FASE – Our Team
Dr. Markus Freiburg
Founder & Managing Director
By building FASE to become the leading social finance intermediary in Germany and Europe, Markus combines his strategic and financial expertise with his passion for social entrepreneurship. Today he is recognized as a thought leader for social finance, with an active presence in public discourses e.g. as member of the Expert Group on Social Entrepreneurship (GECES) of the EU Commission and the German National Advisory Board of G7 Social Impact Investing Taskforce. He was also selected for the 40 under 40 European Young Leaders Class 2017. Markus studied Economics at Witten/Herdecke (Dipl.-Ök.) and Cambridge (M.Phil) and promoted at the WHU Koblenz on investments by institutional investors in private equity funds. He also contributes his experience as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company and pro-bono advisor to social entrepreneurs.
Founder & Managing Director
Ellinor discovered her passion for financing sustainable business models in 2012 when working as an investment manager for German impact fund Bonventure. Before Ashoka Germany approached her to become a co-founder of FASE, she also supported social entrepreneurs in her role as a fundraiser and social impact lecturer at the Munich-based Social Entrepreneurship Akademie (SEA). For FASE, Ellinor contributes her broad network of investors, multiplyers and supporters as well as her extensive marketing and fundraising knowledge to build a pool of engaged impact investors. Through her father, Rolf Dienst, a seasoned venture capitalist, she knows the VC business from scratch and leverages her own entrepreneurial experience as a start-up founder. Ellinor is a frequent panelist for impact investing and social finance in workshops and conferences within and outside the impact sector. Originally, she obtained a bachelor degree in hotel and restaurant management from Lausanne and Oxford and ran marketing initiatives for premier brands such as Dom Pérignon, Dior and Falke.
Karsten has supported FASE as Senior Advisor since its beginnings. He has over 25 years of experience in corporate finance, banking and consulting, with a focus on structuring and implementing equity investments and mezzanine financings as well as corporate transactions. Prior to joining FASE, he was head of the equity participations and investment business of social-ecological GLS Bank. Prior to that, he was Managing Director at the German bank WestLB AG, Senior Investment Manager at the investment firm 3i and Senior Manager at A.T. Kearney. Karsten holds a Diplom-Kaufmann degree from WHU Koblenz.
Regional Manager The Netherlands
Simone joined FASE Benelux in February 2018 as a Regional Manager for the Netherlands. She brings more than 25 years of experience in business development, obtained through senior management positions in the staffing industry and as a partner in several startups. After fulfilling pro bono advisory roles at startup companies, Simone is now using her business skills to support social enterprises. Prior to FASE, she has been supporting Ashoka in the Netherlands during their startup phase. She studied business economics (Tilburg University) and business administration (Rotterdam School of Management), and is currently researching the scalability of social enterprises at the Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
Regional Manager CEE
Zsolt joined FASE in September 2018 as a regional manager for CEE. Over the past 20 years, he has accumulated a unique blend of business background and non-profit experience. Zsolt spent six years building a start-up Hungarian NGO focused on youth engagement and experiential education, for which he was elected an Echoing Green global fellow in 2001. Having built a stable organization, he was recruited by GE Capital and spent the following ten years in various leadership positions in banking. Always keen on helping mission-driven organizations develop, he set out to follow his passion and became Country Representative for Ashoka Hungary in 2015. For FASE, Zsolt will focus on developing a diverse eco-system around social entrepreneurs across the CEE region.
Venture Partner CEE
Gábor joined FASE in 2020 as a Venture Partner for the CEE region. In the first part of his career, he worked for several financial institutions as business development manager, later as general secretary of the Hungarian Leasing Association. In the last 10 years, Gábor focused on the development of purpose-driven organizations (NGOs and social enterprises). As part of this effort, he founded Civil Support Public Benefit Ltd, an advisory company, which became the first Hungarian B Corp. He has also been engnaged in bringing sustainability brand agency GreenBrands to CEE, while also investing in several purpose-driven startups. Since 2014, he has been closely working with Ashoka CEE on several projects around impact assessment and strategic planning. Gábor brings extensive knowledge on social startups and impact investment to the FASE team, and continues to be an active contributor to the development of the CEE impact ecosystem.
