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WorkPride Panel: Investment - Where to Find Funding for Your Business Ideas

Getting a business off the ground is a difficult task – in a lot of cases, it can even be impossible. If we’re talking about a business that is either founded by or aimed at the LGBTQ+ community, this can be even more difficult thanks to the prejudice the community faces.

This panel aims to cover what funding and mentoring possibilities exist to get a business started and what kind of investment opportunities exist that might be easier for the LGBTQ+ community to navigate. We'll also talk about the world of venture capital and the progress made to ensure founders can be their authentic selves. 

Sponsored by:


  • M
    Belton Flournoy
    Belton Flournoy
    Managing Director
    In addition to being a Managing Director in Protiviti’s Technology & Digital consulting practice, Belton is founder of Protiviti UK's LGBT+ group, which won best LGBT+ network in 2019 by the Inclusive Tech Alliance. Belton was shortlisted as a top 10 inspirational business leader in 2020 by the British LGBT+ awards, was recently listed as #18 on Yahoo Finance’s Top 100 Future Leaders, #15 on Yahoo Finance’s Top 100 Ethnic Minority Leaders and was featured on the top UK Black Role models, presented by Google. Belton was co-founder of Pride in the City with Pride in London where he ran a Mayor backed initiative dedicated to increasing diversity and inclusivity across London businesses.  In January 2021, Belton joined The Inclusion Initiative (TII) at the London School of Economics as an Advisory Board Member supporting their three-year innovative partnership programme bringing together research and practice to build more inclusive work environments. He has over a decade of experience supporting clients with deploying strategic solutions across some of the world’s leading financial services institutions, while maintaining a strong passion for ensuring diversity and inclusivity remain high on organisations business agenda.  He is extremely passionate about intersectionality, where he believes it is each person’s role to support other groups who are in the minority – “after all, we don’t want to preach to the converted, we want to educate and inspire people to be more aware and inclusive.” Belton also acts as an adviser to the UK Multicultural network, proCulture. He has experience delivering Cyber Security, Customer Experience, Identity & Access Management (IAM), Spreadsheet Risk and Compliance/Regulatory Risk programs across Europe. He has managed global teams across large organisations, as well as supporting small and medium-sized organisations to implement fit-for-purpose solutions. Protiviti is a global consulting firm that delivers deep expertise, objective insights, a tailored approach and unparalleled collaboration through consulting solutions in finance, technology, operations, data, analytics, governance, risk and internal audit. Please do not contact me if you require financial support.
  • Deon Pillay
    Deon Pillay
    Head of Marketing Operations
    LGIM, Founding member & Co-Chair at InterInvest
    Deon is the Head of Marketing Operations, Legal and General Investment Management in London and also the Chair of the firm’s L&GBT+Allies network. Outside of the office, he is the Co-chair of InterInvest, a network of investment professionals, that drives LGBT+ equality across the investment management industry. Since arriving in London from his home town in South Africa, Deon started his career in financial services at a private wealth management company in client services before joining LGIM in 2010. Deon is passionate about people, a mentor to others, a life coach and an NLP practitioner who is passionate about personal development. Deon has several notable achievements for his contributions to diversity and inclusion. He is a keynote speaker, sharing his personal experiences to surface LGBT+ issues, a panellist championing diversity and inclusion, committee member of the Diversity Project’s LGBT+ stream and a supporter of Queer Britain. In 2019/2020 Deon was recognised as an LGBT+ Future Leader in the OUTstanding list and also featured in Empower’s Top 50 Ethnic Minority Future Leaders list in both 2019/2020 and a top 10 Diversity Hero at the 2020 British lgbt awards He has also been a supporter of LGBT Great since inception and was the recipient of the inaugural role models award. Being a passionate believer in equality, diversity and inclusion, Deon believes strongly in the power of visible role models and allies and has encouraged others to feature in LGBT Great’s Project 1000. Overall, Deon believes that we all have a key role to play in driving this change and through fostering a culture of inclusion and diversity we can make a difference.
  • Dr. Guy Sandelowsky
    Dr. Guy Sandelowsky
    CO-Founder of OMNI
  • Helene Panzarino
    Helene Panzarino
    LIBF Centre for Digital Banking & Finance
    LIBF Centre for Digital Banking & Finance
    A former Commercial Banker, Helene is the Director for LIBF Centre for Digital Banking & Finance, an SME for solutions house, Vacuumlabs, a FinTech Programme Director, exited entrepreneur, educator & author. Her career boasts a number of ‘firsts’ - Global FinTech Scale Programme for Rainmaking, the Inaugural Programme of Education & Events for Innovate Finance, the FinTech Entrepreneurship Masters’ for UCL, and the Digital Bank Exec Ed Programme for Imperial College Business School. Board and advisory for the safeguarding RegTech, Kalgera, the Indian digital banking platform, Galgal, and Spanish healthcare Digital ID firm, Biid. On the CW 100 Women in Tech Award list, the IF Women in FinTech Power List, & the Fintech Magazine 100 Women in Fintech list. Contributor to FCA Data Sprint on SME Lending, The Rose (CEO of NatWest) Report on Female Funding and on the Steering Committee for Lendit Merge -web3 and the Metaverse. On the Executive Steering Committee of the CapGemini Global FinTech Report, & Advisory Board member for MoneyLive. Her book ‘Reinventing Banking & Finance: Frameworks to navigate global fintech innovation’ (Kogan), was the #1 banking book for 2022 according to Investopedia.
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