H.M. Queen Máxima of the Netherlands
United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA)
Queen Máxima has served as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA) since 2009. As Special Advocate, she is a leading global voice on advancing universal access to and responsible usage of affordable, effective and safe financial services. The UNSGSA raises awareness, serves as a convener, encourages leaders and supports actions to expand financial inclusion at a global and country level, all in close collaboration with partners from the public and private sector. An important focus of her work is on enabling responsible technology for financial inclusion in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Since 2011, more than 1.2 billion people have gained access to financial services—and therefore have a better chance to transform their lives. Queen Máxima is Honorary Patron of the G20’s Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) and a Global Agenda Trustee for the World Economic Forum’s Global Challenge Initiative on the Future of the Global Financial System. She also convened the CEO Partnership for Economic Inclusion. In the Netherlands, she is a member of the Dutch Committee for Entrepreneurship and Honorary Chair of the Dutch Money Wise Platform. In all her roles, Her Majesty aims to unlock development opportunities and economic inclusion for all.
Mastercard, Executive Vice Chair
In her role as Executive Vice Chair, Ann is a member of the company’s global management committee, focusing on innovation, inclusion and diversity. Prior to her current appointment, she was President of International Markets responsible for the management of all Mastercard customer-related activities in over 200 countries. Ann is also the chair of ICE Clear Europe, the lead non-executive board member for the UK government’s department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the global chair of the 30% Club.
FSD Africa Investments, Chief Investment Officer
Anne-Marie Chidzero is CIO of FSD Africa Investments, the investment arm of FSD Africa. A Zimbabwean, she is the former CEO of FSD Mozambique, and Co-founder of Alitheia IDF Managers, a private equity fund manager investing in women-led businesses. Anne-Marie has a wealth of experience in building African financial markets. Across her career, she has led a range of development finance investments and implemented strategies for private sector growth, in roles at the World Bank Group, CGAP, and UK Aid – among other development finance institutions. She has held Board and Advisory positions at pioneering inclusive finance organisations in Africa.
Access Bank Nigeria, Product Manager
Bimpe Gisanrin is a seasoned Finance Professional with over 17 years experience in the Banking Industry. She is also a Women’s Economic Empowerment Champion who is passionate about connecting the dots for women entrepreneurs and professionals to attain global relevance. Currently managing Access Bank’s women’s market program- the W Initiative, Bimpe oversees the team. She also supports women sub-segments in Nigeria and key African markets (Ghana, Rwanda, Zambia, Gambia and Sierra Leone) through the women’s market program. The initiative won several local and international awards including a three-year consecutive Central Bank’s award for Excellence in Women’s Economic Empowerment. As an astute relationship management professional, IFC certified trainer and strategist with a record of sustaining and building impactful relationships and partnerships, Bimpe has worked with private and public sector organizations to develop their social position and identify opportunities for women to scale up in their chosen business and career path.
DigiFarm, Partnerships Lead
Edna Gathigia is Partnerships Lead at DigiFarm Kenya, a Safaricom service offering farmers a range of agricultural services and learning content plus insurance yield cover and access to markets. Edna has worked in the development and social impact sector across Sub Saharan Africa, cultivating partnerships and working with organisations to mobilise resources to fund their grand ideas. Prior to DigiFarm, Edna worked with the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund, Young African Leaders Initiative, Regional Leadership Centre for East Africa, ILO, and UNDP.
Musoni, Chief Risk Officer
Faheem has a strong management background in the Inclusive Finance and Banking domain with insightful understanding of financial sector in various markets in Central Asia, Asia Pacific, and Africa. He has extensive experience in financial digital product development, corporate and product marketing strategies formulation, digital transformations, AgricTech, gender transformative business model and FinTech / FinServ operations. He has worked in different countries and designed the digital products especially for rural population, agriculture finance, provides training, consulting and executive coaching services for inclusive financial service providers. He is also an international speaker and trained more than 34,000+ delegates across the globe.
