The cdfa / About Us / Governance


Board of Directors

The CDFA’s Board of Directors bring a wealth of skills and experience to the organisation. They are:

Mike Baker

Chief Executive, The Social Enterprise Loan Fund

Mike joined TSELF in 2004, and was previously employed by NatWest at executive level. Originally called the Local Investment Fund, TSELF was set up as a registered charity in 1994 to provide loan finance for charities and organisations with a charitable purpose, with the aim of overcoming the funding gap often experienced by social enterprises. TSELF was a founder member of the CDFA and is now part of Big Issue Invest. Mike has a lifelong commitment to charities and social enterprises; he was a board member of King’s Cross SRB and the Adventure Capital Fund.

Jonathan Diggines (CDFA Chair)

Chief Executive, EV Group

Jonathan DigginesJonathan is CEO of Enterprise Ventures Group, and brings a wealth of business and finance experience to the CDFA. He has spent over  twenty years in public and private sector co-investment and managing of venture capital funds. At Enterprise Ventures he has taken funds under management from £20m to £130m by successfully investing in regional SME’s, for the most part in the North of England. Jonathan spent 11 years as a Managing Director at Murray Johnstone Private Equity where he managed around £360 million in private equity and venture funds.  A solicitor, Jonathan is a highly experienced company director; he sits on the British Venture Capital Association (BVCA) Member Services Committee and is a former Member of the Council of the BVCA.

Stephen Edwards

Financial Controller Enterprise Northern Ireland Limited (ENI)

Stephen EdwardsStephen joined Enterprise Northern Ireland in 2006 as Financial Controller and has significant experience in dealing with the management and delivery of community finance programmes.  He has been responsible for overseeing both the strategic and operational management of Aspire Micro Loans for Business, the ENI Loan Fund and the Northern Ireland Small Business Loan Fund. Stephen was previously Financial Analysis and Planning Manager at GE Capital TLS Vehicle Rental, which had a turnover in excess of $200m. Following a 2 year spell as Financial Controller for a group of start-up businesses which grew to turnover in excess of £2m within two years he relocated with his family to Ireland. Stephen is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Melanie Elliot

Chief Executive, MCF Loans

Melanie ElliotMelanie  is Chief Executive of MCF Loans a strong CDFI offering personal and business lending across the Midlands.  Under Melanie’s leadership the business (initially called Derbyloans) has successfully expanded across borders into Derbyshire, South Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire, opened local branches, making affordable finance more accessible to the community.  Melanie has over 18 years’ experience of the banking sector, having worked for HBOS and Abbey National in roles ranging from branch management to Operational Training. She was instrumental in setting up and managing call centres with 200 staff and as a Management consultant she established UK wide leadership programmes. Passionate about the community and regeneration, Melanie has a desire to develop people to reach full potential and is thus committed to developing the CDFI sector for the long term.

Katy Ford

Chief Executive, Foundation East

Katy FordKaty is the Chief Executive of Foundation East,  a small business lender based in Suffolk and lending across the eastern England. She joined Foundation East in February 2004 at its inception initially taking on the role of Finance and Investment Manager and became Chief Executive in March 2009. Her primary role is to lead the strong staff team  to deliver the vision and mission of the CDFI, and to ensure the values of the company are embedded at every level. She is also responsible for fundraising, building and maintaining relationships with all stakeholders, including  members, funders, bankers and auditors.  Prior to joining Foundation East, Katy managed the treasury department for insurance broking firm Marsh Inc in Guernsey for 14 years.

 Arthur Foreman

Managing Director, Finance for Enterprise

Arthur ForemanArthur joined Finance for Enterprise (formerly Donbac) in 2009 when it was re-launched to meet increasing gaps in finance created by the credit crunch. Finance for Enterprise is based in Doncaster and offers business loans across South Yorkshire and the north Midlands.  Arthur comes from a banking background (is ACIB qualified) and enjoyed 23 years in Willaims & Glyn’s / RBS Head Office roles as well as portfolio and branch management. He subsequently worked for 12 years in Business Link (Sheffield & South Yorkshire) intially in an advisory role and subsequently as a Contract and Development Manager, before spending 2 years as a self employed adviser. Arthur has held a number of other board positions, including at Sheffield Business Club and Sheffield Young Enterprise.

