THE TEAM


Our core team has over 100 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. 

Previous Consultants come from KPMG, L’Oreal, Estee Lauder Companies, Coca Cola, Deloitte, EY, Innocent Drinks, Breast Cancer Now, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, DEFRA, The Princes Trust, UnLtd, L&Q, Teach First, BCG, Renault UK and more. 

Andrea Gamson

_Founder // CEO // Head of Learning

 

Andrea spent 15 years developing & launching digital and above the line media projects for some of the world’s largest brands and charities. She then spent 2 years mentoring people with short term convictions in HMP Brixton, plus travelled & worked extensively throughout Africa & Asia as part of a desire to make a difference in the world and not just settle for the typical status quo. Her adventures led to a stint in the Cayman Islands, building up a newspaper publishing business which then sold to a subsidiary of the Hilton hotel group. Then in 2010, after witnessing some of the previous decades biggest news stories at News UK she joined award winning social enterprise and marketing agency Livity, driving forward a youth magazine project that saw mentoring partnerships with Google, the Guardian, Dazed & Confused; along with brand investment from Barclays, Red Bull, O2, Walker Books, the Nike Foundation, Converse, TfL and others. Since then she has worked as a purpose-driven start-up consultant and mentorship programme manager. Andrea is a lean start-up trainer, design thinker and marketer who is passionate about personal and professional development, and when she’s not running _SocialStarters – helping corporate professionals share their skills with social entrepreneurs – she can be found mentoring start-ups in Hackney, East London, for Allia’s Serious Impact Incubator.

Jiselle Steele

_Senior Project Lead // UK & Brazil

 

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 Consultant // Business Advisor // Facilitator // UK

Described as having a playful inquisitive nature, Nick has a love for creative writing and a natural strength for lateral thinking, developing innovative strategies inspired by a variety of sources. Spotting opportunities, creating niches, pioneering new ideas and making brands stand out from the crowd. He is self-motivated and diligent ensuring a positive outcome for his clients and delivering on their set objectives with added value wherever possible. Following 8 years as a Brand Director for Estee Lauder working across some of the worlds most well known mens and luxury women’s beauty brands, he took a sabbatical and reached out to _SocialStarters to undertake one of their assignments with a social entrepreneur. He went to Rio de Janeiro in 2017 and hasn’t looked back since. Now an advisor for _SocialStarters, he’s set up his own Brand Consultancy Inck, and works with premium and ethical beauty brands who want to make a difference in the world.

Angela Eustace

Employee Engagement Specialist // 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

Commercial 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

Vision 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

Senior 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”.