Meet the team

Our team brings together highly skilled, knowledgeable and passionate minds, working together to turn job seekers into job creators.

Adenike Adeyemi Trustee

Adenike is the Executive Director of FATE Foundation in Nigeria. She leads the foundation’s efforts to design and implement strategies and programmes that enable aspiring and emerging Nigerian entrepreneurs while fostering enterprise development in Nigeria. She has extensive experience with youth support strategies, learning design and policy advocacy. Prior to FATE Foundation she worked with KPMG Nigeria and the Nigeria Leadership Initiative. Adenike has a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Diplomacy & International Relations from Seton Hall University, US, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

Adenike Adeyemi
Alex Communications Manager

Alex is YBI's Communications Manager, working closely with partners and members to convey the impact of YBI’s work through story-gathering, campaigns and wider media. Alex has several years experience in leading press and communications and developing audiences across the charity sector and creative industries, with a focus on the digital.

Andrew Smart Trustee

Andrew Smart is the Global Industry Senior Managing Director for Energy and is based in Accenture’s London office. He is responsible for defining and driving Accenture’s global industry program for oil and gas. He has led large scale and strategic M&A and business transformation programs at many oil and gas clients, as well as helping address their strategic priorities and planning. Andrew holds a Philosophy degree from Durham University and a post graduate degree in Computer Science from Cambridge University. He is married with four children.

Andrew Smart
Anita Tiessen Chief Executive Officer

Anita Tiessen is CEO of YBI, and leads the global network’s efforts to connect members, partners and young people to develop and scale new solutions that leverage the power of entrepreneurship to drive social and economic change. Anita has extensive experience in international development, human rights and leading global networks. Before joining YBI in 2018, Anita was CEO of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, a global movement of 150 country members, where she focused on growing the organisation’s reach and impact. Previously she was Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF UK, and Head of Communications at Amnesty International’s global headquarters.

Anita Tiessen
Anna C Social and Green Entrepreneurship Lead

Anna C is YBI's Social and Green Entrepreneurship Lead, leading the network's efforts to support young entrepreneurs to develop and scale effective social and green solutions. Anna has over a decade's experience in launching, strengthening and scaling up purpose-driven businesses globally, with a particular focus on the UK and East Africa.

Anna C
Anna K Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Manager

Anna joined YBI's Evidence and Learning Team to strengthen the existing systems monitoring the work delivered by YBI members. Part of her role is to support programme evaluations which generate evidence on what works in youth entrepreneurship. This, combined with the monitoring data is used by YBI members across the network in decision making and improving their programmes. Prior to joining YBI, Anna has spent close to a decade working in international development supporting health, education and livelihoods programmes across sub-Saharan Africa.

Anna K
Beatrice Finance Manager

Beatrice ensures the smooth running of day-to-day finance activities at YBI, ensuring robust finance policies are in place and collaborating with budget holders and senior management to ensure finance requirements are met. Prior to YBI, Beatrice worked in the private sector for a number of years and has undertaken voluntary charity work.

Bettina Interim Head of Communications (Maternity Cover)

Bettina is Interim Head of Communications and works to highlight the impact of our partnerships, the network and its members, and promote YBI as a thought leader.

Carol Head of Training (Maternity Leave)

Carol is responsible for managing and developing YBI`s global training offering and facilitating knowledge sharing on training matters between YBI`s members around the world. Prior to joining YBI, Carol worked for Aliança Empreendedora, YBI`s member organisation in Brazil, for 10 years - supporting low income entrepreneurs in the field and developing and systemising entrepreneurship training methodologies. Carol holds an MBA in Business Management, an MBA in Group Dynamics, and speaks Portuguese, English, Spanish and German.

Carolina Development Manager

Carolina is the Development Manager at YBI and supports the delivery of partnerships with Corporates, Trusts and Foundations. She has a background in Political Science and Human Rights. She has work experience in the public and non-profit sector, writing proposals and developing projects with marginalised groups such as women, victims of conflict, migrants and refugees in Latin America, with a particular emphasis on social inclusion, access to education and relief of poverty.

Crispin Rapinet Trustee

Crispin is a commercial litigation lawyer and a partner with Hogan Lovells based in London with particular expertise in international and cross-border litigation arising out of insolvency, fraud and asset recovery situations. He has worked in Asia for many years and was Regional Managing Partner of the firm’s offices in Asia and the Middle East from 2005 to 2013. He is the leader of Hogan Lovells’ Investigations, White Collar and Fraud practice and is also co-chair of the pro bono practice and co-chair of the firm’s Citizenship Panel.

Crispin Rapinet
Daniela Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Manager

Daniela is a MEL Manager in YBI's Evidence and Learning Team focused on learning systems for programme partnership and network initiatives. Her role includes codifying what works for young entrepreneurs through research and analysis, developing and implementing learning agendas, and ensuring learning from YBI’s programming informs best practices across the network. Before joining YBI Daniela spent a decade working in international development and humanitarian programming in over 10 countries. She speaks Spanish and Swahili holds two MSc degrees from the London School of Economics.

