Recognising UK alumni who are active in initiating or contributing to innovative and creative new ideas and solutions, and/or business opportunities that have the potential for strong growth.

AMERICAS: Alejandro Valdes Alvarez (Colombia)

University of Westminster

Alejandro was inspired by the UK’s multicultural music scene to open his own recording and mixing studio. Mixbooth delivers certified audio production courses to young producers in Colombia. Alejandro shares with his students the recording techniques and styles he learned in the UK, as both a student and an audio engineer at London-based Soho Sonic Studios. The opportunity to learn from recognised industry experts and immerse himself in British culture was the highlight of his time in the UK.

EAST ASIA: Lorena Carrasco (Philippines)

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Lorena is Managing Director and co-founder of Ñustas, an online community designed to empower women and accelerate their career growth. Ñustas Career Boost training programme has helped more than 100 women to renegotiate their salaries, become entrepreneurs and apply for study opportunities abroad. Lorena describes studying in the UK as a turning point in her career, and believes the diversity of cultures, perspectives and experiences she was exposed to is a major factor in her current success.

EUROPE: Jian Jiang (Netherlands)

University of Essex

Jian is the founder of ParkBee, which uses smart technology to eliminate on-street parking and lower congestion in the UK and the Netherlands. ParkBee aims to improve the quality of life in busy cities and dramatically reduce CO2 emissions by helping commuters find safe, affordable parking spaces. It is now used by tens of thousands of travellers each month, and has secured funding to expand throughout Europe. Studying in the UK encouraged Jian to think independently, and to pursue his passion.

MENA: Khalifa Al Haroon (Qatar)

Anglia Ruskin University; University of Essex

Khalifa, listed as one of the most influential people in the Middle East under 40, is founder of ILoveQatar.net – a content-driven platform celebrating the diversity of Qatar’s community. Khalifa has since created RaqamiTV, which has amassed over 4 million subscribers becoming the World’s biggest Arabic educational tech channel. He chose to study in the UK because of its multiculturalism, and credits his experience there as being the catalyst for his community focused entrepreneurial spirit.

SOUTH ASIA: Vikas Chawla (India)

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Vikas is the co-founder of one of India's largest independent digital marketing company, Social Beat. He started Influencer.in, connecting brands with social media influencers; 22 languages, supporting brands to build stronger multilingual campaigns; and DigiGrad, a chain of online and offline training institutes. He has been recognised by Pluralsight as one of the top 100 digital marketers in India. Vikas heads the LSE Alumni Association in Chennai, inspiring Indian students to study in the UK.

SUB SAHARAN AFRICA: James Kisoro (Uganda)

University of Portsmouth

James is the Managing Director of Billbrain Technologies Ltd., an Innovation, Training & ICT-BPO Centre. In 2019, he won funding from the Ministry of ICT to develop digital agricultural solutions to help farmers access vital value-chain & market information. The projects are expected to make a significant contribution to the largely agrarian Ugandan economy. James was especially influenced by the practical, learner-centred UK education, an approach he also applies in his lecturing career.

WIDER EUROPE: Duru Kurt (Turkey)

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE); Bournemouth University

Since leaving the UK, Duru has achieved success in Turkey as a musical artist and entrepreneur. In 2017, she set up her own music production company and independent record label, Duru Kurt. Her most recent effort, ‘Çıkışta Bekle’, got almost one million views on YouTube in just one month. Also, her previous single, ’Ay Çokta Şey’ got nearly 4 million views on YouTube. Studying in the UK helped her to develop her creativity and to be an independent thinker.