Dr. Adrian Fuchs
Since March 2017 Adrian strengthens the FASE team as a transaction manager. He studied business economics in Maastricht (BSc.) and London (MA) before receiving his PhD from the University of Hamburg on the subject of impact investing for German charitable foundations (Dr. rer. pol.). Adrian gained relevant project management experience at Bonventure – where he assisted the establishment of the first German social venture capital fund for foundations (MRI pilot fund) – and at the Bertelsmann Foundation. He is driven by the goal to professionalise the impact driven sector.
Investor Relations Manager & Executive Assistant to the Managing Directors
Magdalena joined FASE in April 2017 as the Executive Assistent to the Managing Directors. Since 2019, she additionally takes care of Investor Relations. Besides FASE, she is active as a systemic coach and Board member of a social enterprise, which gives her first-hand insights into the sector. Before, she gathered relevant experience by working with renowned international foundations and NGOs in the area of inclusion, education, health and development by assuming roles in change and project management as well as fundraising. During her completed master degree studies in management for non-profit organisations, Magdalena first came in touch with sustainable solutions for social problems developed by hybrid organisations and social enterprises.
European Investor Relations Manager (on maternal leave)
Laura joined FASE in June 2019 as a European Investor Relations Manager based in Luxembourg. She discovered her passion for social entrepreneurship during her teen years in central Romania, while she was fundraising for youth empowerment programs. Prior to FASE, Laura spent five years with Ashoka, where she launched the office in Romania, coordinated global training initiatives for Ashoka’s due diligence process and led a one-million euro program aiming to scale social innovations in Southern Europe. She also served as a member of GECES, the European Commission’s expert group on Social Entrepreneurship. In addition, she brings her experience as policy officer at the Commission, where she contributed to the set up of the first EU financial instruments supporting social enterprises. Laura studied Sociology at University of Trento, Italy, and has an MA in Management of Social Enteprises. Currently, she is pursuing a week-end MBA at Luxembourg Business School.
Finance and Accounting Manager
Since March 2018, Blanca is responsible for finance and accounting at FASE. Her professional experience builds on many years as a freelancer and entrepreneur, having been a founder and managing parter of a dotcom startup as well as a freelance financial planner and controller. She supported enterprises in multiple sectors during their financing and growth stages and gained insights into social entrepreneurship when doing a “volunteer summer” with Ashoka in 2011. Blanca has a holistic and entrepreneurial view on numbers and sees financial success as the expression of a purpose-driven collaboration.
Christina joined the team in August 2014 and takes care of FASE’s communications. In 2011, she entered the sector as a freelance writer and journalist to actively promote social entrepreneurship and impact investing. Meanwhile, she focuses on impact finance product development for online and onsite education and on communications consulting. Christina gathered more than 15 years of experience in structured finance, venture capital and investor relations, with partner and management roles at international VC firm Star Ventures as well as at DB Trust, a fully owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bank. She holds a master degree in business administration from the University of Mannheim (Germany), and is a member of the German journalist association DFJV.
Pro Bono Advisors
Until September 2020, Martin was responsible for FASE’s international expansion, business development and transaction management for European social enterprises, and continues to support us as a Senior Advisor since. With more than 20 years of experience on three continents, Martin has learned and breathed innovation and entrepreneurship in various contexts. After studying economics and management and doing research in the field of innovation, he co-founded an IT startup in Vietnam and was active for a technology incubator in Singapore. He then became partner in a financial advisory firm based in Zurich that focused on consulting and making VC investments in tech companies. After that, he co-founded a strategic development consultancy firm. Martin holds a master degree from the London School of Economics as well as from MIT.
Alexandra joined FASE in April 2016 after gaining her transaction and project management experience in M&A and merger integration at Henkel Adhesives in Duesseldorf, Germany. Alexandra discovered her enthusiasm for solving social problems with economically sustainable business models during her studies. To link both worlds more closely, she co-founded “SensAbility”, the largest conference in Germany organized by students around the topic of social entrepreneurship. Alexandra holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from the WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management, Germany, and a Master of Law and Business from WHU/Bucerius Law School. Since early 2019, Alexandra supports FASE as a pro bono advisor.
Thomas has been active as a business angel for many years, which includes several investments in social enterprises. In 2008, he established a foundation together with his wife to support projects in the area of microfinance across the globe. Thomas has more than 25 years of experience, first as a banker and then as the mananging partner of a consultancy firm in the financial services sector. Since September 2016, he strengthens the FASE team as a Senior Advisor.