Women’s MicroBank Ltd, CEO
Mr. Gunanidhi Das is CEO of Women’s Micro Bank, branded as Mama Bank. Mr. Das over 20 years of experience, including 17 years of microfinance experience across Asia in India, Timore Liste, Nepal, Myanmar, and has been working in PNG for the last 7 and half years supporting women and their families through microfinance institutions. An expert in Microfinance operation and project implementation, Mr. Das has worked with a leading microfinance institution in India in various positions and further supported different NBFC MFI, NGO MFI, UCBs, Micro Banks and Savings & Loan Cooperatives/Societies as a Business Analyst/Mentor before joining Mama Bank. In PNG, he was engaged by ADB to provide mentorship to microfinance organizations, Savings and Loan Societies and streamlining their systems and procedures for business growth. Looking at the opportunities to do more in PNG, Mr. Das joined Mama Bank to implement his ideas for doing real microfinance. He has been leading the Bank’s management team since 2016 and is the driving force for the Bank’s goal to become a TRU TRU Microfinance Bank in the country to serve rural and urban informal women.
AgDevCo, Technical Assistance and EDT
Hannah is Director of Technical Assistance at AgDevCo and has been working on technical assistance solutions for African agri-businesses with AgDevCo for the last 8 years. She also heads AgDevCo’s Enterprise Development Team which works across the AgDevCo portfolio to provide due diligence services and tailored technical advice on finance and tax. She is happiest when on remote farms in sub-Saharan Africa solving problems. Hannah trained as an accountant (ACA) with BDO LLP and managed a portfolio of clients in Europe, Latin America and Africa.
2X Collaborative, Co-Chair and Founder
The 2X Collaborative is a global industry body that builds on the success of the 2X Challenge to support investors making gender-focused investments. It brings together a broad range of investors deploying capital with a gender lens. It provides members with access to peer learning networks, knowledge, co-investment platforms, partnership and training opportunities and innovative investment tools. The 2XCollaborative is designed to serve investors making their first gender-focused investment equally as well as those at the leading edge of the field. Core partner of the 2XCollaborative is GenderSmart – together we act as a one-stop-shop for gender lens investing.
Kasha, CEO and Founder
Joanna Bichsel is the CEO and Founder of Kasha, an ecommerce company in East Africa offering confidential access to women’s health and personal care products like contraceptives and menstrual care and serving women of all socioeconomic levels across urban and rural areas. Prior to starting Kasha, Joanna worked at Microsoft and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on optimizing the supply chain of vaccines, family planning, and other public health commodities.
M-KOPA, Head of M-KOPA Labs
Katherine has extensive experience working at the intersection of market development, sustainability, and energy infrastructure. Katherine serves as the Head of M-KOPA Labs, the dedicated R&D business unit focused on testing and validating new assets for PAYGo financing – from digital financial services to electric mobility. Previously, she worked as the Senior Business Development Manager at M-KOPA, where she led the multi-million dollar fundraising strategy to advance company growth related to product development and market expansion, in addition to overseeing the company’s social impact/ESG analysis and reporting. Prior to M-KOPA, she worked at the Environmental Defense Fund where she shaped public policy to advance the emerging clean energy economy and adoption of frontier technologies.
Lauren Hendricks is the CEO and Co-Founder of KEIPhone. The mission of KEIPhone is to provide women in developing markets with smartphones, paid for through an innovative advertising-based revenue model. KEIPhone has launched in Uganda and plans to spread to the rest of East Africa. She previously served as the CEO of Equity Group Foundation International, the US arm of Equity Group Foundation. She was the Executive Vice President of Grameen Foundation. She was previously Executive Director for the Access Africa initiative at CARE, where she led the development of financial inclusion programs and innovative solutions. A global expert in international development and financial inclusion, she works to engage technology and private sector to address the critical challenges of our time.