Neil Hewitt

Social & Cultural Team Manager, Triodos Bank

Neil is responsible for managing a team of Relationship Managers which collectively provides a total of £380 million of funding into Social Housing, Charities, Social Enterprises, Health Care, Faith Groups and Arts & Culture sectors. In addition to supporting over 450 borrowers, the team manages over 600 deposit relationships, with funds entrusted exceeding £30 million. This diversity enables Neil to understand the challenges that each of these very different sectors are facing, both on a strategic and operational level. His role gives an early insight into the impact of Government policies, and his active involvement in events and conferences is aimed at helping businesses prepare their future funding proposals. Neil is committed to making a difference and, based on the Triodos banking model, is convinced that, with more conscious use of money, we can deliver a more sustainable future.

Nicholas Nicolaou

Managing Director – GLE oneLondon

Nicholas has over 15 years’ experience lending to SMEs and is a Prince2 Practitioner. Since his arrival, GLE has won contracts for 4 local authority, 2 pan-London, 1 UK-wide charity and 1 national DWP fund – with a total capital value of almost £18m. In addition, Nicholas leads GLE’s Enterprise Agency, which is integrated with its CDFI activity. Nicholas has a keen interest in and understanding of the CDFI sector, its strengths and opportunities for the future through regular meetings with peers both within and outside of the CDFI Business Lending Networking group. .

Hugh Rolo

Director of Innovation, Locality

Hugh RoloHugh  is Director of Innovation at Locality, which has  over 600 members from across the UK.  Current members have a combined turnover of £430mn and own assets valued at £750mn.  Hugh is a founder partner and Director of the Key Fund, which is investing in social enterprises across Yorkshire and the Midlands. Hugh was also a founder partner of the Adventure Capital Fund and an advisor to Communitybuilders Investment Panel.  He  lead on an action learning research programme into Community Shares and Bonds backed by Communities and Local Government and the Office of Civil Society. Hugh is very active in his local community and is a director of ACCENT Regeneration, a leading housing association, and   Manningham Mills Community Association.

Andrew Wallace

Managing Director Wessex Resolution

Andrew WallaceAndrew is Managing Director of Wessex Resolution and provides strategic leadership to a committed team, working in partnership with 20 councils in South West England to provide subsidised home improvement loans. The CDFI’s innovative products assist low income homeowners address ‘non-decent’ housing conditions. The organisation has recently expanded its operation to provide money management and debt advice services. Andrew has a background in financial services, having worked for HSBC Bank for more than 20 years, including in a variety of customer service, operational and branch management roles. He left the bank in 2002 and, as the first employee, joined what has evolved into ‘Wessex Resolution’ – a Community Interest Company, now employing 16 people.  In 2012, Andrew gained the ‘Chartered Manager’ qualification from the Chartered Management Institute.

Bob Wallis

Director of Operations, Fredericks Foundation

Bob WallisBob joined Fredericks Foundation in 2005, initially starting specialist projects in mental health and physical disability in London. As Director of Operations Bob has overseen the assimilation of lending organisations in the South West and relationships with partner organisations; he has worked with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on Mentoring and Business Support programmes. He chairs the Somerset Board, has developed relationships with the local authorities and is responsible for most of the contractual negotiation with funders. Bob also assesses plans and manages clients in Kent, East Sussex and London, where he works with London Youth Support Trust and Leonard Cheshire.
Bob previously set up internet information and ticketing business Dynamic Listing Ltd which obtained contracts with Reuters and the National Theatre after having managed a regional touring theatre for 10 years. He is a Trustee of Hextable Dance in Kent.

Stephen Waud

Executive Director, Business Enterprise Fund

Steve has established grown and developed Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) since 2004 and has seen its asset base grow 10 fold in that time, lending to SMEs across West and North Yorkshire. Steve is regularly consulted by different agencies on the CDFI sector and has contributed to a number of programs to see the growth and development of the sector, especially in the Yorkshire and Humber region. Steve is an Engineer and a qualified Barrister and has been involved in the running of SME’s at board level for many years. His strong financial, legal and technical skills put him in an ideal position to understand the needs of business and support them. He has worked within a number of market sectors, including plastics, automotives and marketing.