Alicia Thornthwaite, co-founder of AfroDeity Ltd, worked as a scientist for over seven years. Having a chemistry background, she was amazed by the number of harsh chemicals in hair and skin products and this made her want to explore the herbs, oils and butters her ancestors had used in the Caribbean.
Alicia and her mother Joliette (a former headmistress) founded AfroDeity on the knowledge of these healing herbs, oils and butters combining beauty, science and their commitment to the rural Caribbean.
AfroDeity features and retails Caribbean Inspired natural hair and skin products. The ultimate goal is to help small farmers in the Caribbean and reinvigorate the declining agricultural industry by bringing natural healing oils and butters to the UK. AfroDeity‚Äôs main product line is the signature Fountain Jamaican Oils Collection from which products are a mixture of oils and herbs grown in Jamaica is exclusive to AfroDeity.
Alicia describes how business and social goals can come together in creating a new business.
Rob is an entrepreneurial MBA who has specialised for the last 15 years in Corporate Finance and Corporate Development for mid-market SMEs (¬£2M to ¬£50M), both with professional firms (SG Warburg and Mazars) and within his own investment firm, Kilriver, that he founded and owns (www.kilriver.com). Kilriver provides corporate finance advice to mid market SMEs and uses the considerable skills of the Kilriver team to advise and build successful high growth SME companies; Kilriver also looks to invest its own funds in high growth companies with which it works closely. In his career Rob has transacted over 55 M&A deals with aggregate deal value in excess of ¬£350M.
Rob was the inventor of the award winning London Taxibike, (still going!) in his early 20‚Äôs and was later CEO of Interglobe PLC, a ¬£15M revenue, 100 staff, European telecom company that he successfully sold for $25M to two 25 year olds backed by the founder of Ticketmaster.
Rob is a Cranfield MBA, Cranfield Visiting Fellow and is a huge fan, lecturer and mentor on the Cranfield Business Growth Program having seen it transform so many lives and businesses- think Cobra Beer, Go-Ape, Hotel Chocalat. He also runs the Cranfield Corporate Finance master-class. He is authorised by the FCA to conduct investment business and has an Economics and Accounting degree.
He is a non-exec Director of C&M Recruitment, Plan International a global NGO focussed on child health and The Mind Clinic, which promotes mental health fitness in the workplace. Kilriver is an investor in The Clubhouse London.
In 2011 Rob built an eco-house in Sussex where he lives with his family and badly behaved dog, Winston.
Rob will be talking about his company's support for The Mind Clinic www.themindclinic.org