Ryan Lavelle

Ryan Lavelle is a passionate and dedicated social/technology entrepreneur on a mission to solve some of the most pressing environmental social challenges of our time, with particular focus on the global south. Following a 20 year career in investment banking technology I pivoted to found my own startup Mpowa in 2019 and since then have worked tirelessly to build a platform to accelerate the UN SDGs.

What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your corporate journey/venture/initiative.

My early childhood was quite chaotic and troubled due to family trauma and breakdown in the relationship of my parents. My mother got into a more abusive relationship and this created a major crisis and separation for a number of years where she lived abroad in Spain. I became highly self motivated and driven as a result of these challenges. As the top student in my class I went to university to study electronic engineering and this sparked my passion for digital technology and also alternative energy.

Every industry that is now a large-scale, top-notch business once started as a small idea in the minds of entrepreneurs. What was that idea or motivation that made you start your business /initiative? What motivated you within to say YES, go for it!”

I had been politically active in issues of global geopolitics and international development / trade justice for some years prior to founding my own business. Having been involved in an initial, sadly unsuccessful startup Lancor, which aimed to democratise cancer diagnostic screening at scale, via a decentralised platform, and being introduced to some inventors of revolutionary technologies, I became inspired to start again but with a new focus: energy scarcity.

Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?

Our future depends on a fundamental change in behaviour and attitude of people everywhere, especially in developing nations where environmental impact is often an afterthought. We need more strong women leaders in the technology, engineering and related fields, to balance out the male dominance and associated hyper competitive, less collaborative approaches to solving problems.

Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women leadership today?

This is certainly reaching a tipping point where there are very few remaining fields of endeavour where equality is out of reach for women. Celebrate this and use this equality to make life and work better for all human beings, men included.

What’s the most important thing you have learned in your personal life and professional journey? What is your personal motto in life?

Humility. No matter how far we have come, we still have far to go.

With your grit and determination, you are making a considerable impact, breaking through, and serving as role models for many budding entrepreneurs. What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?

Never give up, keep fighting for your dreams and they will come true. Never compromise but also be patient, have faith and let your light shine, for it is light in the darkness that attracts others to your mission.