Dejan Head of Innovation

Dejan is Head of Innovation, leading the innovation agenda to deliver a step-change in the number of young people accessing our products and services and, in our ability, to equip them to thrive in a digital, globalized world. Dejan has considerable experience in developing and implementing strategic, innovation and business development ambitions as well as innovation project design and delivery using Human Centered Design and Lean Startup. Before joining YBI in 2020, Dejan began his career at Deloitte before moving on to lead corporate strategy and innovation at Bupa for eight years. Having spent over ten years in the private sector, he went on to work for one of UK’s largest charities focused on building a more integrated society. Dejan holds a Biotechnology degree from UCL and an Executive MBA from Quantic School of Business and Technology.

Emilia Director of Development and Programmes

Emilia leads the Development and Programme Team delivering global partnerships with institutions, corporates and leading foundations. She has been working in the humanitarian and development sector for 15 years. During this time she has supported Syrian refugees in Turkey, displaced communities in Iraq and worked in Liberia as part of the Ebola response. With YBI she has been driving forward YBI’s inclusivity agenda.

Federica Membership Manager

Federica is the Membership Manager at YBI, where her role is to support YBI members in all their needs, managing accreditations of new and existing members of the network. She previously worked for five years for Microlab, YBI’s Italian member. She has an extensive experience as project manager and communications manager, specialising in the non-profit sector and media across Europe and the US. Her professional experience stems from her International Politics and Data Journalism studies and from years of working in the field, concentrating on human rights, community building and anti-discrimination with different organisations, international networking and creative problem solving. She speaks Italian, English, Spanish and Serbian. Her goal every day is to bring positive change in the world, making it more equal, just and diverse.

Gideon Head of Finance and Operations

Gideon is Head of Finance and Operations at YBI.

Hannah Head of Development and Programmes

Hannah is Head of Development and Programmes at YBI and works in the Network Team to ensure the delivery of high quality and impactful global partnerships and programmes with institutions, corporates and foundations. She has extensive programme management experience in the international development sector, having delivered education, livelihoods and health programmes across the Middle East and Africa. Hannah is passionate about international development and empowering both the underserved populations to support themselves and the organisations that help them.

Jeannie Arthur Trustee

Jeannie Arthur (J) is a serial entrepreneur who has created, grown and exited two marketing technology businesses. J is enthusiastic about all aspects of business, technology and entrepreneurship; investing and working as a non-exec director for a broad range of businesses as well as working with school kids to encourage them to explore opportunities in the worlds of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Outside work she can be found travelling to remote parts of the world, usually with a camera in her hand, on a horse or on a snowboard.

Jeannie Arthur
Jo Director of Membership Services and Engagement

Jo is Director of Programme Delivery, leading the capacity development and programme management teams to support YBI members and help strengthen and deliver quality programmes in line with partnership objectives. Jo was previously Head of Mentoring at YBI and continues to be involved at a high level in line with her continued belief in the power of mentoring to affect change in individuals and society. Jo was formerly Principal Consultant at Clutterbuck Associates, a recognised thought leader in the mentoring space. She is particularly interested in mentoring as a tool for women’s development and volunteers with Kerning the Gap’s mentoring scheme for women in the design industry.

Joshua Programme Manager

Josh is a Programme Manager for multiple YBI programmes and oversees and runs two YBI Communities of Practice including organising and running the face-to-face workshops. Alongside programme management, Josh works on the development process from writing concept notes to proposals. Josh holds a Master's degree from Birkbeck College, University of London in International Development and is passionate about supporting underserved people to reach their full potential.

Laura People Manager

Laura is YBI’s People Manager, a role that sits within the Finance and Operations team. She has worked in the charity sector for several years and enjoys the opportunities afforded by working in HR to support YBI’s biggest asset – its people. Laura holds a Masters in Human Resource Management.

Linsey Programme Manager

Linsey is a Programme Manager at YBI.

Margarita Communications Assistant

Margarita is Communications Assistant at YBI.

Marta Krupinska Board Chair

Marta founded her first business at 19. She has since co-founded three businesses and been widely recognized for her achievements and contribution to the field of entrepreneurship, including recognition in Forbes’s 30 Under 30 in 2016 and their top 60 Female Tech Executives globally in 2018. Currently, she focuses her role as Head of Google for Startups in the UK to connect and empower entrepreneurs from less advantaged backgrounds and less developed ecosystems, and as Chair of ACUA Ocean is working towards creating the world’s first zero carbon H-USVs for monitoring and sustainable management of oceans and waterways.

Marta Krupinska
Meaghan Ramsey Trustee

Meaghan is UK Managing Partner at The Brunswick Group where she co-leads the London Office. She specializes in helping organisations demonstrate their positive role in society, particularly when faced with critical issues such as climate change, financial inclusion, human rights and education. Meaghan joined Brunswick from Unilever where she led the global social impact work of some of their largest brands, latterly Dove where she was responsible for strategy, mass-media campaigns, educational programming and advocacy. Her TED talk speech at the UN’s 59th Commission on the Status of Women helped highlight the importance of her work and she was nominated for the 2015 Women in Business: Australian Business Woman of the Year in the UK Award in recognition of her work on Corporate Purpose.

