MEET OUR BOARD

Olu Olanrewaju is a chartered surveyor with an MBA and part of the Directors Programme at Cranfield Business School. Olu has a wealth of experience in both the provision of affordable housing and commercial housing development and management in the United Kingdom and across the globe. During his career he has been Chief Executive of United HA based in Bristol, Managing Director of Midland Heart HA based in Birmingham, Executive Operations Director of East Thames HA, Managing Director of Genesis HA, and Executive Director at L&Q. These organisations range from those that have developed and managed around 1000 homes to nearly 100,000 homes in their portfolio. Olu is currently Chairman of Leadership 2025, a charity set up to increase the number of people of colour in leadership positions, Chairman of BLP a London based charity transforming young lives through entrepreneurship, and Altwood Housing Group, a private property group based in London. In recent past Olu has chaired several Housing companies including a G15 Housing Association. He is also a co-founder of a start-up affordable housing company providing climate smart affordable homes in Africa.

James Wall has a background in Commercial Banking with a particular focus on the Charity, Social Enterprise and Co-operative sectors. Currently James leads a team covering the South of England looking after a range of clients with their banking, lending and risk management needs. James has a good understanding of both organisational management, strategy & banking drawn from time spent in a variety of teams and a significant time spent looking at the business & financial plans of organisations across the size spectrum from the largest UK charities to much smaller local organisations. Living locally to BLP, James has been a trustee with since May 2018. James has an MSc in International Management & a BA in Business Economics from the University of Exeter.

David is a director operating in the public, private and third sectors, leading on transformational programmes exceeding £1bn. Transactions include turnarounds in the engineering, media and construction sectors, joint ventures and asset disposals, as well as corporate reconstructions and refinancing. An expert in business start-up, he has created successful businesses in sectors ranging from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) and Video on Demand, to new conference formats, as well as leading on projects to help successful entrepreneurial businesses transition into market leading companies. 

He is a Chartered Accountant (FCA), previously with KPMG, and was a Sloan Fellow in Strategy from the London Business School. He has lectured to graduate programmes at the George Washington University and UCL. In addition to being a trustee and treasurer of a Business Launchpad, David is also a member of the Pre-pack Panel, a body reporting on the appropriateness of corporate reconstructions to related parties.

Amma Mensah is an award-winning social entrepreneur and currently the interim CEO of MCAP. MCAP is a $17million business and one of Ghana’s largest cashew producers. Here I am charged with developing a new strategy emphasising the empowerment of Ghanaian women farmers and their families, redefining the company vision and developing a new brand that encompasses a revived set of values and practices. 

Before joining MCAP I Founded and led of Beyond the Classroom (BTC) for 9 years, an education social enterprise on a mission to revolutionise education in the UK. My work at BTC yielded a number of awards and recognition from The Financial Times, Social Enterprise UK and the then UK Prime Minister, David Cameron among others. I build BTC from the ground up into a respected innovator within the social enterprise and education sectors. I am also a trustee of UnLtd, the UK foundation for social enterprises backed by a £150million endowment. I hold an Executive MSc in social business and Entrepreneurship from the London School of Economics and a BSc in Psychology from the University of Birmingham.

William Sceats is a Management Consultant with comprehensive experience of transforming organisations from an IT and Operational perspective. With over 20 years’ experience accrued from a wide range of clients, industries and geographies. William brings this knowledge to support Business Launchpad. Specific areas of expertise include Strategy Definition & Effectiveness, Transformation & Cost Reduction, People Leadership & Development, Coaching & Change Management, Project & Programme Management.

David Gordon is a solicitor who is advises businesses on wide range of commercial legal issues. He was trained in house in a UK Retail Bank and since 1998 he has been based in London and developed his legal skills in both banking, commercial and property law – with stints at top city firms – gaining the ACIBS banking qualification during this time. He has helped companies from start up to raising finance of up to £50 million combining unique skills of finance and commercial legal advice. More recently he has acted for a wide range of owner managed business based both in the UK and abroad on company sales and purchases. David also gives training sessions on a variety of legal issues. He is dual qualified in both Scots and English Law. Specialist areas include property, banking/ financial, employment, contract, leisure, catering, IT and management consultancy. The firm provides a convenient ‘one stop shop’ for SME’s and owner managed businesses requiring professional caliber legal support services with a friendly, efficient and personal approach. The practice won various awards including Guardian “Green Awards” for his paperless office and Leading Commercial Property and Contracts Lawyer for his expertise. David is was also the Chairman of the IOD’s Central London Branch from 2017-20.

Akta is an experienced investor, with more than 10 years of experience in the start-up/venture capital space. She founded a company called Enhabit, a company whose mission is to reduce carbon emissions arising out of the built environment. Akta has significant expertise in ESG and impact investing, as well as an increasing expertise in tech and AI. She is also an active investor investing personal funds and provides advisory services to a number of start-ups. She is a trustee of Business Launchpad, a charity supporting London’s youth to build entrepreneurial skills. Akta is a non-executive director at the Royal Free London Foundation Trust, chairing the finance and investment committee. She is also the sponsor for the group’s digital strategy and is Vice Chair of the Royal Free Charity.