with.

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Paul Slade

Growth Hub Advisor

I have over 15 years’ experience in the business banking industry where I worked with a wide range of businesses in the SME space, delivering business support and helping with finance enquiries. My specialism in that role was in property investment and development.

 My role within E-Factor as a Growth Hub Advisor delivering the #GrowMySme programme, is to provide impartial and independent support to local businesses and help them assess their options and meet their ambitions. Whether this is for business expansion, consolidation or to develop a company’s workforce, I would be more than happy to discuss your future ambitions and help create an actionable plan.

 I am a big believer that small business owners and entrepreneurs are a vital element of our local economy and I really enjoy working with them to see them achieve their goals.




Catherine Espin

Project Compliance Administrator

My entire career has been involved in providing and recording accurate data and information, starting with over 15 years’ experience in banking. I then moved into Business Support working on start-up contracts with the original Enterprise Agency and subsequently E-Factor. Most recently I have taken up the role of Compliance Administrator on an ERDF project.

My many years of experience working within these projects has given me an innate understanding of the contractual requirements of our funders which makes me best placed to ensure our Advisors are keeping to the regulations whilst offering our client base the best possible service.

I have always had a passion for providing excellent customer service both to clients and colleagues and love to have a place for everything and everything in its place.

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Tony Parkinson

Performance & Estates Manager

During my career I have held senior positions in the construction industry, in the Energy Management and National Electricity Metering sectors and in my own company, providing specialist business advice to large companies in both the UK and Europe.

I have worked as Estates Manager for E-Factor, since its inception, ensuring that our property portfolio provides leading edge facilities for tenants and core revenue for E-Factor’s long-term sustainability. In addition, I also act as Performance Manager for our funded support contracts making sure that we meet our contractual targets and deliver on our commitment to providing meaningful advice and guidance to qualifying SMEs in the local region.

I am immensely proud of the impact E-Factor has had on the local economy since its inception and have really enjoyed playing my part in developing such a worthwhile organisation.

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Julie Sweeney

Start-Up Business Advisor

I started my career in the Tax office working for HMRC and for nearly 30 years I was responsible for delivering guidance to businesses in the form of business planning, bookkeeping, tax calculations and customer service advice.

As one of the longest serving business advisors at E-Factor, with over 12 years’ experience, I have supported 1000’s of start-up businesses in the local area.  We have an excellent Be Your Own Boss programme and I can also work one-to-one with you as necessary to discuss how you can turn your ideas, aspirations and experiences into a profitable enterprise or how you can grow and develop your existing business.

I am proud to see the results of our hard and incredibly essential work every day in the local area and thoroughly enjoy watching the businesses I have helped prosper.

Super Skills #Startup #Finance #BusinessPlanning

Steve Rusling

Visitor Economy Business Advisor

My role at E-Factor is the specialist GAIN Visitor Economy Business Advisor. I have over 20 years’ experience within the sector across the UK and beyond, specialising in digital as well as traditional marketing and communications, sales, management and business development. Throughout my career I have also managed and produced many varied and exciting events working alongside world class entertainers, singers and comedians.

At E-Factor, I assist clients with their needs on a one-to-one basis, navigating business challenges and helping to find short, medium and long-term solutions through action planning and goal setting. The Visitor Economy has been one of the hardest hit sectors during the pandemic and I am here to help entrepreneurs and business owners address and overcome the challenges they are facing.

I have a genuine passion and enthusiasm for Northern Lincolnshire and relish any opportunity to work with ambitious local entrepreneurs and help them fulfil their vision and achieve their full potential.

Super Skills #Marketing #CustomerService #Events

Nicola Robinson

Smarter Energy Business Advisor

I am a tenacious, passionate, and straight-talking entrepreneur with over 20 years’ experience within business development, strategy implementation, training and recruitment. Supporting a client base both regionally and nationally, I bring to bear my own unique energy and problem-solving skill set with the backing of proven ‘hands-on’ delivery & methodology.

I am currently working as Business Advisor for the Smarter Energy North East Lincolnshire project helping deliver support into the SME community by way of energy audits, workshops, and decarbonisation plans to ensure businesses both recognise the importance of starting their net-zero journey but also have the tools and funding in place to act on the advice provided.

With an active presence within the renewable, logistics, supply chain & hospitality sectors, I am particularly interested in connecting people, making sure they benefit from all the support programmes that E-Factor deliver.

Super Skills #Strategy #EnergyManagement #Growth

Lysah Bassi

Smarter Energy Business Support

I have recently graduated in Business and Marketing and whilst studying worked in various retail and hospitality roles which involved marketing and event management. I have always been inspired to create my own business and turned my hobby and passion for henna art into a small business during university which allowed me to travel to events and festivals around the country.

I work for E-Factor as part of the new project Smarter Energy NEL which focuses entirely on helping local SMEs to improve their energy efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint. As the Smarter Energy Business Support Administrator, I am responsible for organising events and workshops, working closely with the Team to produce content across all marketing channels, and maintaining the admin for the Project. My aim is to highlight the benefits of implementing energy efficiency measures and to promote Smarter Energy NEL so SMEs can benefit from the tailored business support, energy audits and grant funding.

I enjoy working for an organisation that is helping boost our local economy and I find it very inspiring to work with a great team who help support businesses to achieve their goals.

Super Skills #Marketing #Events #Creativity

Our aim is to see you prosper

E-Factor Group has one thing on its mind… how best to assist entrepreneurs and local business owners achieve the success they are after. Whether that’s rapid growth, maintaining the business or even selling the company.

Everyone at this company knows what it’s like to be in business, to face the everyday challenges a local business must face. Through years of experience, we know that every business is different, but we also know how useful it is to have an objective, confidential and experienced Advisor listen to what your business needs and then actually help you do something about it.

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