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Africa Tech Festival - the home of AfricaCom
Core Agenda & Exhibition: 8 - 10 Nov
Partner Programmes & Digital Content: 7 - 11 NovCTICC, Cape Town

Shirley Gilbey
Dealmaker at Uk Department for International Trade


Shirley’s professional endeavours are themed around supporting entrepreneurs to form and grow their businesses. The first Dealmaker in Africa, Shirley is part of the UK Government’s Department for International Trade Global Entrepreneur Programme team. This flagship initiative works to attract and support IP-rich technology companies to scale internationally, from the UK. She sits on the Board at Future Females, movement dedicated to supporting early stage female entrepreneurs around the world, and has co-founded The Fold - the ventures and investment arm of Future Females Inc. Passionate about working with digital entrepreneurs looking to fundamentally impact the Health, Education, Financial Services and Climate-related sectors, Shirley previously led the UK-South Africa Tech Hub - a UK Government initiative focused on driving digital skills development, ecosystem collaborations, and partnerships between both markets. Prior to that, her roles include Chief Operating Officer at The Click Foundation, a data-driven Edtech foundation tackling the early learning literacy crisis in South Africa, and Head of Rise and Co-creation at Barclays Africa Group Limited responsible for driving innovation and partnership with the world’s best and brightest start-ups to create the future of financial services. A founding member of Rise in Africa she managed the Bank’s fintech innovation portfolio, as well as the Barclays Accelerator in partnership with Techstars in Cape Town. Shirley started her career as a Human Geneticist in a clinical laboratory start-up. Post company acquisition, she completed her MBA at Leeds University Business School in the UK with the goal to redirect her career to focus on ways to drive growth and development in her native South Africa. One of Shirley’s proudest professional accomplishments to date is supporting the formation of the Barclays Digital Academy in Johannesburg, an organization driven to upskill motivated young Africans with a raw talent for Web and software development