Advisory Board


CJ Lloyd Webley

I am a Writer and Theatre-maker from Birmingham. I majored in Theatre and Performance Studies at The University of Warwick, and completed a Master of Arts in Creative Writing (Screenwriting & Playwriting) at City University of London. My play, Shadows, received 4 & 5 star reviews and sold out its three-night run at Theatro Technis, Kings Cross in 2017. Since then, I have had new work performed at The Birmingham Rep, Soho Theatre and the Brockley Jack Studio Theatre.

As the Founder/CEO of The Black Pounds Project CIC, I have supported over 100 businesses to access business or financial support. Alongside this I have facilitated Creative Writing workshops as part of my organisation Sorrel Park Theatrical, and online sessions. 

It is my ambition to inspire the next generation of artists and entrepreneurs, particularly those from communities which are often deemed underrepresented.

Sally Dhillon

I help employers to attract, retain and develop gender-diverse teams through cost-effective, workable employment services. Focused on closing your gender pay & leadership gaps and helping you realise the commercial benefits of having gender-diverse teams throughout your organisation.

I support parents and carers who return to work following a career break, as well as supporting career transitions and working parents to juggle home and work responsibilities so that everyone thrives. 

My mission is to help remove the gender barriers to career and business success by supporting #morewomenleaders 

The Black Pounds Project is an opportunity to be actively involved in a purposeful, local #blacklivesmatter initiative to drive high quality support for female black-owned businesses in particular.

Denise Bobb

I am PRINCE2, P30, MSP, ITIL qualified and have vast experience managing, delivering and controlling transformational change across multiple sectors including the NHS, financial services, bio-medical sector and the NGO sector.

I have lead delivery and oversight of various types of projects including R&D projects, new products and service development, regulatory and legal projects, operational efficiency, and improvement projects.

Having been a project and programme manager myself, I have a real passion for helping organisations identify, prioritise and manage change and transformation initiatives, and for supporting them through delivery to benefits realisation.

The Black Pounds Project is an initiative that I am proud to be a part. I implore Midlands businesses to get involved. 

Assim Ishaque

Assim is an experienced Commercial Director, passionate about taking innovative ideas through to revenue growth. With a background in Finance, FMCG and Telco developing expertise in Sustainability, CleanTech, Renewable Energy Technology. Working with businesses from Startup to Scaleup’s, corporates and leading business Accelerators. He is also a specialist speaker on the subject of the entrepreneurial journey – the good, bad and ugly as well as the creative, liberating and fulfilling aspects.

Harriet Saunders

Harriet works as a Fund Executive at The FSE Group, working to deliver £42m of debt funding to SMES as part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund. Harriet is responsible for maintaining the smooth day to day operations of the fund at FSE, deal execution and general fund administration.

Harriet holds a BSc (Hons) Business Administration degree from The University of Bath and a CISI Investment Advice Diploma. Harriet has previously worked within financial services providing operational and administrative assistance, with a recent focus on equity VCs geared to assisting SMES. Harriet is passionate about helping growing businesses scale up by unlocking funding and she is always keen to meet businesses within the patch.

In her spare time, Harriet enjoys cooking, visiting National Trust properties and is working towards her ACCA Qualification.

Jennifer Griffith

I am a banking solicitor at Pinsent Masons, so I act for both borrowers and lenders on corporate finance transactions. I often work with the larger banks so hopefully I can recruit some mentors from both a legal and a banking perspective.

I am really keen to support the Black Pounds Project wherever I can.


Sue Bedward

Sue is an MSc academically qualified coach and mentor, CIPD accredited trainer and Certified Business Assessor with a passion for professional leadership development and growth.

Following her own experience in Continued Professional Development (CPD) learning and business development, Sue founded the Midlands Business Leadership Academy in 2015 to enable business advisers to achieve accreditation, and to empower business owners to succeed through continuous leadership development, coaching and mentoring support.

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