About Us

About Us

Our staff and trustees are passionate about providing that crucial early stage support essential in enabling start-ups to become financially sustainable. We live and breathe entrepreneurship, we understand the path to success… and it’s a journey best taken together.

So, without further ado…

We need to support underreperesented entrepreneurs urgently and Hatch’s programmes are one great way we can super-charge this support!

Martha Lane Fox CBE


Our Purpose

We provide community-based entrepreneurship programmes to emerging entrepreneurs, through an eco-system of support that includes the provision of knowledge, mentorship and workspace.

Our Mission

Building a fairer
society by supporting diverse founders into business

Our Practice

Is to help entrepreneurs develop the knowledge and skills needed to access meaningful self-employment opportunities, including starting or growing a business or social enterprise.

Select a tab to learn more about us:

Chief Executive

Dirk Bischof

Dirk is the founder of One Planet Ventures and HATCH. Since 2004 he’s worked on over 50 projects across the UK and Europe, focusing on sustainability, vocational training and entrepreneurship. Dirk helped set-up a number of social enterprises and a commercial Solar PV company. He’s passionate about enterprise and helping people get their ventures off the ground.

He managed to get through a BSc in Social Anthropology with Business Studies and completed his Masters in Social Anthropology (Goldsmiths). He’s interested in understanding the gift vs contract culture and organisational anthropology. A cyclist commuter by heart, he loves it so much that he’s done a few 1000 miles charity rides around England and Japan.

Media Coordinator

Adam Koroma

Adam specialises in multimedia design, from websites to booklets, from films to photography. He has a penchant for combining multiple types of media to achieve his end goals and he’s always looking for new challenges to aid him in expanding his skill-set.

Finance & Office Manager

Timi Merriman-Johnson

Hatch Impact Programme Manager

Janine Carpenter

Janine is all about developing creative solutions to the challenges posed by growing a business. Her experience helping grow a group of South African digital marketing agencies from start-up phase to 350+ employees, including successfully preparing the business for acquisition, means she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to accelerating business growth.

 In 2015 Janine left the corporate world to complete a Masters in social innovation, social impact, inclusive innovation and social entrepreneurship. This specialisation, combined with her existing business and entrepreneurial experience, brings a unique perspective to the Hatch team as well as the social entrepreneurs participating in her programmes.

Programme Manager

Karen Stenning

Karen has been working in the third sector since 2003, after a career with a large global advertising and marketing firm.  Since turning her focus from the corporate world to the world of not-for-profit, she has accomplished many different roles within the third sector, from fundraising, event management, volunteer management, communication strategy and front-line experience with young people with complex and multiple disadvantages.

In 2015, Karen started her own consultancy agency, Absolute Alchemy, which hosts events within existing communities, to enable dialogue and create a call to action on issues around human rights and inclusivity and diversity.  Karen is a Wellbeing Practitioner, a creative and relational practitioner, and this training has informed the way that she works on a daily basis both at Hatch and at Absolute Alchemy.

Karen joined Hatch in 2017 to manage the Female Founders Accelerator (FFA) and to host events such as the Beyond Good Business. She has moved to facilitating the FFA in 2018, to be able to focus on her own company again. Karen is also a Hatch Alumni, and has come full circle from being an entrepreneur we supported, to being a programme manager, to being a facilitator now, whilst re-focusing work on her own business more fully.

Events & Community Manager

Milly Bianchini

Milly is the Events & Community Manager of our Lounge, Kitchen & Studio space 55 East. They are committed to connecting with the local community of Walworth and beyond to fill 55 East with a wealth of exciting events that reflect its surroundings. Milly is specialised in working with disadvantaged groups of people to produce events and pieces of art which open discussions around localised issues, as well as provide a platform of expression.

Female Founders Programme Manager

Joanna Hamer

Along with being our Female Founders Programme Manager, Joanna runs an award-winning social enterprise supporting women into work through craft. She was a 2016 Year Here fellow in social innovation, and her experience reflects her many personal interests, from art to mental health tech.

