Between us we have over 50 years’ professional experience in business, volunteering, international development, and social enterprise. The Social Starters team are a team of purpose-driven career changers, global changemakers, aspiring F1 drivers and development professionals.

Andrea Gamson

_Founder // Managing Director


Andrea spent 15 years developing & launching digital and above the line media projects for some of the world’s largest brands and charities, and after a spell generating new business opportunities for social enterprises she took a career break to do something different and live life nomadically for a while. Whilst on that career break she found herself developing a pilot with Anna Moran helping young Kenyans start social enterprises. It was this pilot that would lead to the founding of _SocialStarters. Andrea’s journey to this point had involved volunteering and travelling as much as she could to hard to reach places. She spent 2 years mentoring people with short term convictions in HMP Brixton, plus travelled extensively throughout Africa & Asia. Her adventures also led to a stint in the Cayman Islands building up a newspaper business prior to sale. In 2010, after witnessing some of the previous decades biggest new stories at The Times/Sunday Times she joined award winning Livity, to turn their youth magazine into a digital youth engagement project that saw partnerships with Google & the Guardian. Since then she works as an SME Consultant, specifically with organisations dedicated to changing young people’s lives, including The Princes Trust, Young Urban Arts Foundation and National Citizen Service (NCS). She has a passion for personal development and wants to help other people make the career moves they desire, more about themselves whilst building knowledge and confidence in the area of entrepreneurship. She writes a blog and is writing a book due for release in 2018.

Jiselle Steele

International Relations Advisor


After spending over two years as our Brazil Programme Director, Jiselle has moved into an advisory role at _Social Starters. Drawing on her extensive experience developing and delivering a range of programmes in the UK and internationally, Jiselle will work with our international board to explore new and exciting ways that we can collaborate with social entrepreneurs and volunteers around the world to develop sustainable solutions to some of society’s biggest challenges. As a senior project manager, Jiselle has worked with a range of clients and organisations, supporting them to achieve their commercial, operational and social goals. From planning and delivering the education strategy for sports development charity, Um Rio to developing engaging proposals to win new business at EY, Jiselle enjoys shaping new ideas and turning them into reality in diverse settings. Jiselle is passionate about gender and racial inequality and women’s economic empowerment and recently completed a Masters level programme with the University of Texas and Criola, a Brazilian research institution, exploring historical, political and cultural themes around race, gender and community engagement. Jiselle became a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow in 2014, researching youth and social enterprise in Brazil and  also loves music, dance and Nandos!

Nick Ferguson

Brand Marketeer // Business Advisor

Nick studied Hospitality Management at the Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne, Switzerland, and then dived into a successful corporate marketing career at Wallpaper* Magazine and Estee Lauder Companies in London. At Estee Lauder Companies he trialled a cutting-edge loyalty programme at MAC Cosmetics; he established partnerships with luxury brands Asprey and Boucheron Paris to elevate the Creme de la Mer brand and accelerate growth; while leading Clinique for Men and LAB SERIES, he placed the consumer at the heart of all decisions, transforming the approach to media, and developed a new multi-branded retail model. After eleven years, he felt like he needed a break, wanted to travel and give something back. He volunteered with a sustainable tourism social enterprise in Rio de Janeiro for his _SocialStarters assignment. This experience, combined with his natural desire to help develop people, resulted in him joining _SocialStarters’ Advisory Board in 2018. Nick is very much a brand person, and believes that the future belongs to businesses that combine environmental or social sensitivity with commercial innovation and strong branding. He has now started his own marketing consultancy, INCK London, and when he’s not working can be found eating and drinking with friends and imitating accents.

Angela Eustace

HR & People Expert // Business Advisor

Angela is an Organisation / Work Psychologist based in Johannesburg, South Africa. She holds a Masters degree and has more than 10 years corporate experience working with one of the worlds most well known brands, Coca Cola. Her work allows her to do some of the things that she is most passionate about – supporting businesses to solve problems and helping the people who work within them, to thrive. She has won a few awards for her expertise in HR and Change Management but after 10 years at Coke Angela decided to venture out on her own and now consults to large corporates working on organisation design and transformation projects across Africa. When she isn’t working, Angela loves spending time with her friends, cooking (even though she is only a novice at 38), finding creative projects and keeping fit and healthy. Her love for her work, people and travel has brought her to _SocialStarters where she hopes to make a meaningful contribution to the work that we do.

