IISLA embodies the philosophy and story of the founder, a former investment banker and hospitality and tourism management consultant based in London and Manila with particular focus on eco and sustainable developments projects around the world.
Having witnessed and experienced abject rural poverty as a child, her personal goal is to help bridge the gap between the wealthy and the poor. Raised in a remote farming community in the Philippines and educated in London she collaborates with global, national and local NGOs, government bodies, philanthropists, investors, and large companies to effect positive change where needed.
She loves travelling and her adventures around the world resulted in her working on a number of projects in remote destinations and got closer to her rural roots. She not only got involved and volunteered in poverty eradication projects of various NGOs, she also invested her own money and built a personal portfolio of impact investments in Europe, Asia and Africa.
Her experience as a child, coupled with her passion for food and exploring the world, underpins her investment philosophy: she invests in social businesses that not only solve world problems but also ones that touch her heart and connect her to rural destinations: sustainable food production, social and impact tourism, renewable energy, technology and infrastructure, and transport & logistics.
Jennifer is an impact angel investor and is a passionate advocate of sustainable livelihood projects as a means to eradicate rural poverty. She personally invests in small businesses and start-ups, and takes board advisory roles in larger organizations that help transform and improve the lives of people in rural communities.
Jennifer gives her time on pro-bono basis and is advisor to selected social projects. She also represents selected brands as ambassador and speaks in various events around the world.
Tom is a climate finance professional working at the Green Climate Fund (GCF) based in Songdo, South Korea. The GCF was established within the UNFCCC to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to combat climate change. Tom specializes in de-risking climate investments to mobilize capital from the private sector.
Previously he has worked in affordable housing investments at Bank of America in Washington DC, and as an accountant at Deloitte. He has a CPA and MBA, and a passion for impact investing and social entrepreneurship which led him to connect with Jennifer and IISLA as advisor.
Meluchi A. Rivera is Research Director at a local fund management firm. Her expertise lies in corporate research and valuation.
Meluchi’s interest in inclusive development was honed early, from her years at high school and university when she tutored public school children in English and Cathechism. Throughout her career, initially as a business journalist, then through 20+ years as equities analyst at foreign investment banks, she would involve herself in outreach programs benefiting marginalized communities, orphanages, public schools and hospitals. Her more recent collaborative projects entailed overseeing the fundraising for several Gawad Kalinga villages, wherein modest but beautiful homes were built for inner-city informal dwellers in Quezon City and Intramuros.
She sees IIsla as the embodiment of her passions; a vehicle to enable her to help grassroot enterprises become viable and self-sustaining. It’s a win-all situation for which she gladly lends her energy and expertise.
Social Impact Investor, Mentor and Huffington Post Blogger, Shirley Maya Tan, brings her passion for uplifting the down-trodden and her innovative business acumen to raise the living standards of marginalised communities. She is one of the key founding partners in setting up Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm's entrepreneurial and education platform. She has also personally mentored and developed more than 15 Social Entrepreneurs through the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm's platform. Some of them have gone into the market and are performing successfully.
Shirley is also not shy about sharing her life journeys and lessons through her personal blog, "The Art of Fearless Living". She writes truthfully and authentically about societal challenges, identity and much more. Beyond that, she is pursuing the path of a radical optimist by using her fearless voice and resources to truly make a difference in the world.
Currently, she is a director or shareholder of several enterprises and organisations.
Mel has over 10 years of experience working as a development practitioner in the Philippines, particularly in the areas of education, environmental conservation,public management, and social entrepreneurship. He worked as Senior Program Officer at the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI), and handled programs on youth leadership & citizenship, development research & planning, and capacity building for good governance. He co-founded KA∙T∙ON in 2015, a social business aimed at reducing dropouts among public high school students by improving their motivation to stay in school. He wasa consultant and resource person of various public and private organizations such as the Foundation for the Philippine Environment, The Islands Group,Regional Micro-Small-Medium Enterprise Development Council, Archdiocese of Cebu, Cebu City Government, and Cebu Provincial Government, among others.
Mel has a Masters in Voluntary Sector Management from the University of the Philippines, and is finishing a second postgraduate degree in Global Development and Education at the University of Leeds under a Chevening scholarship. He is an alumnus of the Global Shapers Community, the youth arm of the World Economic Forum.
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