Head of Partnerships

Deryl Thatcher

Deryl joins Hatch with a background in CSR, working in partnership with City and Canary Wharf companies to provide meaningful volunteering opportunities for their staff particularly supporting students and young people.  Deryl is also a freelance coach with a focus on women changing or developing their career.  She is a keen cyclist, loves playing pool, Scrabble and – true to her NZ roots – can disappear with a backpack for a day or two to explore new places.


Jenine Baptiste

Jenine joined Hatch in 2018 to ensure our bookkeeping is done effectively for both Hatch and 55 East and liaising with internal and external finance staff and external accountants.

Impact Programme Coordinator

Susanna Sek

Susanna is the Coordinator of our Hatch Impact Programmes. She graduated from Brunel with a BSc in Business Management and Marketing. She spent a few years working in corporates and start ups but decided to take a year out in 2018 to travel South East Asia and work on meaningful social projects. These included working on a fairtrade jewellery brand, an upcycling programme, clean ups, and more recently tackling the issue of plastic waste in the fashion industry. She is a curious individual who is passionate about community building, the circular economy, and leaving a positive impact on the planet.

Female Founders Programme Coordinator

Jade Baker

As well as being the Female Founder Programme Coordinator, Jade created a company which offers administrative support for small creative businesses. With a background in wellbeing and administration, Jade is eager to help support entrepreneurs on their journey. 




Jessica Brown

Jessica Brown is the Social Investment Infrastructure Fund Manager at the Barrow Cadbury Trust. Jessica has responsibility to develop and deliver the infrastructure fund to strengthen and diversify the social investment market, which the Barrow Cadbury Trust manages in partnership with the Access Foundation. With a fund of £1.8m over three years, the investments and grants made by the fund will enhance existing infrastructure, bring new entrants into the sector and develop new tools and methods of data sharing to facilitate market-building. Jessica has experience in social investment, community finance and grant-making, having worked in leadership roles across social enterprises and charitable trusts in the UK and abroad for the past 15 years. Previous roles include Director of the Tellus Mater Foundation and Head of Access to Finance at the new economics foundation. Early in her career, Jessica worked in investment banking at Merrill Lynch in New York and London. Jessica has served as a trustee for several small charities and early stage social enterprises, and is currently Chair of Hatch Enterprise, a social enterprise incubator in South London.


Aman Johal

Before joining Big Society Capital with a focus on housing and employment, she worked for J.P. Morgan, leading the firm’s philanthropic programme across the UK on employment and skills. During her time there she also played a leadership role in the roll out of signature programmes and in building the visibility of the impact of the firm’s philanthropic efforts across Europe, Middle East and Africa. Prior to this she held a number of positions across the non-profit and public sectors in the UK, including at the Young Foundation, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, in public affairs for a national health charity and as a caseworker for a benevolent fund working on the frontline to administer support to beneficiaries.
Aman joined the board of Hatch to support its growth and social investment aspirations as well as its strategic ambitions to diversify entrepreneurship in the UK.
“I’ve known Hatch since its very beginning and I am extremely proud to support such an enterprising charity with a big mission to at its core”

Edmund Papworth

Edmund is a Partner with Jenson Solutions. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Grant Thornton UK LLP in London where he worked in audit, Corporate Finance, Project Finance and latterly the Government, Infrastructure and Advisory team. His career at Grant Thornton saw him work for both the private and public sectors as well as working internationally. He has worked across a range of sectors including transport, waste and renewable energy, urban regeneration, leisure and manufacturing, helping to bid large contracts, complete financial models and provide wider strategic and commercial advice. He is passionate about working with SME’s to drive growth in their business, explore new routes to market and maximise their sustainability. He is also a mentor for ICAS and Virgin Start Ups.


Iqbal Wahhab


Iqbal Wahhab has lived in Britain for almost his whole life and in a career spanning 30 years he has built a reputation for delivering world-class excellence through his highly successful restaurant businesses, Roast and The Cinnamon Club. It was Iqbal’s early experience in the media which saw him run his own hospitality PR business and Indian food publication, Tandoori Magazine that launched his career in the restaurant industry.

