Amy is the Group Finance Director at Balloon Ventures responsible for all aspects of financial planning and management. Amy joined Balloon in 2017. Before Balloon, Amy worked for 8 years at PwC progressing to Manager level. At PwC Amy firstly worked in Audit before moving into Forensic Services where she specialised in developing anti-money laundering policies for global investment banks and conducting reviews of internal controls and processes. Amy qualified as an ACA Chartered Accountant in 2013 and graduated with a 1st in Business Accounting and Finance from Newcastle University.
Doug Co-Founded Balloon Ventures in 2012 and has led the scaling up of Balloon programmes. He managed Balloon’s £4.7m multi-year UKAID project delivered across 11 communities in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda. The project, which combined business consultancy with low interest loans to informal sector entrepreneurs, was rated A or A+ in all DFID Annual Reviews. Doug has also coordinated an external randomised control trial to evaluate the project’s impact, being implemented by researchers at Stanford University. As a trainer in enterprise and innovation, Doug has delivered programmes to staff at Citibank, Fujitsu, BT and Cisco Group. He holds a BA from the University of Warwick and an MSc from University College London.
Geofrey is a finance and accounting specialist. Currently, he works as Monitoring and Evaluation and Collection officer at Balloon Ventures. Before, he was a Deal Origination Officer and Loans Officer. He has also worked as an Accountant at Bomet College of Accountancy. Geofrey is a Certified Public Accountant and holds Bachelor of Commerce in Finance from Kenyatta University.
Gladys is a finance specialist with a passion for monitoring and evaluation. She works with Balloon as a deal origination officer in charge of recruiting SMEs for investment support. She previously worked as a business development officer with Valuemax Consulting ltd in charge of business recruitment and business forums for professional consultancy and as an administrator with Kenya Institute of monitoring and evaluation studies. Gladys also worked with SCODE, an NGO that deals in renewable energy, mainly in data collection, report writing and community empowerment. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Egerton University and an MA in Monitoring and Evaluation from Mount Kenya University.
Joel has 15 years investment experience in private equity, venture capital, development finance and corporate finance in Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to Balloon Capital, Joel was an Independent Transaction Advisor focused on Capital Raising & Business Advisory for SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa and an Investment Manager with social impact investment funds: GroFin, South & East African Fund and Pearl Capital Partners. He also worked in corporate finance at I&M Burbidge Capital and interned at the East African Development Bank. Joel has a MSC in Investment Management from Henley Business School – University of Reading and a Bachelor of Economics from Makerere Univiersity in Uganda. He also holds a Certificate in Private Equity and Venture Capital from the London Business School and an OMEGA Certificate in Credit Skills Assessment from The Chartered Banker Institute.
Josh is the co-founder and CEO of Balloon Ventures, a family of social enterprises with a shared mission to defeat poverty by creating good jobs where they are needed most. Josh co-founded Balloon in 2012 after working in Kenya researching the post-election violence of 2007-08. An experienced entrepreneur, he has conceived and scaled a diverse range of business models including investment funds pioneering affordable financial products for small-scale entrepreneurs in emerging markets, volunteering programs delivering major public and private sector contracts and tech platforms which democratise access to Balloon’s entrepreneurship curriculum globally. During this time, Balloon has invested $1,000,000+ in small-scale entrepreneurs, provided 1 million hours of support and supported 4,000+ entrepreneurs across 42 countries. Josh has forged and managed senior relationships with clients as diverse as the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), Citibank and the University of Cambridge. Josh was appointed the youngest ever Visiting Fellow at Cass Business School, where he taught entrepreneurship to MBA students. He holds a BA from the University of Bristol and an MA from the University of British Columbia.
Loise is a finance and operations specialist with 10 experience in Kenya’s capital markets. She has worked for Suntra and Dyer and Blair Investment Banks delivering investment services in various capacities. Her skillsets include Customer Relationship Management, Portfolio Management, Financial Analysis, Brokerage and Custody Operations, Dealing (OTC and ATS), Risk Assessment and Mitigation, Strategy Formulation and Implementation as well as Project Management.
Matia is an SME Development and Start-ups Investments professional with over 10 years’ experience in Consulting, Innovation Advisory and Ecosystem building. This experience spans over 8 countries in 3 continents including Africa, Europe and the US. He has held senior executive and consulting roles in corporate and non-profit organizations, as well as Multilateral organisations including the World Bank (Infodev), and Equity Bank; the largest retail bank in East Africa. His experience includes the management of a USD 5 million Start-up fund as Chief of Party; delivering growth support for 3000 start-ups and SMEs through physical and virtual incubation programmes and leading gender mainstreaming in entrepreneurial ecosystems in Africa. He also has hands-on experience leading product development teams in the design of financial products for bottom of the pyramid (BOP) market segments, Start-ups and SMEs as Head of Innovation. He holds a bachelors degree in Computer Engineering and a Masters in Organisational Development from the United States International University.
