Mentors for the Rise2inspire Mentoring Program 2021

Applications and info pack

Please download and complete application form and send it to

Closing date – Applications for 2021 has now closed

Download the mentee information pack for more information about becoming a mentee.

You can also view a summary of the programme here.

Rodney Wilson

Director of Elite Solicitors Easton Bristol
Specialists Solicitors in Criminal, Motoring & Immigration Law

The Director of Elite Solicitors LTD, Rodney W Wilson has been in the legal profession for more than 30 years and was the first local black man to be admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court and a High Court Advocate.

A Highly experienced and able Higher Court Advocate and Duty Solicitor specialising in Criminal defence and Immigration law.

His experience in the field of Criminal law has been recognised by the Law Society who: granted dispensation from the requisite 2 year training contract; dispensation from the requirement to have been qualified 3 years before being permitted to open a practice, and granted the status of Higher Court Advocate by exemption.

He was Senior Lecturer in the Laws of Evidence and in Criminal Practice and Procedures at the UWE Bristol.  He is also registered as a Mentor at the City of Bristol College.  Over the years he has acted as legal advisor to the Sickle Cell and Thalassemia Centre.

His community work extends to playing for, managing and chairing local teams including St Phillips AFC, Lebeqs Tavern AFC and Lockleaze Basketball Clubs. He has given many inspirational talks to local schools, colleges, universities and other influential organisations and has supervised the qualification of a number of solicitors. He remains a positive role model for members of the community in which he was raised and continues to practice.

Visit Rodney’s LinkedIn profile >

Delroy Brown

Founder & CEO of Property Options Building and Property company

Del Brown has become a magnet for investors looking to take advantage of exciting investment opportunities, low risk strategies with Del Brown’s decades of experience and vast knowledge of the Bristol housing market.

Property Options acts as a pathway to financial freedom and a platform to learn from and meet like-minded property professionals for many.

Visit Delroy’s website >

Del Brown

Peter Innes

Owner of the award-winning Caribbean Croft Restaurant

Peter Innes

Peter has over 30 years’ experience working in the catering industry and all aspects of food safety.

He can provide a potential mentee, great work ethics, team building and support, and developing systems of operations.  

Peter is self-motivated, leads by example and will always invest in the time to problem solve and support those around him. He wants to become a mentor to inspire others and give them hope, reason and purpose to install self-belief.  

Mentoring is important to Peter, to give back to others, retain and keep the trade alive, give support, self-worth, and help people to live the dream. Also, to help our common unity to become more independent. 

Visit Peter’s website >

Darren Alexander

Co-founder and Managing Director of Aspiration Creation Elevation 

Darren Alexander

ACE, as well as a well-rounded music industry professional. Darren is passionate about creative expression, the development of young people and the business of social justice. 

For several years, Darren has been able to successfully channel his passions through ACE, who deliver empowering projects and programmes, which revolve around Arts Activities, Role-Model Guidance and Inspirational for disadvantaged young people in inner city Bristol. Since ACE was established in 2013, it has gone from strength to strength.

The organisation started with three music mentors delivering a weekly youth session in St. Pauls, but has now grown to house seventeen members of staff and host a vast range of provisions and services, including mentoring programmes, a commercial recording studio, and a record label.

Mentoring is a vital part of his work and the organisation’s ethos. He sees mentoring as a simple effective tool that can have a profound impact on an aspiring individual; therefore, feels it’s necessary to give whatever help I can.

Darren says ‘I guess I am quite a unique individual as I went from being a young person, to setting up as a self-employed entrepreneur, to becoming Managing Director of an organisation I co-founded, which employs other people. So, I feel I can give good advice and guidance to an individual who has the self-motivation and desire to set-up / establish / lead their own means of making a living and/or achieving social change through their work.’

Visit Darren’s LinkedIn profile >

Keri Andriana

Multi award winning handbag designer and CEO/Founder of Amschela, an affordable UK luxury accessory design brand

Originating from Bristol with Jamaican heritage, I am a mother of two sons and a small grandchild. A former adjudication lawyer with 15 years legal experience I transitioned to the fashion industry in 2017.

The brand was cited as ‘one of the next handbag brands to watch’ by British Vogue in 2018 and afforded designer member status by the British Fashion Council in 2020. I was recently named as a nominee for the British Fashion Awards 2020 in the area of ‘Leaders of Change’.

I enjoy mentoring students and charity work that involves helping to develop business acumen in disadvantaged young persons in my spare time. 

I believe that it is important for community persons in prominent positions to be able to give back to the future generation and share their experiences.

