Middle East Advisor, Entrepreneurial Leadership Initiative at Cornell University


Heather Henyon has 18 years of experience in entrepreneurship, emerging markets, angel investing, financial technology, credit and impact investment.  She is currently Founding Partner of Athena CFO, an outsourced CFO and finance advisory firm for start-ups, SMEs, growth companies and investors.  Previously, she was Investment Director with Eureeca, a regulated global equity crowdfunding firm, where she was responsible for curation, products, and investments.  Heather founded Balthazar Capital, a social enterprise investment advisory firm for the Arab region in 2010.  As the founding general manager of Grameen-Jameel, a social business jointly owned by Grameen Foundation and Abdul Latif Jameel Group, she originated, structured and closed $44 million in leveraged commercial debt financing for microfinance institutions in Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.  In 2013, Heather started the Women’s Angel Investor Network (WAIN), the first women’s angel investment group in the Middle East, and served as Interim CFO for Little Thinking Minds, one of WAIN’s first investments.  She wrote a chapter on angel investing in the United Arab Emirates that was published inAngels Without Borders in 2016. Heather left Wall Street in 2004 to venture into the social enterprise sector.  Previously, she worked for Standard & Poor’s as a corporate bond ratings analyst in the capital goods and auto supplier sector.  Over the last 20 years, she has lived and worked in the UAE, Egypt, Lebanon, and Palestine, and she speaks Arabic and French.  Heather is the advisor to CoFund, a Dutch microfinance private equity fund, and a mentor for Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi entrepreneur members.  She is an investor in Rising Tide Europe and Dubai Angel Investors, where she is also a Board Director and Investment Committee member, and a cofounder of Rhodium 45, an impact angel investor club in Dubai.  She serves on the Advisory Council of BR Microcapital, Cornell University’s microfinance fund; is a Board member of the Cornell Club of the UAE and past Co-Chair of the Johnson Middle East Alumni Club (2011-13); served as the Middle East Advisor to Cornell’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Initiative (2014-15); is co-founder and past Chair of the Dubai Microfinance Club (2011-13).  Heather represents Oikocredit’s investment on the Sekem Board of Directors. Heather holds an MBA from the Johnson School at Cornell University, where she was a full-merit Park Leadership Fellow scholarship recipient, and a BA from Oberlin College.  Heather studied abroad at The American University in Cairo (AUC), where she was a Presidential Fellow.  Heather lives in Dubai, UAE with her husband and two young sons.