Our Story

The higher up I climbed, the fewer people like me I saw at decision making tables and it bothered me. I founded Sour Lemons because I wanted to give young people from backgrounds like mine, access to the same opportunities that helped me to succeed.


When I say like mine, I mean people with life experiences that don’t fit with the ‘majority’. I am a brown skinned woman from a working-class background, without a degree in a leadership position. I have life experiences of leaving home early, addiction, abusive relationships, exclusion and gang culture. I mean people like me.                                                                        

Over the last ten years I have turned my life around, brick by brick, and taken those sour lemons and made my own version of lemonade. I have chosen to use my story to inspire and motivate the next generation of young leaders to aim high and to do the same with their life experiences.  It doesn’t matter where you started in life, what matters is where you are heading to.


Sade Banks

Founder and Chief Executive

Read My Biography

Meet the Team

Natalie Fiawoo

Programme Producer 

Read My Biography

Chloe Osborne

                   Critical Friend        Friend                                  

Divya Satwani 

              Live Events Producer                                                      

Meet the Board

Claire Tavernier

(Chair) Digital and Media Advisor

Carmen Cheng 

(Treasurer) Director at RBS (compliance)


Raymond Tannor

(Alumni) Facilitator & Founder of Peace of No Mind Podcast

Sereena Abbassi 

Worldwide Head of Culture & Inclusion at M&C Saatchi Group

Joe Gray

Strategic Consultant and dot-connector 

Bernadette Kisaalu 

Solicitor at BT & Deputy Chair of BT’s Ethnic Diversity Network 

Dee Jas 

People & Culture consultant and Founder of Colourfull Blog

Miška Groidlova

(Alumni) Creative Producing MA Student at CSMD