SPRING Accelerator welcomes its first CEO, Ramona Liberoff, to oversee global strategy and operations from London ahead of the program’s expansion to South Asia in 2016.

Following a successful inaugural year in East Africa, SPRING will launch with its second cohort of social entrepreneurs whose products or services positively impact the lives of adolescent girls living in poverty across Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Ramona Liberoff has over 20 years experience in her career as a tech-for-good entrepreneur and is a long-time angel and social investor, committed to innovation, gender equity and access to finance. Ms Liberoff previously led the global business between Unilever and Nielsen Innovation, where she also led Nielsen Europe’s CSR strategy and activities.

Sachin Gupta, SPRING Project Director and Director of Economic Growth at Palladium said:

As SPRING expands its global reach from East Africa this year to Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, and we continue to test and learn how business innovations can adapt and scale to reach girls living in poverty, I am delighted to welcome Ramona Liberoff as our new CEO – bringing world class expertise in managing global teams working at the cross section of business, innovation and social impact, as well as experience with dynamic early stage start-ups and global enterprises working in emerging markets. Under Ramona’s leadership, I am confident we will see some exciting and inspiring new chapters in the journey of SPRING, and push back the boundaries even further in our understanding of how the challenges faced by girls living with vulnerability, poverty and isolation can be addressed through business solutions.

Roo Rogers, SPRING Business Lead and Partner at fuseproject said:

I am so excited to welcome Ramona Liberoff to SPRING. Her wealth of leadership experience and knowledge of Human Centered Design and innovation methodologies will prove invaluable to the continued growth and success of the program. Ramona’s steady and visionary approach and ability to coalesce talent spread across America, Europe, Africa and Asia, will drive SPRING to expand its impact and deliver ground breaking results.

Ramona Liberoff, SPRING CEO, said:

The opportunity to lead SPRING is a great privilege. It is fantastic to be responsible for such a bold and hands-on program focused on innovating business for adolescent girls living in poverty, an underserved group proving to be a powerful force for real positive change. I look forward to working with a talented global team of colleagues, development and business leaders to challenge ourselves to do our utmost to understand and meet the differing needs of these girls through the activities of bright local entrepreneurs, and contributing learnings that will add to the growing business case for them, and their communities, around the world.

Ramona can be contacted at ramona@springaccelerator.org.

Notes to Editors

DFID, USAID and Nike Foundation ­ with strategic support from Girl Effect ­ have partnered to create the business accelerator SPRING based on research showing that girls, when economically empowered, have a unique ability to transform lives and help end the cycle of intergenerational poverty. An estimated 250 million adolescent girls live in poverty worldwide, unable to build assets or safely raise the income needed for a more prosperous life.

SPRING identifies and supports ventures that can bring life-enhancing products and services to this huge population, providing comprehensive business model development and support to its participants – including human-centered design prototyping, grants, investment guidance, global and local mentor matching, and access to a pool of experts and legal expertise.

A five-year programme, SPRING’s mission is to enable ventures to reach 200,000 girls in eight countries with products and services that enhance their economic empowerment by 2019, with the ultimate goal of empowering our businesses to reach 50 million girls by 2030.

For further information contact jenny@springaccelerator.org.