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We build on cross-sector expertise
Meet our multicultural team that combines long-term experience and expertise in venture capital, corporate finance, development and innovative finance, public policy, social entrepreneurship, investment readiness and impact management.
Founder & CEO
„My biggest drive is to unleash the power of business and finance for real world impact. Every business and every investment has an impact, so let’s optimize for the positive one.“
Bjoern Struewer is Founder and CEO of Roots of Impact. He has more than 20 years of experience in the finance sector, including 12 years at Credit Suisse, most recently as a Managing Director. After leaving the banking industry, he started working closely with public funders and impact investors across the globe to scale high-performing enterprises and innovations with strong potential for impact.
With his team at Roots of Impact, Bjoern developed pioneering solutions such as Social Impact Incentives (SIINC) and Impact-Linked Finance. He also leads the Initiative for Blended Finance at the University of Zurich, is Senior Fellow at the Center for Sustainable Finance and Private Wealth, and mentor at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Impact Investment for the Next Generation Program. In addition, Bjoern is Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the recently established Impact-Linked Finance Fund and Co-Founder of the Financing Agency for Social Entrepreneurship (FASE).
Lead Impact-Linked Finance Programs
„What makes me get up every day is helping impact entrepreneurs overcome tensions between business and impact goals by creating financial incentives that reward them for the great impact they create.“
Patrizia Baffioni is Lead Impact-Linked Finance Programs at Roots of Impact. In particular, she leads and facilitates the open platform initiative for Impact-Linked Finance and manages several Social Impact Incentives (SIINC) projects, for example in the vocational skills development and the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sectors.
Before joining the team, she worked for over two years for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), first as communications expert and then as project assistant, and was involved in technical cooperation projects in Chad, Benin and Haiti. Patrizia studied and worked in Germany, France, Italy, Belgium and Austria, and speaks four languages fluently.
She is also a member of the Global Shapers, a youth community of the World Economic Forum. Recently, she finalized her second Master’s degree in Development Finance at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, with a thesis on how to accelerate and scale Impact-Linked Finance.
Lead Market & Capacity Building Programs
„I am most excited when I can help impact entrepreneurs identify the metrics that highlight how their impact and business models intersect.“
Maxime Cheng is Lead Market & Capacity Building Programs at Roots of Impact, which includes managing the Social Finance Academy and building the education platform by curating both online and onsite educational experience in the field of investment readiness, social finance and impact management.
Before joining the team, Maxime built an impact measurement and evaluation database at Impact Hub (Global) and advised mission-driven organisations and policy makers on the subject. She also worked with start-ups creating digital contents on business model design and leadership training, and established data analysis processes to drive UX and product development.
Maxime holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Hertie School of Governance and investigated the design process of impact indicators of social impact bonds in Europe in her final thesis. She also worked as a marketing officer at the Hong Kong Trade Development Council after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in International Politics and History from Jacobs University Bremen.
Lead Advisory & Executive Education …………………………………
„I consider myself so lucky to have a front row seat to what is, undoubtedly, the future of finance. Impact enterprises shouldn’t have to choose between creating impact and realising growth, and I get to build ways to ensure that they don’t have to.“
Natasha Dinham is the Lead Advisory & Executive Education at Roots of Impact. Her work includes offering critical support and services to build the Impact-Linked Finance market, through high-end programs, facilities, and partnerships. Before, she led the Innovative Finance Initiative at the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation, an organisation using creative and disruptive tools to drive capital towards better social outcomes. Here Natasha co-convened the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business’s ‘Impact Investing in Africa’ course. Prior to this, she managed technical assistance portfolios in Africa, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia at FMO, the Dutch Development Bank.
Natasha has served on multiple investment committees and/or TA advisory boards for SME funds, and is currently the Chair of the Green Outcomes Fund. She holds a Master’s degree in Economic Science from the University of the Witwatersrand, where she was an associate lecturer in Economics, and a certificate from Harvard Kennedy School’s Rethinking Financial Inclusion Program.
„What makes my work feel meaningful is being in an impact-driven environment and ensuring that our impact keeps growing.“
Annelene Tonn is Lead Operations at Roots of Impact. In this role, she is responsible for optimizing internal processes and ensuring strong execution capabilities of our project teams. Annelene has a broad professional background, having worked in multinational as well as medium-sized companies both in Germany and abroad.
Before joining the Roots of Impact team, she worked in Costa Rica as a manager for investor relations, financial planning and reporting, having been responsible for the establishment and continual improvement of strategic and operational performance indicators. Annelene also brings extensive knowledge from the healthcare industry.
She has lived in Germany, England, Spain, Costa Rica and Guatemala and speaks three languages fluently. She holds a Master in Finance and Management, having graduated with distinction from University of Exeter, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in International Business from ESB Reutlingen.
„My passion and profession is knowledge dissemination. If I can move hearts, minds (and pockets of money) for more positive impact, I am all smiles.“
As a freelancer, Christina Moehrle is Senior Advisor at Roots of Impact, advising the firm on impact finance and investment readiness content and programs as well as on capacity building activities for various impact stakeholders.
