My early career was spent in senior financial roles within Haymarket Publishing, looking after the commercial aspects of such high-profile UK business titles as Campaign and Marketing.

I then spent 10 years as a Financial Director within the advertising industry working for agencies such as DMB&B (now D’Arcy Group), BMP DDB Needham and WMGO Group (now Incepta Group) where I also assumed responsibility for Human Resources (HR).

In 1997, I set up DNP, an HR consultancy focused on the Telecoms Media Technology sector. The company completed numerous successful campaigns on behalf of its clients before I sold my shareholding and moved on to found Nexec Partners in 2000, a leading executive search practice, serving the technology and media marketplace.

I became aware of the incredibly frustrating and needless way in which emergency supplies are deployed and manufacturing in Africa suffers – and the rest is history, as they say! We formed Advance Aid in 2006.

The focus since starting Advance Aid has been to build partnerships – and lots of them. I have travelled widely and spoken to a massive range of NGOs, governmental organisations, divisions of the UN, academics and manufacturers. No single organisation can come up with the complete panacea, but the more we can genuinely collaborate, the quicker we will be able to come up with the right solutions.

We are 100% focused on local job creation by diverting existing aid budgets for emergency relief into areas where they can make a real and lasting developmental difference. It can no longer make sense to transport vast amounts of aid material halfway around the world into areas where unemployment is the highest on the planet. We have to find ways in which local businesses can create employment through the manufacture of these goods. We believe that building this capacity in Africa will make a real difference to agencies, to the beneficiaries of the aid and to local businesses.

Africa has some great businesses we just have to find ways in which we can trade with them. Then we need to find meaningful ways in which we can make them even better businesses. The aim is sustainability, which we believe can only be achieved by creating real and long lasting employment.

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