Sabine joined FASE in May 2016 as a senior transaction manager. Today, she continues to support FASE as a pro bono advisor. Sabine is passionate about technological and social innovations that have a significant positive impact on peoples’ lives. She draws upon her experience from more than 20 years of consulting and entrepreneurial investing. Previously, she worked with McKinsey&Company, Technologieholding VC GmbH, 3i plc and BTV, an internationally active German family office. Sabine holds a Diploma in Human Biology from the Philipps-University of Marburg and a Master in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School.
Dorothee joined FASE in February 2018, first as a Senior Transaction Manager and then as Head of Investor Relations. Acting as a pro bono senior advisor since mid 2019, she continues to contribute her extensive experience in social entrepreneurship, impact investing and philanthropy that she gathered e.g. as investment manager at the German impact fund pioneer BonVenture, as head of business development of the social business Change.org Germany, as well as project manager at Körber Stiftung, one of the largest German foundations. Dorothee holds a Masters degree in cultural sciences and studied at Leuphana University Lüneburg (Germany) and Universitá degli studi di Macerata in Italy. As a passionate advocate for social change, she also has several pro bono roles for organisations with a social mission.
Jamy is a serial social entrepreneur and launched two initiatives around youth-entrepreneurship in Africa and Asia where she and her team already tried out ways of impact investing. In 2013 she launched Ashoka Netherlands and was the director for 4 years. Since March 2017 she is a senior advisor to FASE in the Benelux. Jamy is currently acting as the Community and Market Development Director of EVPA. She is also part of the European Young Leaders Network since 2015 and chair of the board of the international NGO Young Africa.
Initiators and Co-Founders
Secretary General of the Association for German Foundations
While being the Managing Director of Ashoka Europe, Felix Oldenburg initiated the idea of the “planetary system of finance” and the creation of the Financing Agency for Social Entrepreneurship. He is strongly convinced that the financing agency creates more transparency and cooperation between the different planets of financiers and donors. Before joining Ashoka Europe, he started as entrepreneur, project pioneer and consultant between politics, economics and society, among others as a member of directorate of a political consultancy, as a management consultant at McKinsey&Company in London. Previously he founded an Internet-Start-up. Felix Oldenburg studied Philosophy (M.A.) at the universities in Bonn, Tübingen and Oxford and completed an Executive Master in Political Management at Georgetown (Washington, US).
Founder and CEO Roots of Impact
Bjoern Struewer is Founder and CEO of Roots of Impact, a specialized advisory firm building the market for more effective impact investing. He is also senior advisor to Ashoka on social finance, co-founder of the Financing Agency for Social Entrepreneurship (FASE) and initiator of the Ashoka Angels Network. Bjoern has more than 20 years of experience in the finance sector. Until 2013 he was Managing Director of Credit Suisse and is now actively engaged in developing solutions for responsible investments, social finance and impact investing for many years. Bjoern serves on several boards and regularly speaks, lectures and publishes internationally on impact investing and social finance.
Director of the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt
Markus Hipp actively supports the professional setup of the financing agency. He is convinced of the crucial role a strong intermediary can play in enhancing the capability of social enterprises, thereby rendering the sector attractive for new investors. As a board member of the BMW foundation, Markus Hipp supports numerous NPOs. Furthermore, he engages in boards of other organisations, such as the National Association of German Foundations, the European Venture Philanthropy Association, the MitOst e.V. and gut.org gAG
Andreas Lange has always been enthusiastic about the idea of creating better financing opportunities for social entrepreneurs. He is especially interested in the synergies between non-profits and private companies, which share a business sector and can optimize their impact through cooperation. Andreas is the CIO of Argenthal Private Capital Limited and leads the investment activities of the major stockholder, the Garcin Family. Previously he founded Altira AG, a company that sets up, buys and sells asset management boutiques. He successfully completed his MBA at the University of Bayreuth, Germany.
Thomas Jetter was one of the most important sparring partners during the genesis of the FASE – idea. After studying and completing his PHD at the University Saarbrücken, he began his professional career at JP Morgan in Frankfurt am Main and New York. 1989 he changed to McKinsey & Company. Between 1995 and 2009 Jetter was a partner at the Permira GmbH. Thomas Jetter is currently active as a chairman of Sirona Dental Systems, Inc, a board member of Ashoka Germany, amongst other engagements.