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Our Team

We're committed to using ethical investments to build a sustainable future for Africa

The faces behind the platform.

Energise Africa is a collaboration between two leading online investing platforms, Ethex and Lendahand. A small, but dedicated, professional and diverse team, we comprise experts in the fields of business, banking, marketing, social enterprise and international development, to bring you the very best products and service.

Lisa Ashford

CEO Energise Africa and Ethex

With over 20 years of experience in energy and environmental markets, Lisa is a leading voice in the positive investing and social enterprise sectors in the UK.

A regular media commentator and writer on her passion for ethical investment, Lisa has led the team at Energise Africa and our sister platform, Ethex to jointly raise over £100 million from investors to support projects that are making a positive difference.

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Sarah Flood

Director Energise Africa and COO, Ethex

For close to fifteen years Sarah has been delivering policy and practice to help the social economy and civil society sector thrive.

She has worked with social investors, co-operatives, social enterprises and voluntary and community organisations, all with a focus on how finance can create social good.

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Peter Stolze

Director Energise Africa and COO & Co-founder, Lendahand

The person making sure we always keep impact at the forefront of our focus, Peter is a former Manager of Corporate Strategy at T-Mobile and Manager of Microfinance at Cordaid.

He is COO of Lendahand and is dedicated to helping maintain operational excellence throughout his various responsibilities.

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Koen The

Director Energise Africa and CEO & Co-founder, Lendahand

A self-proclaimed “reformed banker,” Koen is a former Executive Director at Goldman Sachs and Assistant VP at Barclays Capital, now putting his extensive financial knowledge and background to work fighting poverty as the CEO of Lendahand.

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Philip Read

Head of Online Energise Africa and Ethex

Philip is a seasoned Director of Online with an award-winning background in digital media.

He has been responsible for overseeing the operation and development of the Energise Africa web platform since 2017.

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Rachel Mountain

Head of Marketing and Communications, Energise Africa and Ethex

Rachel joined Ethex and Energise Africa in 2017 and is responsible for the marketing and communications activities of the Energise Africa platform.

She has more than 20 years of marketing and communications experience, particularly focused in the areas of green and sustainable finance.

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Michael Flint

Senior Operations Manager, Energise Africa and Ethex

Michael has been working in the Financial Services industry since 2007.

At Energise Africa he manages the Operations Team and he makes sure investors have a positive experience when investing via our website. He’s also responsible for looking after our systems and processes, and ensuring the money raised makes it to where it needs to go to do good.

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Isona Shibata

Programme Manager Energise Africa

Before joining Energise Africa, Isona spent ten years working in architecture and the built environment, and leading design and construction projects with a strong emphasis on sustainability and renewable energy.

She has worked on a range of projects in Nigeria as a freelance design consultant, as well as leading programme development for Prince’s Trust International in Kenya and Rwanda.

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Sam Parkinson

Investor Support Officer Energise Africa and Ethex

Sam is Investor Support Officer to Energise Africa’s community of investors

Nicknamed “the Smooth Operator/Customer Champion”, Sam esures the smooth processing of investments on the site.

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Rob Fielding

Digital Growth Manager Energise Africa and Ethex

Rob's role is to use data driven online insights to reach new audiences, ensuring that Energise Africa reaches people who want to have impact with their money.

He's an experienced digital marketer and has received several awards for his work on multiple, ambitious online projects.

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Julie Dunn

Marketing Content Creator Energise Africa and Ethex

Julie has more than 15 years of marketing experience and forms part of the Energise Africa marketing team responsible for creating compelling content to help more people learn about the fantastic organisations that raise finance through Energise Africa.

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Shahid Mian

Product Innovation Manager Energise Africa

Combining a masters in international development and climate change and a career in corporate finance, Shah enjoys the challenge of developing our next generation of innovative products marrying the needs of both our investors and borrowers.

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Adriaan Schiphorst

Investment Analyst Energise Africa and Lendahand

The investment analyst who’s always up for a challenge, Adriaan went to the California Institute of Technology to learn about experimental physics and joined Lendahand in 2020.

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Thomas Plaatsman

Investment Manager Energise Africa and Lendahand

Nicknamed the “Friendly Face of Investments,” Thomas is a Portfolio Manager on the Investments Team. He studied Econometrics at Erasmus University in Rotterdam and is passionate about learning and providing equal opportunities.

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Daniël van Maanen

CFO, Energise Africa and Lendahand

Making sure Lendahand’s numbers add up is Daniel. His background ranges from Portfolio Manager at APG Asset Management to CFO of Aircrete Europe, an international technology company in the construction sector.

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Michelle Heah

Senior Investment Manager, Energise Africa and Lendahand

Born and raised in Singapore, Michelle is Lendahand’s Senior Investment Manager. A graduate with honours from the University of Sheffield, she spent four years in London as an Associate at Barclays.

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Pietro Galardi

Investment Manager, Energise Africa and Lendahand

Part of the Investments Team, Pietro’s always working hard to bring people together: he hosts activities for the team such as The Walking Challenge and is always ready for a debate on important topics.

Pietro is Italian and studied at Saint Gallen University in Switzerland and Stockholm School of Economics in Sweden.

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Melissa Nightingale

Legal Creative, Energise Africa and Lendahand

Our Legal Creative from South Africa, Melissa has a heart for a greener world.

Before joining Lendahand, she studied at the University of Pretoria and worked in private legal practice and as an in-house legal advisor. She has a passion for renewable energy and sustainability as a whole.

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