Our core team of entrepreneurs and business people has a combined experience of over 100 years in business and a passion to help young people achieve success:
Paul Humphries, (Interim CEO)
After a series of general management, sales & marketing and strategy roles at Philips and Cable & Wireless , Paul became founder and director of Opta, a business creation company that helped to start up online bank Egg and the Opta Sports Index which was sold to a Fortune 500 company.
David Sullivan, Business Manager
David is an experienced banker who, in a career spanning almost 30 years with Barclays Bank, looked after a variety of business customers ranging from small and medium-sized enterprises to large publicly quoted companies.
David joined Business Link for London in 2003 as a member of its Access to Finance programme, which transferred to the London Development Agency in October 2006. He subsequently returned to Business Link as a Business Adviser in 2009 and joined Bright Ideas Trust in 2011.
With his experience in both banking and business support, he is very well placed to help young business owners raise the finance they require to start and grow their businesses.
Zoe Brown, Business Manager
Zoe has been enthusiastically advising businesses for over fifteen years and joined Bright Ideas Trust as a Business Manager in November 2012. Prior to this, she was a Business Manager with Business Link for London and has run her own small business consultancy working with start-ups and owner managed businesses.
She knows the pressures, trials and tribulations as well as the great feeling of achievement when something goes right in your own business. She is an avid networker, speaking regularly at business events and seminars, and has been on the judging panels for a variety of business awards in recent years, including the London Excellence Awards and Investors in People Champions.
She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development and holds an MBA from Greenwich University, has two teenage sons and a small black and white dog.
Olga has been advising established and new businesses for 15 years, initially as a Business Link adviser and more recently at The Olive Grows, a business she co-founded, which incubates and nurtures new and expanding food businesses.
Olga’s specialist areas of expertise are in developing products and services in niche markets, sales and marketing, social media and positioning products effectively so they are demand-led and profitable. After an early and successful career in sales in the hospitality and catering industry, Olga joined Business Link eventually developing and delivering new business support programmes for the manufacturing and design sector in London.
She is very experienced in writing effective bids and winning public sector contracts and also advises social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations in generating income. Olga is a volunteer member of the Mayor’s London Food Board, has two young children and an allotment.
Stephen Donovan, Business Manager
Stephen is a successful sales and marketing professional with in depth experience working with small and medium sized companies in the business to business markets.
Stephen began his working life with the BBC, before commencing a sales career in fast moving consumer goods with Bowater and Johnson & Johnson. At J & J, he was selected to establish a new role, co-ordinating national campaigns for sales and marketing which he also managed for Braun UK, promoting consumer electrical products with major retailers.
Moving to the marketing agency side of business, Stephen created successful, award winning promotion and incentive campaigns with Avis, BT, Close Brothers, Microsoft, O2, Seiko and Whirlpool.
Stephen was then appointed as Marketing Director with a telecom products distribution business, formulating the strategy that helped grow the business from £8m to £28m in six years, launching new brands and business propositions in the process.
Stephen was appointed as director of the Kingston Chamber of Commerce where he helped members to identify opportunities and promote their products and services. Stephen has also established his own marketing communications company, providing marketing solutions to small businesses within south London.
Stephan Eyeson, Entrepreneur Engagement & Trainer
Before successfully completing his degree in Theology and Health at Canterbury Christ Church University, Stephan set up his first business www.getprobasketball.com in which he successfully raised angel finance and worked with brands such as Adidas and Slam.
With a passion for Africa, he co –founded Think In Africa, a portal with valuable video content on all industries within Africa. He was accepted onto the Google “top black talent” programme, one of just 30 students from top universities and was also named one of the top ten black students in the country by Rare Recruitment.
With his experience working with start-ups, Stephan is very well placed to train and develop young business owners to develop their enterprises. Stephan joined Bright Ideas Trust as an intern in July 2012 and has joined the team full time from September 2012.
Arif Ali, Entrepreneur Engagement & Trainer
Arif graduated from Goldsmiths College after achieving first class honours in BA Media and Communications. While at university he was a Student Trustee for Goldsmiths Students’ Union, gaining experience in organisational management and governance.
Before completing his degree he also co-founded an award winning business in the form of SQ Magazine, an independent youth culture publication.
With a wide range of experience and a passion for start-ups, Arif is well equipped to train and develop young people to create their own successful businesses. He has an interest in innovative business practices and all things creative.