In 2003 he co-authored The Cinnamon Club Cookbook and in 2005 opened the highly renowned Roast, the British restaurant and bar in Borough Market.

Iqbal has won a number of major awards and accolades during his career. He was voted one of the Top 10 Restaurateurs in Britain in an Independent on Sunday survey and listed in the Caterer Power 100, GQ 100 Most Connected and The Sunday Times Maserati Top 100 business start-up mentors. He has also received an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from the University of East London and an Honorary Doctorate in Science from the University of West London.

He chairs two social enterprises – Mum’s The Chef and Bounce Back and is actively engaged in the prison reform agenda, social entrepreneurship and in the social investment sector.
What Iqbal said about joining Hatch as a Patron: “I’ve long watched how Brixton’s entrepreneurial talent has been growing in the past. There is a sense of people in Brixton and South London generally that they are building themselves into the centre. Hatch is empowering them to be part of this and being a patron with Hatch is a great way of getting involved in this movement.”

Since 2013, Hatch has pioneered a unique approach to enterprise incubation and entrepreneurship support activities across London, and we are one of the UK’s leading community enterprise charities tackling social inequality.

The communities in which we work face particular challenges associated with poverty and deprivation; our approach is a community-based intervention designed to build social capital locally through an ecosystem of support.

Through our dedicated interventions, we help diverse and underrepresented Change Makers to test, start and grow their ventures, giving particular support (financial and non-financial) to entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups. With each business that is launched and nurtured through our programmes we not only transform the lives of these entrepreneurs but also enable them to make an impact on their communities.

For our work to date, we have won the “Enterprising Britain 2017” Awards (‘Building Enterprise Skills’ category), were a Finalist in the 30th “Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards” in 2017 and were a SE100 Social Impact Finalist in 2016. Hatch is also a London Living Wage employer.

We work with three distinct target groups:

Social Enterprises: They face all the regular startup challenges in addition to a whole other set, such as evaluating impact or legal and regulatory hurdles.
Young entrepreneurs: Aged 18 – 30 from disadvantaged communities. Their issues may not just economic, be it matters of social housing, mental health, etc.
Female Founders: Many women find it difficult to get their business off the ground as they often face additional challenges not typically shared by their male counterparts.

The Problem

There is no doubt that starting a business is challenging. Start-up statistics indicate that 9 out of 10 entrepreneurs will fail within 3 years without dedicated, holistic support. This statistic is even more significant for entrepreneurs that don’t come from affluent families and who don’t have a support network available to them.

  • Lack of local support

  • Isolation

  • Limited start-up spaces

  • Lack of start-up finance

  • Lack of business skills

  • Access to networks

Our Solution

Our programmes help startups validate their business model, improve their marketing strategy and increase their sales. Throughout their journey with us, they build a strong community of peers, by exchanging ideas and swapping skills. At the end they receive on-going support from their mentors, that help them build and refine a powerful strategy to become sustainable in the long run.

Hatch Launchpad: Our early stage programme delivering personal coaching, business workshops and a testing ground for early stage business ideas.

Hatch Incubator: An immersive programme providing workshops, 1-2-1 coaching, mentoring, and access to work space. For established entrepreneurs.

Hatch Accelerator: An innovative business and leadership programme for entrepreneurs wanting to scale an existing business.

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Our Ambassadors

An ambassador’s role is to help us to grow and develop an awareness of what we do within their network whilst connecting with other supporters.

Richard Brophy

Consultant – Paddy Power Betfair

Esperanza Cerdan

Programme Director – Deutsche Bank

John Citron


Deuan German

Manager – Maroon Town

Thomas Grynbaum

M&A Associate – Rothschild

Robert von Kaufman

Deutsche Bank

Peter Krishan

Executive Director – JP Morgan

Carla Miller

Executive coach – Carla Miller Coaching & Consultancy

Hannah Mitchell

Head of Knowledge and Innovation – vinspired

Karen Pepper

Head of the UK & Ireland – Amazon Pay

Darrel Sheinman

Gearbox Records

Adrian Smalley

Programme Architect – Salesforce

Ready to start your journey with Hatch?