Mentoring is very rewarding and is something that I have embarked on with my former university and other community services.

I believe that the future generation are more able to competitively enter the workforce or entrepreneurship when they have actual access to someone who has been through the process and more importantly someone who looks like them. 

Key experience and skills that I can offer a mentee;

  • Start up skills 
  • Brand building 
  • Business acumen 
  • Legal skills and interpretation 
  • Research skills 
  • Business development 
  • Fashion business skills 
  • Negotiation and contract reading 
  • Networking 
  • Social media skills 
  • Entrepreneurship  

Visit Keri’s LinkedIn profile >

Michael Jenkins

Co-founder of Blak Wave Productions, a self-shooting producer, director and writer of TV and Film

Michael Jenkin

Michael is motivated to bring untold and unheard stories to as wide an audience as possible.

He has won multiple awards including Best Short film for ‘Check the Label’ at The Royal Television Society Awards 2018, two BBC Local Radio Gillard Awards for Diversity and Community as a well as a Rise Award.

I enjoy giving back and giving tips and advice to people that may be in the position I was in a few years ago I understand the value a mentor can bring to someone who is up and coming. 

I can offer experience media production and time management.

It’s important that people have mentors as they can act like a guide when pursuing something new. If the mentee is in unfamiliar territory, then a mentor can help them navigate obstacles and provide advice.  

Visit Michael’s LinkedIn profile >

Euella Jackson

Award-winning presenter, content creator and creative producer based in Bristol

With a strong background in content creation, filmmaking, consultancy in diversity and community engagement, Euella works with cultural organisations and creative businesses on a strategic level to strengthen their cultural engagement and deepen audience reach.

She has experience working across a range of projects, content, and initiatives, advocating for diversity and innovation. As a presenter and host, Euella has worked with the likes of BAFTA, BBC Radio 4 and Refinery29.

As a filmmaker, Euella is on the board of Encounters Short Film Festival – focusing on support for international, emerging film-making talent. 

Euella works at Rising Arts Agency, a dynamic, radical, youth-led social enterprise that advocates for young creative leaders, as the Engagement Producer and Co-Leader of their board diversification programme, OnBoard. OnBoard supports cultural organisations to recruit, train and support young people into boards and leadership positions. Euella also sits on the Commission for Race Equality for the City of Bristol 

Euella can offer a mentee a range of experiences and skills, including but not exclusive to:  

  • Establishing and developing your personal or professional brand  
  • Social Media Marketing and growing your following.  
  • Getting into and navigating the creative industries  
  • Networking and pitching yourself  
  • Presenting, Hosting or Event Planning  
  • Discovering online productivity tools  
  • Starting and building your youtube channel – making money from Youtube.  
  • Community Engagement – How to co-create things with and for your community.  
  • Advice on becoming a trustee / board member. 

Mentoring is so important because we build communities through knowledge sharing. To me, mentoring is the business equivalent to sharing oral histories and is integral to securing our collective futures.

Visit Eulla’s LinkedIn in profile >

Lisa-Marie Carter

Serial entrepreneur and CEO & Founder of ‘Discussion Box’

Bristol Born and bred Lisa-Marie Carter is a mother of 3, serial entrepreneur and CEO & Founder of ‘Discussion Box’, a virtual events platform that helps innovative brands drive unprecedented audience engagement.

Discussion Box is a technology start-up which was launched in August 2019 and already boasts some of the world’s largest companies as its clients; including Microsoft, Cisco, HP, Intel and IBM to name but a few. Using its own proprietary video streaming technology,

Discussion Box hosts powerful conversations through online panel discussions, roundtables and webinar sessions which deliver unforgettable user experiences to its virtual audience that regularly include senior executives from renowned companies worldwide such as Nike, HSBC, Barclays, FedEx, British Airways, Shell and many more who attend to learn about the latest trends and developments in disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence.

Although Discussion Box is Lisa-Marie’s latest venture, she has been working as an entrepreneur in the area of technology, B2B sales, publishing and events for over 15 years and has a total of 20 years’ experience in these industries and working with her fortune 1000 clients globally.

Lisa-Marie is extremely passionate about creating beautiful and well-designed products, and as a self-taught jewellery designer, alongside Discussion Box, Lisa-Marie runs her fashion jewellery brand ‘Nikao’ which was launched at London Fashion week in 2016 and has since been featured in leading international publications such as VOGUE, Cosmopolitan, Elle, InStyle and her designs have been worn by celebrities such as Zendaya, Jorja Smith, Rita Ora and Kelly Rowland. Nikao was recently recognised and featured on Beyonce’s website, which gained the brand a great deal of attention.

