Natalie Wade is the founder of Small Green Shoots, one of the only UK arts organisations with both a black female Chair and black female CEO and more recently founder of female-focused consultancy "cats Mother" which provides connections for diverse young women wanting to build careers in the creative industries. Small Green Shoots was established to benefit young people from low-income backgrounds and provide them with the essential experience required for long-term sustainable careers in the creative industries. For more than ten years, Natalie has pioneered a model of "education by stealth", offering mentoring and support to her growing army of "Young Shoots", and empowering them with responsibility to conceptualise, plan and execute their own innovative arts and music-related events. In 2019 alone, Small Green Shoots enabled over 1,000 young people to create or experience music and art, and developed 10 young people into highly-skilled roles across the creative industries.
The charity has built long-term partnerships with the likes of Columbia Records, PRS Foundation, SJM Concerts, Modest Management, Transport for London, Virgin Records, The Princes Trust, Comic Relief and Children in Need. Small Green Shoots has also been an essential early-stage funding partner to countless artists and organisations throughout the UK, benefitting the likes of Jorja Smith, Mahalia, Hamzaa, Emeli Sande, The Compozers, Snap Capone, Benny Mails and Big Fris at the start of their career journeys. In short: Natalie opens doors for those who need it the most. Natalie received a prestigious BEM for services to the creative industries in 2016, while in 2018 she was awarded the Unsung Hero accolade at the MMF & FAC’s Artist & Manager Awards.