William Pollen

William Pollen

Programme Director, Invest in Africa

William joined Invest in Africa (IIA) as the Programme Director at its inception in 2012 and has since overseen IIA’s expansion from founding Partner Tullow Oil, to other leading corporates including; EY, Equity Bank, Clyde & Co, Ecobank, Diageo, The African Development Bank, FMO and a host of local African companies, trade bodies and government Ministries. During this time William has also overseen IIA’s entry into Ghana and subsequent growth into Kenya and other new markets

IIA’s visions is to creating ‘thriving African economies’, by connecting corporates to credible local African SMEs and giving those SMEs better access to skills, markets and finance. The impact and success of IIA’s work is measured by the number of jobs created, improvement in competiveness and new linkages to contracts and finance. IIA’s work unites leading companies, across sectors, pooling needs and resources to create solutions that are more timely, impactful and cost efficient than acting alone. In 2014 IIA launched West Africa’s first online, cross-sector business portal, The African Partner Pool (APP) to connect validated local SMEs to corporates, the tenders in their supply chains as well as the skills and finance needed to raise standards. In 2015 IIA received funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB) & FMO to deliver a three year business skills training and mentoring programme for high growth potential SMEs.