Lisa-Marie can offer support in General Business Management, B2B Sales, Product Design & Development, Fashion, Business Development, Branding, Brand Positioning, Website Development, Strategy & Growth and Self-Confidence.

Visit Lisa-Marie’s LinkedIn profile >

Rayan Wilson

One of the UK’s top human performance coaches and injury rehabilitation specialist

As a coach, Rayan has worked with numerous elite sports men and women from across the world. Supporting gold medalist, World Cup winners and developing medical teams in Africa.  

Away from the human performance arena Rayan is a successful entrepreneur who is the CEO of Back2Action, a human performance company working with a wide range of individuals, teams, and corporate business to improve performance whether it be your day to day or your ability to boss it in the board room.   

I have always had a dream to help create opportunity.  As a youth, the opportunity to fulfil my skills as a professional footballer and have my name in the lights was taken from me due to my illness. As a result, my desire to develop and build people not only physically but mentally led me onto completing my degree, continuing to educate myself through a master’s degree and therefore creating the foundations for building Back2Action. 

Back2Action is a private organisation that was founded in 2011. It began in the heart of the inner city at my Grandparents house in Easton. From there, as my passion and ideas grew, the facility grew with it. It is now currently based in Ashton Court Estate, where it has been for the last 3 years. In essence, a city boy has taken a small business idea into one of Bristol’s main tourist attractions with recognition across the globe.” 

My biggest passion is to support individual to achieve optimal performance surfing mentoring and training deliberate practice to see you takes steps closer to achieving your dream.   

I can offer the following key experience and skills;

  1. Strategy 
  2. Fear and risk management 
  3. Business strategy and development 
  4. Expansive network 
  5. Marketing strategies 
  6. Frame work to take the first step 
  7. Planning 

When you enjoy seeing those around you grow there’s no warmer feeling.  Being a family and community man I’ve always been about those around me.  Supporting and developing has always been my thing. 

Taking this opportunity to support people through making business or even career related decisions is a skill and requires systems and prodded to avoid failure.  Having made many mistakes and developed my strategies I find myself in a position where I can positively drive results for a mentee and I want to offer that platform I didn’t have.  That element of calm. The professional approach reduces fear, anxiety and stress and ignite excitement. 

Trust me being in business is fun.  We just need to have the right support and guidance around us.

Visit Rayan’s website >

Ashley Burrowes

Owner of Jerk King Authentic Caribbean Food Catering company

Ashley Burrowes

I have run a few different businesses since leaving school, ranging from having a flower stall at Bristol’s fruit Market, a courier business where I employed 4 staff, a plumbing and heating business for over 10yrs alongside my latest venture in Caribbean cuisine, Jerk King. I started this 6 years ago for the St. Paul’s Carnival.

My passion is cooking food whilst entertaining the masses and providing a cultural experience to our customers through our, food and music where we also try to educate them as to where ‘Jerk’ originated from!

I am lucky enough to have had support from others in the catering business industry for advice and direction. I have also gained many contacts and would like to share my experience and knowledge with people who have the same passion about business as I do.

Visit Ashely’s website >

Michele Curtis

Multi-award-wining artist, most popularly known for her art and heritage project; The Seven Saints of St. Pauls®

The Bristol born and bred artist aspired to use her platform to share the achievements of the African Caribbean community in Bristol, by highlighting their positive contributions to the city.

Michele was raised in Easton with her parents and seven siblings. Living in Easton exposed Curtis to an array of colourful cultural experiences. Michele attributes these experiences to shaping the woman she is today.

As a child growing up in 1980s Britain, Michele saw little positive representation of the African Caribbean diaspora in popular culture. Living in a country that failed to acknowledge the history, contributions and accomplishments of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour caused Michele to struggle with feelings of belonging. This lack of affirming portrayals of Black people continued into her adulthood, and Michele decided to act.

Her desire to break the cycle of silence and praise the countless achievements of Black British people, led to the creation of the Iconic Black Bristolians/Britons® project. To date, her work has focused on art, education and representation. Exploring how the African Caribbean diaspora’s presence has influenced British culture, heritage and identity post Empire Windrush.

“This isn’t just Black History; this is Bristol’s History!”

Visit Michele’s Facebook profile >

Applications and info pack

Please download and complete application form and send it to

Closing date – applications have now closed

Download the mentee information pack for more information about becoming a mentee.

You can also view a summary of the programme here.