Sade Banks

Founder and CEO

Sade Banks is an award-winning social entrepreneur and the founder of Sour Lemons, a charity addressing the lack of diverse leadership within the creative and cultural sectors. Her life motto is to turn sour lemons into lemonade; using challenging circumstances to create positive experiences for others.

Sade is a cultural producer who specialises in nurturing diverse talent, partnership development and community engagement. She started her career as an apprentice at the Bush Theatre and has since then worked for The Lyric Hammersmith, Ogilvy & Mather and the Barbican Centre.

Throughout her career, Sade has used her life experiences to inspire positive action and has consistently worked to create inclusive cultural spaces. As a consultant, Sade has designed and led leadership interventions and diversity initiatives with Somerset House, The Science Gallery, Red Bull Amaphiko and UnLtd. Her passion for proper representation and inclusive education has led her to deliver keynote speeches at the House of Commons, City Hall and at The Southbank Centre.

Sade is a 2020 Clore Cultural Leadership Fellow, a Founding Member of the UK Lived Experience Movement, a Friend of Red Bull Amaphiko and currently serves on the board of the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre. She was the Social Entrepreneur in Residence at UnLtd from 2017-19 and a Founding Member of the Centrepoint Youth Parliament.

Sade has been recognised by Natwest WISE100 as a ‘Leading Woman in Social Business’ (2018), Campaign and AMV Top 50 Diversity Trailblazers (2018), and received an award from Prince William for ‘Turning Her Life Around’ (2015).


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Sour Lemons // Dismantling systemic racism in the arts and culture space. Giving young leaders access and tools to thrive and spread creativity within the industry.

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