Our purpose is clear

We exist to ensure that every business can access the finance and support they need to grow, regardless of any differences they may have.

We focus on the one thing that every finance provider needs - healthy, growing businesses,
with the best potential for growth.

Fairness, inclusivity and authenticity are key values for us.

Our A.I.R Process enables us to train client risk models to eradicate bias primarily within lending and investment services. We also provide a data-led approach with over 20 years of bespoke inclusion expertise to help our partners maximise their ROI, increase competitive advantage and adapt to the new era of inclusive and alternative financing for all businesses, regardless of any differences they may have.


After over two decades of providing diversity and inclusion support to global companies and funding ambitious SME businesses, our founder felt that there is an ongoing problem.

On one side, you have finance providers who have been disrupted by global market, capital and regulatory challenges, but are wary of taking on more risk on businesses that don't fit their typical criteria. On the flip side, there are businesses with great growth potential that don't fit the typical mold, resulting in less loans being provided and increasing inclusion gaps. This is especially true for small to medium-sized businesses.

So, we created GFA Exchange to solve this problem.

What's so special about us?

Well, our unique AI solution that we built from scratch does not allow things like business size, ethnicity, gender or any other characteristic determine whether a business should get the help it's needs. We focus on the one thing all our partners have in common - the need to identify and support healthy businesses with the best potential for growth.

Our approach is inclusive, measurable and complimentary. We understand that you have your own internal credit risk and historical dataset processes. We are not here to replace that. But we unlock hidden insights about your clients, that you don't already have, which means you can evolve and be more informed to spot businesses with the most growth potential and those who may cause future problems, faster, and in the most inclusive way.

If you partner with us, you'll benefit from our single destination data network. Your private dashboard becomes your checkpoint, tailored to your needs and you can trust that your clients are always evaluated fairly based on key performance indicators we've developed with top financial experts across the finance, SME and academic sectors.

From driving efficiency within lending, growth finance and investment processes, to supporting inclusive ESG and innovative technology models, we help our partners make more informed decisions, whilst reducing financial risk and reducing service costs.

We think it's essential for the financial world to adapt to the inclusive, alternative, data-driven era and to be open to all businesses, regardless of their background or size.

We strongly believe in inclusivity. It’s not a wishy washy value that we preach for brand or PR. It's not a greenwashing buzzword for us.

It is the very core of who we are and what we do.



Our team

With over 80 years of core experience across Finance, Business Growth Support and Global Technology and Software Design, our award-winning team understand the practical and real-life challenges, of responding to industry and business disruption.

Joel Blake OBE
Joel Blake OBE
founder & Ceo
Joel has over 20 years' experience of inclusive business growth support. From providing consul to No.10 Downing Street advisers, to public speaking on international stages, Joel is passionate about inclusive finance and SME growth.

Previously, he co-founded a financial lending firm, is the former President of the Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce, and was awarded an OBE in 2016 for Services to Business Support and Enterprise.
Stuart Muckley
Milan Miskov
PRODUCT LEAD
 With 20+ years of technology and product experience in Belgrade, US and the UK, Milan has a proven track record of managing complex projects, utilising the latest tools and advanced technologies to help drive SME growth. 

He has previously worked with Google, Visa-Mastercard, Coca-Cola, and Virgin Media among many others, helping to drive innovation to support the
growth of businesses.
Joanna Hill
John Macpherson
STRATEGY ADVISOR
John is a business leader with over 20+ years of extensive B2B commercial experience in FinTech, financial services and data management with global firms, across global markets and geographies.

Having previously worked for JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, CitiGroup and Nomura, John also supports the wealth and asset management market as Chair of the Investment Association (Engine).
Samuel Roberts
Theodora Hadjmichael
INDUSTRY SUPPORTER
Theodora is Chief Executive of Responsible Finance, the UK's leading body for the development and support of the responsible finance industry.

Theodora spent 6 years building the robust evidence base of data on member performance and industry trends. She previously worked in economic development consulting and community finance in the US.
Theodora Hadjmichael
Mark Body
ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER
Mark is the former Global CFO for HSBC ServCo, a £18 billion business unit with the global HBSC Group. He has also held several executive and finance positions within Standard Chartered, Aviva and KPMG. 

Mark is a Fellow of the CMI and the Association of Taxation Technicians, alongside advisory board member of Norwich Business School the Metropolitan University in Hong Kong.
Marcus Scott
Marcus Scott
ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER
Marcus is the former COO of The CityUK, the UK’s leading lobby group for the financial services sector. He was instrumental in the work of the ReCapitalisation Group recommendations to UK government on the £100bn COVID finance debt.

Prior to The CityUK, Marcus built up over 10 years' experience as a CFO for a number of technology companies, developing start-ups and high growth businesses.
Marcus Scott
Sam Roberts
ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER
Sam is a Demand Generation expert who helps B2B SaaS companies increase qualified revenue through marketing.

Sam has over 8 years of experience working across early to mid-stage B2B tech companies (from securing series A investment through to supporting the £65 million acquisition of a global CX vendor).

Our Awards

We are grateful, with a few reasons for you to be excited! 

Best Credit Risk Management Platform - Fintech 2023  
Top 20 of UK Fintech50 2023 - Most Innovative Financial Technologies
Awarded one of Midlands Top 50 Tech Disruptors 2023  
Awarded
Fintech of the Year 2022  
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UK’s Top 10% most innovative start-ups to help financial services tackle COVID impact

UK Top 40 Emerging FinTech (NatWest Accelerator)
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IA Engine
Innovator Alumni



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One of the 50 most inspiring, prominent, and influential black voices in UK tech (Joel Blake OBE)
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UK Top 100 Fintech Startups 2019
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Rising Stars Regional Award Winner 2018


gfa exchange dashboard

Book your FREE client
audit today!

Speak to a member of our team to learn more about how you can identify best fit clients, with less risk, less cost and more inclusively!