CEO & Founder
Michelle trained at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and played the violin professionally. A chartered marketer, manager and fundraiser, Michelle founded Cause4 after leaving the London Symphony Orchestra, where her achievements in private sector fundraising led to her being judged the Best Upcoming Fundraiser at the National Fundraising Awards in 2008.
Since setting up Cause4 Michelle has undertaken major strategic and business development projects, including campaign developments with a number of national charities and consultancy work for FTSE 100 brands developing their cultural sponsorship programmes. Michelle also specialises in philanthropy, having recently developed a number of major philanthropy projects for charities and corporates, and having set up new philanthropic foundations for sports stars, artists and entrepreneurs.
In 2010 Michelle completed her studies as part of the MBA programme at Ashridge Business School and in early 2011 Michelle was awarded a prestigious social enterprise scholarship from Coutts to study at Cranfield School of Management on the renowned Business Growth and Development Programme. Further funding from Goldman Sachs in 2012 enabled study at University College London as part of the 10,000 small businesses programme and at Said Business School at Oxford University in 2013.
Michelle is a Fellow of the Guildhall School (FGS) and of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and a Trustee of the Discover Children’s Story Centre. She is particularly passionate about mentoring emerging entrepreneurs and is a coach and mentor for the Aspire Foundation, Santander Breakthrough and Emerge Venture Labs, as well as supporting the development of several new businesses in the field of creative entrepreneurship as part of a partnership with the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
Michelle was the winner of the female entrepreneur category in the national Natwest Startup awards 2011 and is a top 10 winner in the Ernst and Young Future 100 awards 2011 for entrepreneurs under 35 that demonstrate innovation in progressing a responsible business venture. She is a gold, silver and bronze award winner in the 2012-2014 international Stevie Awards for innovation. In summer 2013 Michelle was invited by Lord Young of Graffham in 2013 to become an Accelerate 250 member for small businesses showing rapid growth.
In 2013 she was recommended by a panel of independent investors to be part of the Silicon Valley 100 list for businesses showing high potential.
In 2014 Michelle was the first entrepreneur in the UK to receive the IWEC award for outstanding entrepreneurial achievement, and represented the UK as a National Champion for Entrepreneur of the Year in the European Business Awards. In 2015 she was invited to become part of the Maserati 100 list for entrepreneurs ‘that give back’ and was voted Salt Magazine’s top 5 Compassionate Business Leaders in the UK based on sustainability, innovation, compassion and impact. In 2016 she was recognised with an Innovative Trailblazer award for entrepreneurship at the Women’s Economic Forum in New Delhi and the Woman of the Year Award at the Women’s World Award in San Francisco, for her work supporting other female entrepreneurs.
She was awarded the Freedom of the Guild of Entrepreneurs in 2016 and joined the WISE list for top 100 Social Entrepreneurs in 2017. Michelle was voted the most influential woman in fundraising in the AI Global Awards 2018.
Michelle is on the Board of Discover Story Children’s Centre and was previously a Chair of Sound and Music. She is the lead trainer of the Trustee Leadership Programme and an expert in charity governance, training 500 people each year to become charity Trustees. Michelle also supports Trustees, NEDs and School Governors one to one, providing advice and guidance on Trusteeship.
Michelle also leads on all Culture Change Programmes, working closely with Trustee Boards and Executive Teams to create a positive working culture and relationship that leads to effective governance and successful delivery of programmes.