Since 2012, Christina is active as a freelance specialist in impact finance and impact entrepreneurship. Besides Roots of Impact, she works with several impact pioneers, e.g. with the Financing Agency for Social Entrepreneurship (FASE), the Initiative for Blended Finance at the University of Zurich and Ananda Impact Ventures. Her previous career spans roles such as partner and investor relations manager at international venture capital firm Star Ventures and director of structured products at DB Trust AG, where she was responsible for venture capital and private equity fund placements to Deutsche Bank’s high net worth clients in Germany.
Christina also enjoys being a pro bono advisor to several impact enterprises. She holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Mannheim with honours.
Senior Advisor ……………………………………………………..
„After years of supporting and funding impact innovators, I realised the entire financial system needs a change. With Roots of Impact, I want to be a crucial enabler for Impact-Linked Finance at scale!“
Ramona Liberoff is Senior Advisor at Roots of Impact. She brings over 20 years of experience in inclusive innovation, strategy and impact investment. Ramona was the COO of the Innogy Innovation Hub, investing globally in the future of renewable energy and CEO of SPRING Accelerator supporting high impact ventures in East Africa and South Asia. She has also been a senior advisor to DFID-(now FCDO) backed Partnerships for Forests, a portfolio of global sustainable land use innovators.
Ramona spent the first half of her career working on global innovation for large multinationals, leading the consumer insight and analytics teams at WPP and Nielsen. She has also been on the founding team of three technology businesses and an early stage investor in global impact tech ventures and has a variety of advisory and mentorship roles.
Ramona holds master’s degrees from the London School of Economics and Yale University and has worked extensively in East Africa, South Asia, Russia, China, East Asia, and Latin America, and speaks three languages fluently.
Project Manager Impact-Linked Finance Programs
„I am passionate about engaging with inspiring entrepreneurs and identifying how best to support their economic and impact growth with Impact-Linked Finance.“
Leonessa Crisci is Project Manager Impact-Linked Finance Programs at Roots of Impact. The transactions she manages cover a variety of sectors including WASH, agriculture, healthcare and vocational skills development, and span various regions such as Central America, Asia and Africa. She is also actively involved in Roots of Impact’s efforts to inspire actors to engage with and practice Impact-Linked Finance.
Her professional career started in the private equity space, but she soon moved on to working for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. She entered the impact investing space in 2018 and has worked with different stakeholders ever since, including a venture capital firm in India and a family office in Germany. She is an EFFAS-Certified ESG Analyst and is fluent in five languages. Leonessa holds degrees from the London School of Economics and Political Science and from King’s College London – both focusing on the political economy of development.
Senior Associate Market & Capacity Building Programs
“My passion is to embed deep research into our work to prove academically what we have seen anecdotally.”
Ben West is Senior Associate Market & Capacity Building Programs at Roots of Impact. Besides actively supporting various capacity building projects, he takes care of the development and implementation of the firm’s impact measurement and management practice and also coordinates business development activities.
Before joining Roots of Impact, Ben worked in development consultancies in Afghanistan and humanitarian NGOs in Iraq. During this time, he gained a broad familiarity with business development in the humanitarian and development sectors and also a strong background in monitoring and evaluation. Most recently, he completed a Master’s degree of Public Policy at the Hertie School of Governance, where he focused on research methods for policy analysis.
Senior Associate Market & Capacity Building Programs
„The most rewarding aspect of my job is successfully enabling a paradigm shift in impact measurement: from resource-intensive, box-ticking exercises, to insightful, lean data decision-making“
Melanie Siow is Senior Associate Market & Capacity Building Programs at Roots of Impact, bringing eight years of experience in environmental sustainability and social impact development sectors to the team. Upon graduation with a B.Sc. in Biotechnology from Hochschule Mannheim, Germany, she was involved in the monitoring and evaluation of environmental engineering projects with multinational consultancy firms in Malaysia.
At the Foundation of Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, she spearheaded Malaysia’s first Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) initiative, a sustainable financing mechanism for management of natural resources. She also gained extensive experience in Pay-for-Success methodologies and cost-effective and customer-centric impact measurement. Melanie holds a M.Sc. in International Development Management from the University of Nottingham, UK, where her dissertation was specializing in impact measurement practices in the impact investing industry.
Associate Impact-Linked Finance Programs
„I am passionate about using innovative ways to optimally connect capital to sustainable business models with better terms and deeper impact.“
Steve McCallum is Associate Impact-Linked Finance Programs at Roots of Impact. He largely focuses on implementing the Impact-Linked Finance programs in projects covering sectors such as education, and water and sanitation. He also supports the facilitation of the initiative „Open Platform for Impact-Linked Finance“.
