Launch of the Black Funding Networking

Guest Blog from Pauline De Souza

On 10th November 2020, a new philanthropy organisation made its presence known. Modelling itself on the crowdfunding system created by The Funding Network, the Black Funding Network supports social enterprises dealing with social mobility, racial equity, arts and cultural advancement, education and youth services.

The founders, Erika Brodnock, Angela Ferreira, Yvette Griffith and Patricia Hamzahee, have their backgrounds in corporate finance and management, having set up their own organisations and worked with social enterprises. 

Angela and Yvette have additional cultural experience. Angela has worked in senior broadcasting roles with Channel 4 and BBC. Yvette is co-chief executive of Jazz Refreshed and has spent many years working in the theatre.

Despite Covid-19 and the second national lockdown in the UK, they were determined that the Black Funding Network event would go ahead. 

The live online event was hosted by The Funding Network’s Josh Babarinde, who introduced three organisations to the philanthropic funders on the call: Sister System, With Insight and Elevated Minds. Each organisation had 10 minutes to pitch leaving time for the audience to ask questions.

  • Sister System helps young girls in the care system between the ages of 13-21. These care-affected girls are supported by experienced ‘big sister’ mentors who have been let down by the care system.
  • With Insight offers a mentoring system to help black students to apply for top universities
  • Elevated Minds provides young people and their parents with alternative strategies to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

Each organisation was hoping to secure £6,000 from the funders on the call. In fact, they succeeded in raising £10,000 each, thanks to incredibly generous pledging. 

The attendees were also entertained with the music performance by Ayanna Witter-Johnson, British cellist, singer, songwriter and composer, who opened the MOBO Awards Pre-Show in 2016.

Future events combining funding opportunities and live performances are being planned. 

For more information, please email


Read more: Pauline Desouza’s philanthropic journey