Joel Blake OBE

"Without collaboration, financial inclusion means nothing.

Together, it changes everything."

Trusted by leading organisations

More about Joel

Joel is a Business Leader, Entrepreneur, International Speaker, Broadcast Presenter, and Corporate Advisor.

Joel has built a credible reputation for challenging the status quo, helping businesses to transform into the inclusive and transformational organisations that they want to be. He brings a vibrant and authentic energy that has been described as both "authentically inspiring and grounded".

His work ethic and drive to help others succeed, was born out of his sense of inclusive purpose - a desire to maximise potential, regardless of any difference. This inclusive mantra has underpinned his work over the past 22 years and will do so long into the future!

He uniquely balances C-Suite expertise with real societal impact

This enables him to turn inclusion from a political and social hot potato, into a tangible commercially-driven way to help organisations innovate from the inside out.

This is supported by his neuro-diverse thinking, use of award-winning technologies and a credible and proven record of entrepreneurial leadership.

His phenomenal business journey started at the age of 21 when he led an Executive Mentoring programme of 250 leaders from across the business, financial, and professional services sector for the UK’s leading employability service. Taking the plunge into the world of entrepreneurship aged 24, Joel went on to build an international diversity recruitment and consulting service.

After a stint as the UK Inclusion lead for the sport of Golf, he embraced the entrepreneurial bug and went on to found a series of ventures with many highs and many lows. But having learnt many lessons first-hand, he nurtured and shaped his ability to craft unmeasurable value for his clients and partners.

In 2012, he moved into the world of finance where he co-founded a business that funded over 700 SME businesses, as a partner of a £200 million UK SME financing programme before moving into the world of Fintech. Today, he is highly regarded as one of the leading financial technology (fintech) entrepreneurs in the UK, having been selected as one of the leading black voices in UK Tech in 2019.

He was awarded an OBE in 2016 for Services to Business Support and Enterprise.

Joel is the Founder of The GFA Exchange

An award-winning data fintech startup that uses the power of AI to help banks and SME finance providers manage portfolio risk and reduce services costs, whilst improving financial inclusion for underserved SMEs.

He is also the Founding Director of the Financial Inclusion Network. Launched in June 2022, this more-than-profit industry think-tank body encourages financial services firms to share industry best practices on how to benefit from investing in the commercial and social value, of supporting underserved SME markets at scale.

Joel is also a Non-Executive Director of Advantage Creative, a VC firm and business coaching firm currently raising their second multi-million-pound fund, Chair of Employability UK, an established UK charity that was awarded the prestigious Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in 2021 and is a Trustee of B:Music (music charity responsible for Birmingham Symphony Hall and Town Hall).

If you are looking for an authentic, personable, inspiring leader...

To help you improve financial inclusion within ESG, SME Finance and SME business growth models, then contact Joel today!