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:


Julie Devonshire

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.


Derek Bardowell

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.


Julia Grant

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. 



Nick Temple

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.



Simon Evill

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. 



Suzanne Biegel

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. 



Vik Anderson

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.


Yasmin Waljee

Yasmin Waljee

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. 

Dafna BonasDafna Bonas

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. 


Stuart ThomasonStuart Thomason

Head of Ventures – The Young Foundation

Director of two social businesses – the architecture practice Studio Polpo and social innovation consultancy Inside Innovation - Stuart joined the Young Foundation to lead the £1m Youth of Today Youth Leadership fund. He is now leading the design and delivery of the Accelerator programme and the European incubator initiative “EU Transition”. Prior to that, Stuart was based at UnLtd where he spent 4 years coaching and mentoring hundreds of individuals who have set up a range of innovative social enterprises and charities.

Kate MarshKate Marsh

Chief executive at The Funding network.

Kate has worked in the third sector for over 6 years. Prior to joining TFN she worked at The Royal Hospital Chelsea, home to the Chelsea Pensioners where she was responsible for generating their voluntary income. She joined TFN in 2015



Louise MousseauLouise Mousseau

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.

Robert BellRobert Bell

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. 



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