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By Laura Kingston

Amaiz, the new banking and bookkeeping service for small businesses owners, has appointed Francesca (Frankie) Dowling as their new Head of Compliance based in London. 

One of Frankie’s first tasks for Amaiz was speaking at a major international conference on fraud prevention, ‘WeFightFraud Live’, alongside Police Commander Karen Baxter, National Coordinator for Economic Crime and TransUnion, the global information and insights company.

Can you tell us more about your life in Newcastle? Where did you grow up, did you go to university here?

I am a Northumberland girl, born and raised in Cramlington. I lived in Australia for 7 years then returned to the Gosforth area – I love being close to town but miss being so near our beautiful coastline. I actually didn’t attend university and just progressed through hard work and experience.  I took a gap year 21 years ago – I suspect they have given up waiting for me now.

Why have you taken the decision to stay in Newcastle rather than move to London full-time?

My family are in Newcastle, this will always be my home and as much as I adore my job, my family will always come first.  If I lived in London, I would also have to give up my season ticket to watch the mighty Toon Army get beaten every week.

What advice do you have to other women who are looking to apply for jobs in other parts of the UK but stay living in Newcastle?

As somebody who lived in Australia, the distance isn’t a big deal.  In other countries, it is not unusual to work away through the week and people tend to be a lot further away than the 4.5 hours I drive.  Don’t be deterred by travelling, our country is relatively small, and most employers will allow some flexibility, such as working from home a few days a week.  I have three daughters (and one son) and it is important that they see that there are amazing opportunities out there for women, as long as we can be as flexible as men.

Tell us about being part of Amaiz? Is it exciting being part of a relatively new and dynamic company? What are the differences compared to some of the larger businesses you’ve worked for?

I am genuinely excited to have been part of Amaiz’s success, the thing I love most about working for a relatively new company is that they aren’t afraid of change.  If a process isn’t ideal, we simply change it, there is no hierarchy or bureaucracy.  I also believe that smaller businesses really care about their customers and strive to make a difference.

Finally, what are some of your North East favourites? 

There are so many brilliant things to do in our region; I love Ouseburn, it’s a great place to relax and hear some live music.  I live in Gosforth and Thyme Square Cafe is a hidden gem, they’ve been fattening me up during lockdown – it’s well worth a visit for the cheesecake alone!  I adore the Northumberland coastline and my particular favourites are Druridge Bay and Beadnell, the coast is so long you can have the whole beach to yourself.

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