Dalia Nightingale

Strategist // Business Advisor

Dalia has spent over 15 years ago in the corporate world and is an accomplished commercial leader and strategist, who has an outstanding reputation for leading and delivering growth for ‘turn around’ businesses and start-ups. She has worked with both local and global businesses, from start-up to PLC, across multi-functions and cultures, with a variety of complexity (£20,000 turnover per annum to over £12M). More recently Dalia was Managing Director at Planet Retail a leading global business information consultancy (which provides retailers and CPG’s with global market data & insights, to make business critical decisions). Dalia is founder of DDN Consulting, and is passionate about advising and supporting start-ups and small businesses on how to set up or improve their structure, process and planning to help grow their business and reach their full potential. Having lived and worked in Malawi early in her career, Dalia truly understands the power of sharing knowledge in developing local communities, and early stage businesses, in order for them to fully flourish. She is inspired by the young entrepreneurs within _SocialStarters that have been brave enough to follow their dreams, and make a difference in their communities.

Patrick Barker

Finance & Operations // Business Advisor

Patrick started his career in the private sector, with his work in oil & gas taking him to countries such as Angola, Azerbaijan, China and Iraq. In 2015 he went from advising a FTSE100 company on economics and structured finance, to writing financial processes for the South Sudan Ministry of Health.  After South Sudan, he returned to the UK to run Christian Aid’s finance team. Now a freelance consultant, he works primarily in financial strategy focusing on helping organisations leverage commercial skills to have a true and lasting impact. Aside from his consulting work, Patrick is Treasurer of a charity working in agricultural development in Africa and South America, as well as studying towards a Masters degree in Development. Whilst the change from the private to third sector was a bit of a culture shock he has never looked back. It is the people in the sector; their passion, kindness and determination that makes it such a great place to work which is why he’s now dedicated to supporting international and community development.

Stephanie Van Doorn

Strategist // Business Advisor

Stephanie has over 20 years of experience leading & coaching teams through change and transformations in the apparel and sports industries across Europe in manufacturing, supply chain and in the office environments.

In the last couple of years Stephanie has been volunteering for environment campaigns and to get Kids Moving in the Netherlands. Two diverse areas, but two she is very clear on.
Formerly Lean Director at Nike Europe, she is currently working on a project to inspire children to be more active, building their own self confidence to achieve their personal goals AND she believes passionately in the power of a team to create sustainable change to our world today.  In her spare time she coaches a triathlon team, and loves researching new plant based recipes. If asked how to describe herself she would answer “a coach, who is trying to be the best she can be”.

Amit Walia

Project Manager // Business Advisor

Amit started out at Goldman Sachs on Fleet Street, and several years later found himself in Kenya, executing a $1.6M DFID project implementing various climate change commodities in 150 school in informal settlements of Kenya. Via a stint at the Aga Khan Hospital group in Nairobi and Kisumu, he founded Ambit Consulting, delivering strategic advisory in Social Entrepreneurship, Education, Agriculture and Manufacturing. Major projects include being the lead consultant and trainer for 15 social entrepreneurs in Kenya, funded by British Council; cost modelling and project advisory on $40M medical equipment supply and implementation project between GE Healthcare, SevenSeas Technology and Kenya Ministry of Health. He’s used to working with big budgets so will no doubt be an asset in supporting _SocialStaters’ clients to think big, scale their ventures and understand the numbers in their business.

Tristan Ace

Global Partnerships // Business Advisor

Tristan has spent the last 7 years in the Asia pacific region growing the British Council’s Social Enterprise programme, developing donor contracts and corporate and foundation partnerships. He currently leads on two EU funded projects in Sri Lanka and the Philippines, and has facilitated a range of corporate partnerships including the Standard Chartered Education for Entrepreneurs programme in Myanmar as well as advising on a partnership with DIAGEO in Indonesia and Malaysia. He also leads on the British Council’s policy and government engagement strategy in the Asia Pacific region and provides strategic advice to governments that are developing social entrepreneurship policy. He regularly speaks at conferences and events throughout the Asia region and in the UK, including the annual AVPN conference, Social Enterprise World Forum and Good Deals. As well as _SocialStaters he also sits on the advisory board of the ANDE networks East Asia chapter and the UNDP Youth CO:Lab project as a “Social Entrepreneurship Guru”.