Pat Shelley

Chief Executive Officer

I spent 25 years in Local Government working in Portsmouth, Stoke-on-Trent, and London. During this time, I managed a range of services for young people including youth, Connexions, targeted youth support and teenage pregnancy services. My last position was as Strategic Manager (Assistant Director) for Young People’s Services with Southwark Council in London.


After taking voluntary redundancy I moved into the voluntary sector as CEO for Launch and have been busy moving Launch It from a London based organisation to one which is expanding across the country. I have a passion for working with and developing opportunities for young people, particularly those who are dealing with social or economic challenges as I lived experience of facing these challenges myself.


In my spare time I like to take my Cocker Spaniel, Arnold, out walking, going for a run, and watching Brentford FC win (occasionally!)


Lianne Carr Wyllie

Enterprise Manager, Dundee

I grew up in the St Mary’s area of the city. After leaving school I studied music performance before spending 15 years managing a busy jewellers in the city.


My passions outside of work are singing & performing in a local band, teaching singing to kids, and running my own Princess Party Business.

I joined Launch It Dundee in 2019 and find the charity so inspiring as we get to meet and help support young talented individuals with bright futures ahead of them.

When I was younger I would have loved to have been part of the Launch it Programme, I think I would have liked to have had my own recording studio!

I also likes chilling when I can with my husband Paul, daughter Mia and two Persian cats Coco and Snowball.


Adenike Malcom

Enterprise Manager, London

I have a huge interest in entrepreneurship and believe anyone with drive and determination, regardless of their background deserves to be supported.  


My journey as a start-up business advisor started in 1997 when I was supported and awarded with a small grant to start my dress agency business by The Prince’s Trust. 


I believe my experience as a business proprietor put me in good stead for my future employment; it was someone showing me they had belief in my idea that encouraged my confidence. 


In 2001 a became a business area manager in Lambeth and Southwark at The Prince’s Trust and in 2005 I joined Launch It, working with young entrepreneurs in Deptford before moving back to Southwark.


Shabana Basheer

Enterprise Manager, Dundee

 I am Shabana and I have worked with young people in the charity sector for over 10 years in a range of roles, from campaigning and advocacy to volunteer support. Prior to joining Launch It Dundee in September 2018, I managed the British Red Cross’ International Youth Volunteering Programme, through which hundreds of young people from across Europe were able to participate in long-term volunteering projects with Red Cross partners in the UK and abroad. 


I also work as a freelance translator, so have experience first-hand in the challenges and opportunities of being self-employed.  


When I am not working, I enjoy going for long walks in the unpredictable Scottish weather, swimming, knitting, reading, and dancing round the house with my music-loving toddler.


Sarah Campbell

Enterprise Manager, Paisley

My name is Sarah and I am the Enterprise Manager in Paisley. I graduated with a degree in Psychology in 2019 from the University of Aberdeen. After graduation, I got a job working for a dating agency for adults with learning disabilities. I am very passionate about helping young people achieve their different goals and dreams.


For five summers, I worked at a summer camp in America. Many of the kids I worked with were either remission or going through treatment of different cancers or blood disorders. This was hugely rewarding and has really spurred on my drive to make a positive change.


I am excited to help and motivate young adults achieve big things with their business.


Outside of work, I love walking my black Labrador Kobe and hanging out with my friends.


Clifford Dobbs

Enterprise Manager, London

At Launch It, each day is a learning curve and a day to make a difference to someone setting up in business.  I previously worked for myself, and I have also been involved with community cohesion resulting in building my own home.  The lessons I learnt were teamwork, discipline, determination and overcoming obstacles to achieve your goals. 


My role is managing the smooth running of our workspaces and providing a comprehensive business support package.  I am level 5 Sfedi qualified in Professional Business and Enterprise Support and received an Enterprise Life Achievement and Professional Recognition Award in 2019 for my contribution to small businesses. 


My interests are cooking, reading, going to the cinema and keeping healthy; I run 3 times a week. 

I am also an avid Arsenal supporter!   


