picture of Meri Helleranta

Meri Helleranta

Impact Investment Committee Member, European Business Angels Network

Social Development Expert with 14 years of experience with international development bank operations.

I am a vocal advocate for cost-effective investments that create measurable social benefits for the disadvantaged and excited about social investing by private entities as creative ideas and agile models are expanding the horizons for both philanthropies and businesses. As an investor, I am part of the Rising Tide Europe (RTE3) Network and a member of the Impact Investment Committee of the European Business Angel Network.

While still in development banking, I worked in Nicaragua where I oversaw the design, supervision and evaluation of the government’s Early Childhood Development Programs and developed a private public partnership with a large coffee exporter on daycare for the families immigrating to attend the harvest.

Before this, I was based in Haiti where I designed and managed child health programs in the post-earthquake setting and led the design and execution of an emergency cholera operation. In 2012 my team was also recognized for the work with child anemia in Guyana by the US Department of the Treasury with the Global Impact Award.

Prior to this, I worked with research funding at the Academy of Finland as an Expert Member representing Finland in the 5th Priority Council for Food Quality and Safety of the European Union’s Fifth Framework Program. In 2002, I was granted the American Heart Association’s New Investigator Award by the Council of Epidemiology and a scholarship from the European Nutrition Leadership Program.

I hold a M.Sc. in Health Sciences (major in Clinical Nutrition), a Master of Public Health and a Ph.D. in Cardiovascular Epidemiology from the University of Eastern Finland and have several international peer-reviewed publications on dietary antioxidants and chronic disease in journals such as The Lancet, Circulation and Journal of Nutrition and my blogs have been published by the El Pais of Spain and El Tiempo of Colombia.