Alum of the Month - February 2020

Mame-Yaa Bonsu

An LSE education has equipped me with skills to confidently, critique and challenge the status quo. In practical terms that means being the change I want to see in society.
Mame-Yaa Bonsu


  • Programme studied: MSc Information Systems & Innovation Design (MISDI)
  • Year of Graduation: 2005
  • LinkedIn profile

From Banker to business owner: building the future. Alum of the Month for February, Mame-Yaa Bonsu, has transformed herself and the businesses she works with to get to the next level.

What is your current role and what are your key responsibilities?

As the founder of MYB Ventures, I am a Financial Inclusion advocate and advisor to FinTechs on fundraising, sales and business development. I also provide innovation services to institutions looking to partner with start-ups or explore acquisition prospects. It has never been a more exciting time to work with start-ups as innovation continues to disrupt industries and create new markets and opportunities.

I am also the founder of Vamos Polo, an equestrian polo business that facilitates inclusion and innovation in the ‘sport of kings’. This enterprise evolved from a former social mobility project Polo 4 Purpose, which I started after serving as the captain of J.P. Morgan’s polo team. Our core mission is talent and audience development.

Tell us more about your career journey and the many leadership roles you’ve taken on along the way:

My very first graduate job was as a Solution Delivery Consultant at Cerner Corporation, a USA-based Healthcare Technology firm on a mission to revolutionise the NHS. I then spent 9 years at J.P. Morgan and then moved to Crown Agents Bank—portfolio company of private equity firm Helios Investment Partners—in Client Coverage / Regional Head Banker roles. I’ve been privileged to take on overseas secondments in Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana where I launched J.P. Morgan’s first representative office in Accra. My career has since taken an entrepreneurial focus on Financial Inclusion and start-ups in the UK, Africa and the USA.

J.P. Morgan’s approach to diversity and inclusion is exemplary. From the first interaction I had with the firm, just through on-campus recruitment initiatives there was a proactive approach to promoting diversity. So as soon as I joined, I was keen to contribute to the inclusion mission. Whilst still on the graduate programme, I became the youngest Co-Chair of BOLD (black organisation for leadership development) and then I later went on to serve as head of marketing and community engagement for the WIN (women’s inclusion network). My last employee network leadership role was as Chair and captain of the equestrian polo club, despite previously joining the club as a new member with zero horse-riding experience. I had to be elected for all employee engagement positions, so it was a real honour to serve these communities on top of my day-job. Each role provided me with an opportunity to interact with Senior Management across the firm, engage with employees all over the world and have unique experiences.

I believe in the power of human capital. Whether the context is a business, community or society in general, united people are the most precious resource. To me, meritocracy is an ideal, and it requires advocacy and activism to maintain an environment where people have a fair chance to succeed.

2019 was an exciting year for you, having founded MYB Ventures. Tell us more about that:

Highlights of my inaugural year include speaking at Blockchain Week London, participating in Portag3—a Canadian VC’s private FinTech event, visiting Silicon Valley to work with a prospective social impact partner for Facebook’s Libra crypto currency, and meeting the Co-Founder of Intel Capital’s Corporate Venture fund. I ended the year moderating at TMT Finance World Congress, where I interviewed Africa’s first native unicorn Interswitch (a $1bn valued FinTech start-up). My fascination with innovation, disruption and the ‘success DNA’ of founders led me to pilot a podcast called Next Level Business, where I interview people who have inspired me. It features millennial founders ranging from those that have gone full lifecycle from idea to financial exit with a digital start-up, to a founder disrupting traditional retail; the latter being an old school class-mate I was reunited with after 20 years at the LSE Generate International Women’s day event. I’m excited about launching a new service in 2020 as well as advancing the Financial Inclusion agenda.

How has studying at LSE’s Department of Management allowed you to make an impact in society?

LSE made me. Studying MISDI (formerly ADMIS) opened up a ‘third eye’. LSE’s social science perspective is unique and so important in the digital age we live in. The ability to think critically and learn how to learn are priceless skills that percolate into all areas of life. Furthermore LSE is incredibly international so both inside and outside of the classroom there is a consciousness regarding global socio-economic impact. For me, having been born in Saudi Arabia, raised in London and of Ghanaian heritage, studying in an international environment is very important, as my world-view is global. An LSE education has equipped me with skills to confidently, critique and challenge the status quo. In practical terms that means being the change I want to see in society. In a business context I enable innovation by cultivating diverse creative thinking and rallying people together to effect change in a business. In broader societal terms, it’s why I believe we all have agency to create a better world and why the non-profit initiative I created focuses on social mobility.

How do you continue to engage with LSE as an alumna, and what do you gain from doing so?

I have participated in alumni panels, LSE Generate events and on the programme committee for LSE’s inaugural Artificial Intelligence Conference. These are great opportunities to give back to the school as well as helping me to keep abreast with new innovation and build my professional network.