Emma spent the decade before she came to Oxford working among indigenous communities in Central and South America to develop culturally appropriate and environmentally friendly small businesses. From ecotourism ventures, growing and exporting organic cacao to the UK chocolate company, Green and Black’s, working on land rights claims, and developing the organisational capacity of local indigenous organisations, her work focused on promoting sustainable livelihoods of traditional peoples and sustainability of biodiversity resources.
After graduating from Oxford, Emma became the first Director of the Low Carbon Enterprise Fund, an impact fund supporting entrepreneurs in the developing world whose products and services provide cost savings and low carbon alternatives to lower income consumers. In January 2012, Emma and her family moved to Nairobi, Kenya where she set up an advisory firm focusing on impact investment clients. As well as continuing to support the Low Carbon Enterprise Fund as their Africa Lead and Development Director, she has worked for clients including the Calvert Foundation, SEED UNEP-UNDP, Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor Enterprises (a Skoll Foundation awardee), the Aga Khan Foundation for Culture and Development and the Kenyan Banking Association, supporting the industry in its effort to adopt cross-sector standards in sustainable finance. Emma has also launched her own social enterprise supporting daycare entrepreneurs in slums, Tiny Totos Kenya, which was shortlisted for funding by Grand Challenges Canada in 2014.
In the future, Emma hopes to scale Tiny Totos Kenya to become a national franchise and standard-setter for daycare centres supporting single mothers and preschool children in Kenya, and influence policy formulation in an area where there is currently a woeful vacuum of support. She also plans to spend time with her own wonderful preschool children, her inspiration for her work in the slums.