Meaghan Ramsey
Miranda Head of Communications (Maternity Leave)

Miranda is Head of Communications and works to promote the impact of our partnerships, the network and its members through a variety of online campaigns, story gathering and membership communications. She and the team showcase the inspiring stories of the young entrepreneurs supported by the network and work to shift stereotypes and promote YBI as a thought leader. Miranda has been working in the humanitarian and not-for-profit sector for the last 10 years and holds an MSc in International Security and Global Governance.

Neelam Head of Development and Programmes

Neelam is Head of Development and Programmes at YBI.

Nick Director of Finance and Operations

Nick is responsible for finance and operations within YBI. He started his career working with multinational companies such as Hertz and Dun & Bradstreet both in the UK and internationally. More recently he has worked in the not-for-profit sector and held board finance roles with both big and small organisations including the Serpentine Galleries, the British Council and Comic Relief. Nick has a degree in finance and accounting and is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

Romeo Effs Trustee

Romeo Effs is Founder & CEO of Aspyre Group as well as Founder and Chief Gladiator at Empire Builders. He is a serial entrepreneur, former corporate senior executive, high performance coach, author and international speaker. Romeo has worked at a senior executive and board level with some of the world’s leading multinational companies, including Accenture, Air Jamaica, Caribbean Airlines, Caribbean Star, EC Express, ARC Systems, Rosslyn Analytics, Marks & Spencer, DHL, Change Capital, MITIE, and The Office of National Statistics. He sits on a number of private company boards globally including Deputy Chair – Aspyre Corporation PLc., Chairman Ethos Holdings Ltd., NED – AnyData Solutions Ltd., Board Member Black British Classical Foundation and a number of other UK and international charities. Romeo holds a Dual Masters in Supply Chain, Finance and Trade from Cass Business School, a BBA in International Management from the University of North Florida, and numerous other executive certifications.

Romeo Effs
Rosie Membership Services & Engagement Coordinator

Rosie is Membership Services & Engagement Coordinator at YBI.

Simon Interim Head of Evidence & Learning (Maternity Cover)

Simon is Interim Head of Evidence & Learning at YBI.

Sophia Head of Evidence & Learning (Maternity Leave)

Sophia is Head of Evidence and Learning and supports our members to develop monitoring systems and conduct evaluations for their entrepreneurship programmes as well as building the evidence base of what works in youth entrepreneurship. Previously, Sophia has led fuzzy set analyses of WFP food assistance and international earthquake response and coordinated the first national perception survey of young people in Sierra Leone for UNDP. She speaks four languages and has an MSc in European Public Policy.

Soraya Executive Assistant

Soraya is an Executive Assistant at YBI.

Tim Copnell Trustee

Tim joined KPMG in 1986, qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1989 and he joined KPMG’s Technical Accounting Group in 1990. He is the founding Chairman of KPMG’s UK Audit Committee Institute and has been specialising in corporate governance since 1993. He is responsible for overseeing a programme of over 40 board and audit committee development seminars per annum and for developing updates, tools and guidance to assist directors in fulfilling their duties. He also has extensive experience of facilitating board effectiveness reviews and in advising on corporate governance matters including compliance with Codes and regulation. Tim plays a major role in shaping UK corporate governance developments and chaired the European Confederation of Directors’ Associations’ (ecoDA’s) working party on audit committees. He speaks on corporate governance matters across Europe, Asia and the Americas and is the author of the Audit Committee Guide (ICSA 2010) and The AGM and Shareholder Questions (ICSA 2007). He is also a past winner for the Accountancy ‘Accountant of the Year’ award for his work with audit committees.

Tim Copnell
Vicki Head of Membership

Vicki is Head of Membership at YBI and is responsible for delivering the membership strategy to grow and foster connections across the network. Vicki’s career to date has been spent working with organisations that support young people to reach their potential both internationally and within the UK, having held senior posts at Mosaic Network, Prince’s Trust International and The University of Kent prior to joining YBI. Vicki is passionate about empowering young people, building communities, and equity of opportunity. Vicki holds an MA in International Relations from the University of St Andrews.

Wanda Communications Manager

As part of the Communications Team, Wanda plans and delivers online communications campaigns relating to key partnerships, events, and themes. She creates content for YBI's website, social media, and member communications. Wanda has previously worked in PR and marketing and holds an MSc in International Relations from Cardiff University.

Zain Development and Programme Manager

Zain is a Development and Programme Manager developing and managing future programmes and partnerships. Zain holds a BA in Religion, Philosophy & Ethics from King’s College, London and a Graduate Diploma in Law. Alongside his job, Zain has practiced as an art director and held civil society roles across the globe – including British Council India, the Cabinet Office in Japan, where he was awarded a scholarship on their Community Core Leaders Programme. Most recently, Zain lead a programme supporting underserved communities to innovate and deliver initiatives for their local areas through local authority grant funding. Zain sees art, creativity and youth led initiatives as powerful tools for social change and entrepreneurship.


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Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells



EEA and Norway Grants

EEA and Norway Grants

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