SFEDI Awards has a core team of dedicated individuals who support both our approved centres and those who wish to join our centre network in order to make sure you have all of the most up to date and relevant information meaning that we can work together to provide your customers with the most valuable enterprise experience possible.


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.

She 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 organisations 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®.

As well as her position of the SFEDI® Awards Board Chair, Ruth also carries out the role of Executive Chair of the SFEDI® Group ensuring that all parts of the SFEDI® Group of Companies strive to support and drive forward the business enterprise and business support agenda.



Nic Preston

Nic is an effective individual with over 10 years experience in the training and development sector with a proven ability in supporting the development of individuals and organisations across both the qualification and welfare sector.

Throughout his carrier, Nic has carried out roles ranging from tutoring, assessing, quality assurance, contract management and compliance auditing within major training organisations across varied publicly funded contracts and age groups. This has allowed Nic to develop the skills and requirements to ensure the smooth running of SFEDI Awards in both its growth and development and also in the maintenance of our regulatory requirements.

He has the responsibility to ensure that the day to day operations of SFEDI Awards meets both the Regulatory requirements and the requirements of our customers. In carrying out this role, Nic makes recommendations to the SFEDI Awards Board as to the developments within the market place and how SFEDI Awards should plan for a sustained and growing future.



Nathan 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.

He 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.

Bernadette Patchett

Bernie has worked for SFEDI® since 2009 and, prior to SFEDI Awards becoming an Awarding Organisation, was responsible for centre registrations and certification through the partnership between SFEDI® and ILM, the setting up of new centres on the SFEDI® web site, updating of the SFEDI® Business Support Directory and day to day centre support as well as all general administration duties within the SFEDI® head Office.

Since SFEDI Awards became an Awarding Organisation in its own right in October 2010, Bernie has been responsible for the administration of the registration and certification system in order to ensure the smooth and efficient running of SFEDI Awards offering the highest level of support for all our centres.

Bernie also supports both potential and existing members of our centre network to answer all of their questions keeping them up to date with the latest within the SFEDI Awards product range and events within the wider world of enterprise.

David King

With over 20 years in a customer service environment, Dave has a passion to interact and assist all of our SFEDI Awards centres with any questions they may have. With Dave carrying out an integral part of the customer service offering of SFEDI Awards it is his role to visit new and existing centres to help them develop into a thriving enterprise hub and nurture new talent for the future and promote SFEDI Awards as a brand on a national and international scale as the No.1 provider for enterprise solutions.

Laura Earle

Laura has worked for SFEDI® since 2011 and is responsible for the financial administration in relation to all activities of SFEDI Awards providing our centres with a direct contact in order to support them on financial matters arising from both centre approvals and the registration of learners. As part of this role, Laura deals with all queries relating to invoicing and payment terms for SFEDI Awards products and services and also provides monthly invoicing electronically to allow our centres to operate in an effective and efficient manner maintaining compliance with the SFEDI Awards Invoicing Policy.

Jenny Pears

Jenny has worked for SFEDI® since 2011 and has supported the development of both the brand and the extensive products and services that are available through SFEDI Awards in order to benefit both our partners and those with an entrepreneurial drive and focus.

Jenny now acts as the key link between SFEDI Awards and the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs bringing her wealth of knowledge and experience to the role in order to ensure that both our centre network and your customers benefit from the high quality initial and ongoing support provided by the IOEE as part of the partnership with SFEDI Awards.

Further details of the IOEE can be seen by clicking here

As well as these core members of staff, SFEDI Awards has an extended range of dedicated staff and Associates who support the operations of SFEDI Awards through the development of qualifications and supporting material and also carry out quality assurance of our centre network in order to ensure that SFEDI Awards continues to maintain its regulatory requirements and that our qualifications are delivered to a high and consistent standard.

From time to time SFEDI Awards advertises for new dynamic people to join both our core team and our Associates. Vacancies are advertised through our website and you can see any current vacancies by visiting the Work for Us section of the website by clicking here.