Speakers
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Bayo Adelaja
Bayo Adelaja
Founder and Chief Executive
Do It Now Now

Bayo Adelaja is the founder and chief executive of Do it Now Now, which she launched in 2016 in response to gaps in the support available to Black innovators building tech companies and social enterprises in the UK and across Africa. The initiatives Bayo developed for Do it Now Now have led to awards by both Harvard University and Oxford University's Business Schools for her work to create and foster opportunities for under-served communities through technology. 

Prior to setting up Do it Now Now, Bayo was a Social Policy Researcher at the London School of Economics, where her work garnered press coverage, including being quoted by former prime minister David Cameron. Bayo has also been a Grant Awarding Judge for USAID, an Entrepreneurship Programme Mentor at the Tony Elumelu Foundation and designed the UK’s first ever enterprise support programme for women of colour, the BAME Female Founders Incubator for Hatch Enterprise.

Bayo has a wealth of experience and knowledge on open innovation, mentoring, educating businesses on diversity, inclusion, and delivering crucial social impact programmes. 

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Rhea Fofana
Rhea Fofana
Portfolio Manager
UnLtd

An alumnus of the Year Here fellowship, Rhea is a Portfolio Manager in the investment team at UnLtd, supporting equitable opportunities for social impact driven organisations and people across the UK. Currently working on the Growth Impact Fund, a social investment fund helping fast growth early-stage social businesses to grow their impact, Rhea is also an ambassador for Just Like Us and was previously a network manager at the Centre for Entrepreneurs. 

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Kevin Osborne
Kevin Osborne
Founder & Chief Executive, Social Entrepreneur
MeWe360, Create Equity

Kevin Osborne is a social entrepreneur, who has spent the last 30 years as a leader, producer and developer in the arts and creative industries supporting BAME talent.

His latest project is Create Equity, whose social mission is to make investment in the arts, social enterprise and commercial industries racially equitable. Kevin’s career has been about finding better ways to cultivate and conserve the most precious resource there is: human potential.

In 2012, Kevin founded MeWe360, a social enterprise to support BAME entrepreneurial talent to reach its full potential and to promote a more equitable and representative sector. In 2019 he started Skin in the Game, a blog looking at current affairs, popular culture and issues in society through the lens of race, identity and power.

Kevin has worked as an executive producer in the music industry, a consultant in the arts and has undertaken extensive research on BAME leadership at Bath University. Kevin was a member of the Clore Leadership Programme.

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Lisa Rafferty
Lisa Raftery
Head of Grants
Social Investment Business
Lisa joined SIB in April 2021 and leads the delivery of a number of programmes including the Enterprise Development Programme, supporting charities and social enterprises to develop their enterprise ideas and increase trading income. Lisa also leads delivery of the Reach Fund supporting organisations to become investment ready working with a wide range of Investors across England who refer into the Fund. Lisa is an experienced grant-maker and project manager having worked across public and voluntary sector organisations. Most recently, Lisa designed and managed the Ending Women’s Homelessness Fund at Homeless Link, to improve gender and trauma-informed cross-sector provision for women experiencing homelessness and multiple disadvantages. Previously, Lisa managed grants for London Councils and The Electoral Commission. Lisa is passionate about tackling inequality in systems and services, and is an active campaigner for gender equality and diversity in decision making.
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Ishita Ranjan
Ishita Ranjan
Senior Project Manager, Founder & Director
Good Finance, Spark & Co

In 2017/18 Ishita founded Spark and Co. as a grassroot movement. In response to the Covid-19 crisis, Ishita pivoted the organisation, registering it as a Community Interest Company to respond to the emerging and disproportionate challenges faced by those experiencing marginalisation.

Ishita brings with her over a decades experience in the social enterprise sector and holds a MSc in Third Sector Effectiveness: Grantmaking, Philanthropy and Social Investment from Bayes Business School (formerly known as Cass Business School). Ishita has a wealth of experience working with infrastructure organisations and funders.

Alongside her work at Spark and Co., Ishita also builds the work of Good Finance (an autonomous, independent project funded by Big Society Capital and The Access Foundation) and oversees its mission and strategic growth.

Ishita has a strong track record of managing and delivering complex projects that create social change. She is passionate about social impact, equality, and the role we play as individuals in building an equitable world. She also brings with her lived experience of immigration, English as a third language, racial inequality and deeply understands some of the complex challenges faced by community organisations in the sector.

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Amir Rizwan
Amir Rizwan
Relationships Director
Big Society Capital

Amir is the Relationship Director at Big Society Capital, supporting social ventures to grow their business and impact by connecting them with support and capital. His role involves building the social impact investment market through relationships with mission-aligned investors and networks, establishing development partnerships to tackle social issues. and developing learning programmes, tools and platforms to enable more and better support to social ventures. 

Amir is also Big Society Capital’s Diversity Champion and is responsible for leading on its equality, diversity and inclusion strategy alongside colleagues across the business. Furthermore, he is also a member of Big Society Capital’s innovation team looking at supporting early-stage fund innovation.

Amir has been working in the social investment sector for 8 years having recently led on Comic Relief’s social investment strategy and prior to that he managed a community housing investment fund for CAF Venturesome as well as a portfolio of social investments to a range of social purpose organisations. Through his role at Big Society Capital Amir is a member of the Social Impact Investing Group (SIIG) steering group.

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Ana Van Bilsen Irias
Ana Van Bilsen Irias
Programme Manager
Access - The Foundation for Social Investment

Ana is a Programme Manager at Access, managing relationships with various social investment funds within the Emergency Lending Programme and Flexible Finance portfolio. Ana also works alongside Access’s partners on initiatives including the Enterprise Development Programme as part of our enterprise development work.

Prior to joining Access, Ana worked as an Investment Executive at CAF Venturesome, a leading social investment fund where she managed a portfolio of social investments across all funds, and managed the SE-Assist Fund (a place-based fund for early stage social enterprises and charities). Ana is also an associate for Women in Social Finance & co-founder of Future Impact Finance, a peer community of early & mid-stage professionals fostering ideas and insights for the future of the social and impact investment sectors.

Ana has a degree in Law and Political Science from Université Lyon II and a MSc in International Studies and International Development from Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle Paris III.

Additional speakers to be confirmed soon!