Laura Symmons

Development Director, London

I am passionate about making a difference to the lives of young people.  I previously worked as a music leader in schools, pupil referral units and at a youth music charity.  There, I delivered sessions on music production and the music industry as part of a foundation degree course, in partnership with Westminster University.  Simultaneously, I was working as a session musician and songwriter, touring the UK and Europe.


I started with Launch It in 2016 and really enjoy seeing the creativity and passion of our entrepreneurs.


When I’m not working, I’m a mum who also writes songs and goes cold water swimming!


Amber Wright

Development Director, Out of London

In 2008 I joined Launch It as an Enterprise Manager in Tottenham. During my time here, I have retrained in fundraising and am now undertaking the role of Development Director as we fulfil our strategic vision of starting more charities and centres across the UK.


I have always been interested in enterprise and used to run my own crew catering business. In 2006 I started working for the Princes’ Trust and found that I had a real passion for working with young people and in particular empowering young people to build a great life for themselves.


Out of work I am a busy mum of three and enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle and socialising with friends and family.


Abba Taylor


I have been with Launch It since 2016, working with our wonderful team here as the receptionist/administrator. I enjoy working alongside some extremely talented and creative businesses- creativity is something I am passionate about. 

My background is in performing arts and the music industry. I studied at the Brit Performing Arts School, then worked at Performing Rights Society (PRS) where I set up the royalties for artists within the music industry. After 7 years at PRS I left to be a full-time mum of now two lovely young women, who steal my make-up and clothes daily. 


Outside of Launch It, I love to dance, there’s nothing better than shaking a leg!


Claudia Fairman

Business Advisor
(Next Generation project)

I have a passion for helping people progress in life and support them to overcome barriers. I have worked within the charity sector for over 10 years and supported those facing challenges to access opportunities in training and employment. 

I have a background in the arts and trained as a dancer, eventually studying Arts Management.

This led me to producing my own events which

gave a platform and space for artists to showcase their work.  To play a part of an entrepreneur's journey is rewarding and a privilege.


Outside of work I enjoy spending time with family and friends, taking long walks and going to the gym. 


Jacob Kirkham

Business Advisor
(Next Generation project)

At Launch It, I am responsible for helping the cohort of 18-24 year olds to start and grow their businesses. I am hugely passionate about entrepreneurship and its potential to improve people’s lives and in turn, society.


Before joining Launch It I studied for a law degree then ran a business in North Lincolnshire in the construction industry, I am also currently an MBA candidate at Durham University Business School.


Outside of work and study I am passionate about fitness and sports (play a lot of golf), love to read and spend time with family and friends.


Kofoworola Oyeleye

Business Advisor
(Next Generation project)

I am passionate about entrepreneurship and positively impacting lives. I have previous experience in working with early stage entrepreneurs in Nigeria and the United Kingdom, to build sustainable ventures.


Though my work as a Social Entrepreneur, I have had the opportunity to create animated educational content for children across the world with support from Institut Francais, Goethe Institut, The U.S State Department, The World Bank, and TEF.


Outside of work, I’m a Mum of two, who enjoys movies, travelling and clothes-making.


Sarah Hill

(Next Generation project)

Sarah will be assisting the Next Generation Business Advisors and wider staff team to carry out the project. She has previously worked in admin roles in a higher education setting, a solicitor's firm, and in the disability arts charity sector. She is also a freelance artist who sells greeting cards, and is interested in everything to do with how to run a successful business. 


Alison Robinson

Finance Manager

I have been working with Launch It since the beginning of 2017. I am responsible for all of the financial management of the charity and also assist with advice on general business management to the Trust and their young entrepreneurs. 


I also currently run the Money Matters Training for the Trust and provide on-going support to the businesses related to their accounting systems.


I am a Chartered Management Accountant and have worked in industry for over 20 years. For the last 15 years I have been running my own accountancy practice with my husband and a staff of 5. I deal with many different types of business and assist many new businesses in their first years. This experience means I am able to support the young entrepreneurs as well as the Trust with up to the minute information that I use for my other clients. 


I am very passionate about the work of Launch It and the people they support. 


When not working I enjoy cooking and traveling. I also enjoy spending time with my family of six men (including my husband and the cat!).