Neil is Business Development Director and part of Senior Management Team at Challenges Worldwide, having moved full time from the Investment Banking sector 5 years ago. He started out at Morgan Stanley before working for other global investment banks including Barclays Capital and BNP Paribas.
In 2011, he took a Sabbatical to work in Malawi for 12 months on a clean cook stove project in rural applications and this began his career journey into Private Sector Development within emerging economies.
At Challenges Worldwide he oversaw a portfolio of work with 500 SMEs across Sub-Saharan Africa with a large focus on renewable energy & clean technology. He is responsible for overseeing Challenges Worldwide’s business training services and wider strategies along with building greater links for Scottish Social Enterprises to access African markets.
Zakia Moulaoui, Founder of Invisible Cities & International Business Development at Social Enterprise Academy International
Zakia is from France and has been living in Scotland for 10 years where she has worked with local and international charities, mostly organisations working with homeless people. For several years, she was Director of International Partner Development at the Homeless World Cup Foundation, a global network of street soccer projects. She was also part of the team at Social Bite before joining the international team at the Social Enterprise Academy.
In 2016, she founded Invisible Cities, a Scottish social enterprise that trains local people who have experienced homelessness to become walking tour guides of their own cities. They offer local and social tours, connecting tourists and locals with places that make the city what it is.
Zakia wants to create change around the stigma surrounding homelessness worldwide and bring people together, no matter their backgrounds, stories or problems. She is also passionate around social enterprises and working together to create change.
Invisible Cities operates in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester.
Dr. Sarah-Anne is a Health Geographer with expertise in qualitative and participatory research. She has worked in the area of rural health research for over a decade and has particular expertise in the relationships between rurality, place and wellbeing. She has spent her academic career in research orientated roles within the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), working closely with community residents and public sector professionals as co-producers of research knowledge. In 2018, she was awarded the title of Reader in Rural Health and Wellbeing by UHI as recognition of her international reputation in rural health research. Her researched focuses on: i) community engagement and co-production in rural health and ii) the role of the outdoors and natural landscape in the promotion of health and wellbeing. Her writing draws on theory from health geography, particularly relating to the spatialities of wellbeing, assemblage theory and therapeutic landscape.
With a background in financial services, Amanda set up her own company, Taylor Nisbet, to provide business support for social and environmental organisations, enabling long term social impact.
Since 2016 Taylor Nisbet have secured over £240,000 for social enterprises across Scotland. They’ve helped more than 25 organisations become more self-sustaining and deliver positive impact for the people in their communities.