Leanne Doherty
Business Development Manager

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… When you have a positive outlook on life, I firmly believe you can achieve anything.

I’m Business Development Manager here at MakeMatic. Essentially, it’s my role to get the product out to those who need to see it, local authorities, CSRs, voluntary organisations. I thrive in getting partnerships going and that’s what I enjoy most about working at MakeMatic.

I was a bit of a tomboy as a kid. I was big into karate and football. I grew up around lots of boys, my older brother and cousins, in the countryside near Derry, so there was lots of climbing trees and playing sports.

Initially, I wanted to be a TV presenter, so I studied media at North West Regional College, but there wasn’t the educational infrastructure that there is now, so I moved away from that. I didn’t go to university. Instead, took up a position in the family business, Eglinton Fast Freight, a haulage distribution company.

It was a huge business at the time and my first role was key account manager, looking after the pick and packs – freebie packs that we passed on to celebrity agents, who passed them on to their clients. I managed that team.

I definitely get my business sense from my family. My dad’s a real inspiration and always has been. I inherited my work ethic from him, and lots of my business development skills. I worked for my family business for a number of years and I really enjoyed it.

Eventually, though, I had an urge to do something different, something for myself. So I started working with an organisation called Business in the Community, one of Prince Charles’ charities, which does a lot of outreach work promoting responsible business practices.

A career change is always scary but I’m glad I did it. You learn a lot by challenging yourself. Business in the Community has education, employability, community, volunteering, environment and equality projects. Companies want to be seen that they’re tackling these issues, so I helped them create apprenticeships and things like that.

It was partly my responsibility to engage businesses to work with the long-term unemployed, with young people living in sheltered accommodation who weren’t getting any opportunities. My job was to educate businesses about the charities on their doorsteps and how they could help. I managed companies with their strategic plans and also worked as employability manager.

One of the things I’m most proud of was the work I did with First Housing. We secured a Big Lottery fund investment of nearly half a million pounds. They actually surprised me by pretending to interview me and then they gave us our letter of agreement on camera. It was a shock but also a big boost for such an amazing local charity.

Working with MakeMatic feels like a natural progression for me. I can see how our content is incredibly helpful for teachers and students, and how businesses and other organisations can use that content.

Outside of work, I have a passion for fashion, if you’ll excuse the pun. But having three boys – Ethan, Finley and Riley – has given me a real drive in life. Everything for me is about providing for them and showing them a good example, in the same way that my dad acted as a role model for me. When you have positive outlook on life, I firmly believe you can achieve anything.