Previously, Steve was Innovative Finance Project Manager at the UCT GSB Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and an independent consultant to various stakeholders in the impact investing ecosystem. In these roles, he was involved in implementing innovative impact fund structures, investigating impact investment decision-making frameworks, training impact professionals and helping organisations describe, measure and improve their impact. He holds an MCom Business Management degree from Stellenbosch University and was part of Oxford University’s first cohort for the Executive Education Programme on Impact Measurement.
Associate Operations ………………………………………………..
„I am incredibly thankful to be part of a team who deeply cares about positive impact on people and planet and to contribute making us fit for scale.”
Tina Ellstroem is Associate Operations at Roots of Impact. She ensures that the right processes and settings are in place for the organization to scale effectively. Tina brings her extensive experience in accounting and human resources from various industries, having worked in Germany, Australia, and Norway before.
Among others, she has been responsible for learning and development programs as well as for recruitment for international and medium-sized companies. In addition, she contributes several years of experience working with accounting, financial planning and reporting. Tina speaks three languages and has a Master of Human Resource Management from the University of Technology Sydney and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the BI Norwegian Business School.
„Good communications are key to make the impact sector professional and avant-garde and to mobilize resources to where it matters most. I am truly excited about being able to contribute to the journey of innovative impact entrepreneurs, who are working to better the lives of people.“
Daniela Bolivar is Associate Communications at Roots of Impact and supports the team in creating high-quality strategies and materials to reach out to external stakeholders about our programs and projects. For more than 15 years, Daniela is working as a graphic design and communications expert. Since 2013, she focuses exclusively on impact-driven organizations and is actively involved in the social entrepreneurship ecosystem in Latin America, where she developed strong partnerships.
Daniela is passionate about sketchnotes and visual facilitation that translates complex content in impact finance into user-friendly and accessible visual pieces. As an independent senior consultant in design and strategic communication, she also works with other impact actors in Latin America and Europe, for example, the ES2 Latam platform.
Anieke De Villiers
Associate Advisory & Executive Education
Anieke de Villiers
„I’m passionate about finding the most effective way in which to do good for people and the planet. I believe Impact-Linked Finance is the highway for driving optimal positive impact in the world.“
Anieke de Villiers is Associate Advisory & Executive Education at Roots of Impact. Her work includes designing, structuring and implementing the Impact-Linked Fund for Gender-Inclusive Fintech and supporting on advisory mandates for donors, impact investors and social enterprises.
Prior to joining the Roots of Impact team, Anieke worked for a UK-based alternative debt provider specializing in growth capital and venture debt to high-growth potential SMEs in the UK. Before, she spent time with TechnoServe India in Mumbai, developing an assessment tool to evaluate the performance of the farmer producer companies in their programs. She also has experience in investment banking and corporate finance in South Africa and is a qualified Chartered Accountant (South Africa).
„I am very excited to be part of the Roots of Impact team to share my passion for having a positive impact on the world.”
Jeanette is Office Manager at Roots of Impact and responsible for administration, accounting and customer relationship management. After completing an apprenticeship as a bank clerk, she has trained as a professional in human resources management.
Before joining the Roots of Impact team, Jeanette gained relevant experience as an office manager in various industries in Germany and Africa. In these roles, she was handling tasks related to human resources, accounting, financial planning and reporting.
„I am most excited about being able to contribute to the journey of entrepreneurs, who are working to better the lives of people in innovative ways.“
Adrija is an Analyst at Roots of Impact, mainly supporting the Market & Capacity Building Programs team. Previously she was working in the Asia Berlin programme of the Berlin senate, where she was involved in stakeholder research for fostering exchange between the start-up hubs of Asia and Berlin. Her work experiences include practicing competition, mergers and acquisitions law and running an impact enterprise that worked on access to quality primary education in northern India. Adrija has also worked as a researcher with a member of the Indian parliament and with political parties, where she focussed on gender and minority inclusion related policies. She is a law graduate from India and is currently a student for a Master’s degree in Public Policy at the Hertie School, Berlin.
„I am extremely fascinated by the idea of working together towards a positive impact and social contribution.”
Vazkresia is an Analyst at Roots of Impact with the responsibility to assist the research and implementation of new and existing Impact-Linked Finance Programs. Before joining Roots of Impact, Vazkresia gained two years of work experience as an OpEx finance manager and financial controller in Germany. Currently, she is specializing in Sustainable Finance in her master studies at Maastricht University, which helped her discover the nature of sustainable, social and impact investing and attracted her to Roots of Impact.
„It makes me happy that by working with our professional team at Roots of Impact, I can contribute to a positive change in the world.“
Eren Foerster is Office Manager at Roots of Impact and responsible for administration, accounting and customer relationship management. Eren is a tax assistant by training and a foreign language correspondent in English and French.
Before joining the Roots of Impact team, she worked at international law firms as an assistant for partners who were specialized in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and private equity. During her employment in several tax consultancies as well as in public and private sector organizations, she gained relevant experience as a commercial clerk in human resources, accounting, customer relationship, administration, and was working with financial reports and analysis, tax issues and translations.