Our story and what we stand for

Our approach means we're able to measure the business health of any portfolio, across any sector, anywhere in the world - all in a way that's inclusive and support more equitable access to finance for all.

Our vision is to create the world’s most inclusive platform for measuring business health performance.

But what does that really mean? It means we want to create an environment where the business, lender and the wider financial services market truly benefit from one another.

A place where lenders are able to track, measure and benchmark clients on performance insights that come directly from the owner. Whilst businesses are able to understand and evidence the growth performance of their own business no matter who they are - supporting a new and inclusive financial services model that’s ensures equitable access to finance.

Fairness, inclusivity and authenticity are key values for us.

With GFA, lenders benefit not just from the growth KPIs that have been co-designed with the financial market, but they also benefit from the data network effect of being able to benchmark their portfolio against every other lender in GFA.

This creates a situation where everyone wins because they all get access to hidden intelligence that would otherwise be unavailable to them.

Consider a business that’s operating 20% lower against similar businesses across your portfolio. With GFA, you now know about it because of the way we assess your clients but more importantly, you’re now in a position to make a more informed decision about it.

You now have all of the business health performance data you need, how you choose to use the intelligence is up to you.

Now let’s consider clients...

Clients benefit because they are always fairly assessed against a set of growth KPIs that are purely focused on business health performance.

This means, size of business, country of origin, ethnicity, none of that matters because the way we score clients is weighted on the responses and built to cater for all businesses no matter who they are.

This inclusive approach creates a fairer and more equitable access to finance for all businesses regardless of any difference they may have.

Inclusivity is something that underpins everything that we do.It’s not a wishy washy value that we preach, it’s the basis of our business.

From the way we built the platform to how we provide the intelligence you need, we believe a culture of inclusivity is key for financial markets to survive.

Our team

With over 40 years of 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 15 years' experience of business growth support. He is the former Executive Lead for Access to Finance and Growing Businesses supporting the needs of over 6,500 SMEs.

Previously, he co-founded a financial lending firm and funded over 650 SME businesses. Outside of GFA Exchange, he is the President of the Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce and was awarded an OBE in 2016 for Services to Business Support and Enterprise.
Stuart Muckley
Stuart Muckley
HEAD OF PRODUCT
With a passion for technology, Stuart has over 25 years experience across Software Architecture, AI Development, Digital Infrastructure and Technology Consultancy.

Stuart has built leading products and software teams, driving innovation for many global brands including Microsoft, Fujitsu, GAME and the Universal Music Group.
Joanna Hill
Joanna Hill
ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER
Joanna brings a wealth of experience in inclusive lending, as both former CEO of Start Up Loans, and the Chief Commercial Officer at Ask Inclusive Finance; one of the few female-led FinTechs in the UK

Joanna oversaw the delivery of funding and mentoring to 70,000 UK businesses during her five years at Start Up Loans. Now, as the CCO of AskIf, she is working with the same energy and enthusiasm to support businesses that have been trading for a year or more.
Samuel Roberts
Samuel 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 acquisition of a global CX vendor).
Theodora Hadjmichael
Theodora Hadjmichael
ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER
Theodora is Chief Executive of Responsible Finance, the UK's leading body for the development and support of the responsible finance industry.

She previously spent six 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.
Marcus Scott
Marcus Scott
ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER
Marcus is the former COO of The CityUK, driving the strategic development of the UK’s leading lobby group for the financial services sector.

Prior to TheCityUK Marcus built up over 10 years' experience as a CFO for a number of technology companies, developing start-ups and high growth businesses.
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