Melinda retired in 2010 after 16 years as Chief Executive of one of the UK’s largest care and housing providers. During this time she managed 17,000 homes and a team of 7,200 staff. Upon her retirement, the company had a turnover of £200m. Melinda now works with Balloon providing strategic and operational support.
Keter is a credit analyst with over 5 years experience in credit management. He currently works as a Senior Loans Officer at Balloon Ventures where he provides administrative support to credit and risk management. He also leads the revenue assurance department where he reviews all credit requests and ensures compliance with standard regulations before disbursement. He previously worked at FEP Sacco Society Ltd as a loans officer. He holds a bachelor of commerce from Egerton University.
Kariah is a banking and entrepreneurship professional with over 6 years’ experience working in the Sacco Industry in Kenya and running various businesses. He has successfully grown a loan book of $4.5M at Unaitas (branch level) through working as a Relationship Officer and a Credit Administrator. At Balloon he manages a portfolio of 6+ SMES whose KPIs indicate tremendous growth to date. His skillsets include credit management, financial analysis, consultancy, relationship management and business development. Kariah has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Nairobi and a Diploma in Purchasing and Supplies, CIPS.
Mathenge has 10 years of experience in Finance, portfolio management, customer service and deal origination. At Balloon he has worked across various roles from Loans Officer to Deal Origination to Investment Manager to Team Leader. He is now the Finance Manager. Before Balloon he served at Hope and Vision SACCOfor 4 years where he rose through the ranks to be the Manager. At Hope and Vision during his tenure the co-operative won the Best Youth Sacco in the County for 2012, 2013 and 2014. Mathenge has also worked at the Nakuru County Co-operatives Audit board and Robinson Security Group where he was Group Chief Finance Officer.
Oscar currently serves as the Investment Director in charge of the Balloon Ventures branch in Uganda. Before Balloon Ventures Oscar served as the Regional Business Development Manager in charge of Western Uganda at Uganda Telecom with 23 districts under his supervision. Prior to this Oscar worked for 8 years in the banking sector serving as a Personal Banker and Corporate Relationship Officer and later Branch Manager at Barclays and then Bank of Africa. Here he was responsible for $2m of deposits and a loan book of about $1.2m. He holds an MBA from Makerere University.
Prabhay is a Trustee for Balloon Ventures and currently works as a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Previously, he spent time working as a financial services consultant and also within trade finance at Citigroup. Prabhay is passionate about supporting entrepreneurs and worked on Balloon’s 2017 Volunteer Africa program as well as volunteering in Kenya in 2013. He holds an MBA from Columbia Business School, where he graduated with Dean’s Honours, and a BSc from University College London.
Saraphina is currently Programme Coordinator for the Citi Volunteer Africa programme. Prior to this she worked at Balloon as a Programme Coordinator for International Citizen Service where she managed groups of volunteers aged 18-25 who would work with local small businesses.
Tim currently works at Balloon Ventures and is responsible for identifying and due diligencing the most exceptional small businesses, with a focus on agriculture. Prior to this, Tim was Country Manager for Balloon ICS, a £79m youth volunteering programme funded by DFID and managed by VSO. Before joining Balloon, Tim worked with Cotton On Group (Foundation) as the Uganda Sustainability Programme Manager responsible for designing and implementing high impact community projects that enable families to grow social and financial assets to better be able to finance their children’s education; with the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) as a consultant Rural Sociologist; with Gumutindo Coffee Cooperative Enterprise as a Certification Manager responsible for implementation of Organic and Fairtrade commodity standards. Tim hold a MSC in Agricultural Development/Food Business from University of Copenhagen/University College Cork and a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Agricultural Economics) from Makerere University.
Virginia is a data analyst with a passion in entrepreneurship. She currently work as an Investment Manager at Balloon Ventures where she manages a portfolio of 6 enterprises. She previously worked in the Capital Markets at Suntra Investment Bank for 9 years in various capacities as an equity researcher, portfolio manager, investment banker and corporate finance. She has also worked for The Exchange Africa, an East African financial publisher as a coordinator for the Kenyan Bureau. She hold a MSc in Social Statistics from University of Nairobi and a BSc in Actuarial Science from JKUAT.
Will is a Trustee for Balloon Ventures and currently works as an Associate, Human Capital for Helios Investment Partners, the pan-African private investment firm. Previously he worked for Skillcapital a global executive search and advisory firm dedicated to private equity. Will is passionate about entrepreneurship and the development of the private sector in Africa working on Balloon’s 2013 and 2014 programmes and spending time as an Investment Associate in the Kenya Office in 2018. He has also worked for Invest Africa, the business platform that promotes trade and investment in Africa. He holds a MA in International Relations from Kings College London and a BA History from Exeter University.