Team

SUZANNE BIEGEL

Investment Director
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Suzanne has more than 30 years of experience in entrepreneurship, training and communications, and investing for social impact. Over the course of her career she has occupied executive, manager, board member, and team leader roles for multidisciplinary programmes as well as a number of short-term consultancies on socially responsible business and social impact investing. Suzanne has trained hundreds of entrepreneurs on methods for raising capital and has designed and implemented investment programmes, networks, and partnerships in the US, UK, and Europe.
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RAMONA LIBEROFF

CEO

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

PATRICIA JUMI

Co-Regional Lead, East Africa (Kenya)
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Patricia has worked across Africa and Europe building international partnerships to help East African startups flourish. She is the Managing Director of GrowthAfrica, which has helped more than 1500 East African businesses scale through mentorship, training, and patient capital. She is an Acumen Fund East Africa Fellow and earned her BBA-Marketing from Makerere University in Uganda and her MBA from Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. Patricia leads and manages all Kenyan SPRING staff, operations, networks, and activities.
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SARA LEEDOM

Co-Regional Lead, East Africa (Rwanda)
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Sara Leedom is the COO of African Entrepreneur Collective with 15 years of experience in growing and managing social impact organisations, providing operations and fundraising strategy to growing nonprofits and social enterprises. Sara’s funded early stage tech startups in Ghana via SBS Venture Fund, and has developed affordable housing throughout the US. Former positions include: Interim Executive Director and Director of Strategy for the Level Playing Field Institute in California, MD of Inkomoko Accelerator in Rwanda, and co-chair of the Oxford Business Network for Africa.
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ZIA IMRAN

Country Manager, Pakistan
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Zia is an entrepreneur, inventor and startup adviser who is currently involved in a project building home automation and energy saving devices based on IoT technologies. He is the founding member of Plan9, one of the largest tech incubators in Pakistan. He has founded IT services and product companies, and has over 15+ years of Silicon Valley experience in product development and program management at companies including Oracle and Altera (now Intel). Imran is also a part-time farmer, helping manage his family farm. He believes in equality for children from early age to adulthood – providing equal access to education and healthcare throughout the life-cycle, leading to fulfilling and meaningful careers for adults in Pakistan and beyond.
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CAROLYN SYANGBO

South Asia Coordinator, Nepal
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Carolyn handles and overseas operations for the programme across Asia. She has lived in Kathmandu, Nepal for over 20 years and is Managing Director of Durbar Associates, a film-handling and event management company. Often considered the “go to” person in Nepal Carolyn has managed a wide range of international film projects, ecotourism study tours, purchase and design guidance for products and services produced in Nepal and India, and logistical management for international events.
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Özlem Fidanboylu

Associate, Hogan Lovells

As an Associate at Hogan Lovells’ Antitrust, Competition and Economic Regulation, Özlem focuses on all aspects of EU competition law, with particular experience in multi-jurisdictional merger control, cartels and abuse of dominance cases. Özlem has a strong commitment towards pro-bono work and is part of Hogan Lovells’ Empowering Girls and Women Initiative to help enhance educational opportunities for women and girls and empower women to shape society through fostering sustainable women-led business opportunities to increase female employment. Prior to joining Hogan Lovells, Özlem worked in the London and Brussels offices of an international law firm. Özlem is admitted as a Solicitor in England & Wales and the Barreaux de Bruxelles.

Nick Norman

Senior Vice-President, Sales, Consult Hyperion

Nick has over 14 years’ experience in retail and mobile payments industries. He has helped leading financial institutions, mobile network operators, retailers, acquirers and their suppliers to formulate strategies towards EMV, contactless, mobile, NFC and Mobile Identity enabled services. In recent years Nick has focused on the financial inclusion sector in Africa and India, helping NGOs, MSBs, federal and state government departments to define their strategies around payment services for the BoP.

Valere Twagirayezu

Accounting Director, Deloitte

Valere is a start-up investor in East Africa and a founding member and President of Luxembourg Africa Investments Association. Prior to his position at Deloitte, he was the Assistant Vice President and Team Leader for Brown Brothers Harriman managing a team with oversight of accounting and reporting for fifteen real-estate funds investing in Europe and Asia.