Our Venture Board
Ashoka UK's Venture Board brings together some of the leading experts in the field of social entrepreneurship.
Venture, Ashoka’s search and selection process for new Fellows, relies on nominations from the public as well as our trusted partners. The aim of the Venture Board is to discuss leading innovations and share best practice for building the field of social entrepreneurship in the UK. Members include:
Director of Ventures - UnLtd
Julie is the Director of Ventures at UnLtd, responsible for finding, supporting and growing exceptional social ventures in the UK. Before joining UnLtd she worked for Oxfam Trading, where she undertook an 18 month project with Oxfam to significantly increase the amount of profits made by its 700+ UK stores and wider trading function. Prior to this, Julie spent five years as COO of One and then CEO of The One Foundation. She has also been Director of Finance and Company Secretary for Investors In People UK, working with government on national skills policies.
Head of Programmes - Laureus Sport for Good Foundation
Since January 2015, Derek has served as Head of Programmes at the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which harnesses the power of sport to promote social change. Before joining Laureus, Derek worked as Grants Manager (Education Lead) of the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, one of the largest independent grant-making foundations in the UK, and prior to that he was Director of Education (2006-2009) at the Stephen Lawrence Trust. Originally a broadcast journalist and writer, Derek still regularly contributes to The Weeklings as an essayist.
Portfolio Director - Impetus Trust
Julia joined the Impetus Trust, the UK's leading venture philanthropy charity, in 2011, as its Portfolio Director, bringing with her over ten years’ experience of working as Chief Executive for large social organisations, such as The National Gardens Scheme and the Surrey Community Action. Prior to this, Julia also worked in the management consultancy and business development sector for 15 years.
Director of Business - Social Enterprise UK
Nick has served, since 2011, as Director of Business at Social Enterprise UK. Previously, Nick was the Director of Policy and Communications at the School for Social Entrepreneurs, and he used to work as an independent consultant with a variety of organisations, including UnLtd, the Guardian, Venture Partnership Foundation, British Council and the London School of Economics.
Social Business Manager - ClearlySo
Since 2008, Simon has served as Social Business Manager at ClearlySo, which works with promising social entrepreneurs to help them structure their investment proposition and translate their opportunity to impact investors. Prior to this, Simon worked as Business Development Manager at the International Knowledge Measurement.
CEO - Catalyst at Large Consulting
Since 2005, Suzanne has served as CEO of her own consulting company, called Catalyst at Large Consulting, giving advice to early stage ventures and non-profits in the areas of sustainable business and social innovation. Additionally, Suzanne also serves as Senior Advisor at ClearlySo, and is a former CEO of Investors’ Circle.
Director – Mix-Fits
Vik is the Director of Mix-Fits a non profit backing social intrapreneurs at ideas stage and the organisations around them to see these ideas flourish. She is also a board member of VSOUK, Social Venture Committee Member of Venture Partnership Foundation and a mentor for CharityWorks and an Angel for Make a Wave. Previously, she has worked at UnLtd, Charities Aid Foundation and Big Lottery.
International Pro Bono Director – Hogan Lovells
In 1997, Yasmin was appointed at Hogan Lovells as the first legally qualified, full time pro bono manager in Europe. She has been key to establishing and embedding a pro bono culture within the legacy firm. Yasmin co-founded the firm's international social enterprise and social finance practice. She advises on a number of international human rights issues and international development projects. She was one of the Founders of the Princes of Wales' Mosaic Programme to raise the aspirations of young people from disadvantaged Muslim communities. She was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list in 2010.
Co-founder of Founders- Forum For Good
Dafna has spent many years in the digital, philanthropic & advisory sectors. She launched Excite & eos ventures in Europe, then spent seven years as Partner at Eden McCallum, a disruptor in strategy consulting, before turning to the social sector. She has also worked as advisor & mentor to MDs of NFP entities. She is a graduate of Stanford University & Harvard Business School & is a WEF Young Global Leader. She co-founded the Founders Forum For Good, an organisation that champions entrepreneurs using digital for social impact.
Head of Ventures – The Young Foundation
Chief executive at The Funding network.
Head of Ventures at UnLtd
Louise is Head of Ventures at UnLtd, responsible for finding, supporting and growing exceptional social ventures in the UK. Prior to working at UnLtd, Louise was Chief Operations Officer at FoodCycle and had various other positions managing programmes in larger NGOs. Louise co-founded environmental arts charity Art in the Park (Sheffield). She is Chair of the Board at Feedback Global.
Head of Social Justice – Paul Hamlyn Foundation
Since October 2007, Rob has worked as Head of Social Justice Programme at the Paul Hamlyne Foundation, leading a UK wide funding programme to support marginalized young people. Prior to that he directed the Young People Initiative of the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust, supporting the increase of young’s people influence over public decisions affecting their lives. He started his career as a researcher on youth and education in universities and later within the UK Department for Education and Skills.