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About Us

Achieving the ambition of the Sustainable Development Goals requires bold action and innovative thinking. We believe the best way to make the urgent progress needed is by rethinking the way we collaborate.

Founded over 10 years ago, we energise open collaboration around specific, fast-paced Challenges.  

We bring together the best thinkers and the most passionate practitioners from across our network of tens of thousands of business, non-profit and government professionals.   

Together we drive action to unlock new opportunities for poor and marginalised people around the world.

The Business Fights Poverty community is committed to turning the promises of the Sustainable Development Goals into reality, one Challenge at a time.

our team

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Zahid Torres-Rahman

Founder & Director

Zahid has over 20 years’ experience in business and international development, including at PwC and HM Treasury, and is a Founder of Inspiris, a certified BCorp.

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Richard Gilbert

Stakeholder Engagement Director & Challenge Director

Richard has over 20 years’ experience in communications and stakeholder engagement, including at Weber Shandwick and Burson Marsteller.

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Beth Jenkins

Insights Director & Challenge Director

Beth has close to 20 years’ experience in inclusive business, including at the IFC and Booz Allen Hamilton, and is a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School CSR Initiative.

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Hester Le Roux

Challenge Director

Hester has over 20 years’ experience in international development and business, including at the Commission for Africa and the UK Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit.

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Natasha Ncube

Member Engagement Director

Natasha has over 15 years’ experience in inclusive business and cross-sector partnerships, including at the International Business Leaders Forum.

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Lee Rael

Creative Director

Lee has over 15 years' experience as a graphic designer, web designer and online community developer, including at Creative Seed and Booksure.com.

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Yvette Torres-Rahman

Partnerships Director

Yvette has over 20 years’ experience in marketing and brand management, including at GlaxoSmithKline, and is a Founder of Inspiris, a certified BCorp.

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Dana Schou

Challenge Creator

Dana has over 10 years' experience in marketing and communications, including at LVMH and Saatchi & Saatchi, and is currently Director of Philanthropy at Unicef UK.

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Alyssa Rivera

Challenge Manager

Alyssa has nearly 10 years' experience in inclusive business and impact investment, including at Endeva, and is part of WEF's Global Shapers Community.

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Graham Baxter

Senior Adviser & Challenge Expert

Graham Baxter has over 35 years’ experience working on sustainability and responsible business, including at the International Business Leaders Forum.

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Charlie Hare

Challenge Director

Charlie has around 10 years' experience in business, including most recently as Regional Head of Public Affairs, Africa at Standard Chartered Bank.

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Jessica Davis Pluess

Challenge Director

Jessica has around 10 years' experience in business and sustainability, including at BSR and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

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David Norman

Challenge Director

David has over 20 years’ experience in sustainable development and partnership building for companies and NGOs, including at SABMiller and WWF.

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Deesha Chandra

Collaboration Adviser

Deesha has nearly 10 years' experience in building collaborative communities, most recently using innovation challenges and technology as an adviser at WWF Switzerland.

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Maggie De Pree

Challenge Director

Maggie has 15 years' experience working with companies on sustainable innovation, including at SustainAbility, and as Founder of the League of Intrapreneurs.

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Chloë Smedy

Assistant to the Director

Chloë has over 10 years' experience in administration, as well as in payroll and HR management.

Circle of Advisers

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Jane Nelson

Director, Corporate Responsibility Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School

Jane has co-authored five books and over 80 publications on corporate responsibility and the role of the private sector in development.

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Andy Wales

Global VP Sustainability, ABInBev

Andy has over 15 years in senior management leading government affairs, policy, sustainability, strategy and communications for FTSE 100 and Fortune 1000 multinationals.

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David Grayson CBE

Professor of Corporate Responsibility & Director, Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility

David speaks, writes and advises regularly on business, society, entrepreneurialism, and future trends for businesses and media.

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Lisa Nichols

Founder and CEO, Motivating the Masses

Lisa is a world class coach and motivational speaker, as well as media personality and corporate CEO whose global platform has reached and served nearly 30 million people.

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Tashmia Ismail

Head of the GIBS Inclusive Markets Programme, University of Pretoria

Tashmia teaches innovation and strategies for low income markets. Tashmia works with firms interested in developing and executing low income market strategies.

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John Davy

Digital Entrepreneur

John is a successful and highly regarded serial entrepreneur, speaker and investor. His expertise lies in building high-growth companies and digital marketing.

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Simon Maxwell CBE

Development Economist

Simon worked for 15 years at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. In 1997, Simon became Director of the Overseas Development Institute, where he is now a Senior Research Associate.

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Andrea Culligan

CEO, Harteffect

Andrea is an award winning entrepreneur and branding and communications specialist. Throughout her 15 years of business, Andrea has received over 30 industry and association awards.

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Ethan Kapstein

Centennial Professor of International Affairs, Arizona State University

Ethan is a specialist in international economic relations and has published widely. He is the author or editor of 10 books and has advised several companies.

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Diana Pallais

GM, Surface Hub Lead, Microsoft

Diana’s track record of work in international business includes leading business units and market expansion initiatives for technology and development organisations.

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Roger Dring

Global Operations Manager, Harteffect

Roger has a background in financial services systems and technology, and is an expert in helping SME’s improve their processes and commercial operations.

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Maria Sipka

Co-Founder and President, Linqia

Maria is a serial entrepreneur. Prior to Linqia, Maria was COO at XING, Europe’s leading business social network, focused on monetization and member acquisition.

JOIN OUR TEAM

Are you interested in joining our team to help identify and deliver Challenges to harness and scale the positive impact of business on people and planet?

Do you have at least 10 years’ experience, including working for or partnering with business? Do you have strong project management and interpersonal skills? Are you a self-starter with an energetic and positive outlook?

We are interested in hearing from individuals looking for part-time, freelance opportunities. Click here to register your interest and we’ll let you know when something relevant comes up.

Get in touch

Business Fights Poverty was created and is managed by Inspiris, a Founding UK BCorp.