Michael Joseph is currently Chairman of Kenya Airways and chairs the Safaricom PLC board, M-PESA Foundation, and the M-PESA Foundation Academy. He was previously Vodafone’s Director of Mobile Money and Founder CEO of Safaricom, during which he steered the company from a subscriber base of less than 18,000 in 2000 to over 17 million subscribers today, making it the most successful company in East Africa. Michael has been the recipient of several national awards and has extensive international experience in company start-ups, implementation and operation of large wireless and wire-line networks.
DBL Group, Chief Sustainability Officer
Through a wide range of programs designed to improve the lives of workers and the local communities and reduce the impact on the environment, Zahid regularly works with a broad range of stakeholders. Sustainability programs at DBL are aligned with SDGs and Zahid is currently managing several sustainability projects, including the Partnership for Cleaner Textiles (PaCT) by IFC, Mothers@Work and Better Business for Children by UNICEF, and Gender Equity and Returns by ILO’s Better Work Program and Female Leadership Development Program. Zahid has 25 years of experience in the apparel, textiles, sporting goods, ceramic tableware, and electronics industries and conducts all his work with the belief that “Reward of doing good, is nothing but good.”
Solar Sisters, Country Director
Olasimbo Sojinrin is Country Director at Solar Sister Nigeria where she leads a network of women entrepreneurs distributing clean energy products in underserved communities across Nigeria. She is a strong advocate for renewable energy and women empowerment. She has presented at national and international forums, including UNCSW annual meetings and the UN’s Commission on Science and Technology. Simbo has received many awards including Gender mainstreaming in Energy Award Champion by ECOWAS ECREEE, Google Impact Challenge in 2018, Winner of the 2017 Rurh Summit in Germany, 2016 Woman in Energy awardee by Nigerian Energy Forum and 2015 Emerging Leader at Techwomen USA. She holds a Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship from INSEAD and a Masters in Public and International Affairs from University of Lagos.
Psaltry International, Founder/ Managing Director
Yemisi Iranloye is a quintessential Biochemist/entrepreneur that processes cassava into Food Grade Starch, HQCF and the first to produce Cassava based Sorbitol in Africa. She has two decades of experience in Cassava farming, processing and manages over 8000HA of cassava farm for her Outgrower/ In-grower Schemes. She was a member of UNIDO/Ministry of Commerce Committee that designed the blueprint for cassava development in Nigeria in 2005 and a member of the Presidential Committee on Cassava Development and Utility in 2006. Yemisi is a member of the Board of Directors of IITA’s Business Incubation Platform (BIP) who has attended several management trainings including the Nigerian SME Equity Investment Trade and Development, USA. Yemisi conceived the idea for Psaltry International, a cassava processing company, in 2005 when she was an employee at a firm working extensively with cassava. She saw cassava’s commercial potential and bought her first piece of land, upon which she later developed her farm and factory. Within 10 years, the business has grown from 600 million to 5 billion Nigerian naira ($12 million) in annual revenue. Psaltry International aggregates from and builds the capacities of smallholder suppliers, particularly women. It also works to strengthen the capacity of its employees, which have more than doubled since 2013 to nearly 300, 40% of whom are women.
Agromall, Head of Transformation - Strategy, Commercials, Partnerships, Product and Project Management
Patrick Obodoekea has more than 12 years of experience working in telecoms, agritech and fintechs and is currently Head of Transformation - Strategy, Commercials, Partnerships, Product and Project Management at AgroMall in Nigeria. AgroMall offers farmers digitized agronomic, extension, and financial services. Patrick was previously part of the Ericsson team that deployed the Converged Wallet Platform to 13 African countries. He co-authored “Digitization of Last Mile Aggregation and Logistics Services to Enhance Market Access of Farm Produce - Towards Reducing Post-Harvest Losses and Achieving Value Chain Improvement: Making a Case for Improved Income for Smallholder Farmers and Making Rural Economy Work for the Poor.”
INI Farms, Founder and CEO
Purnima co-founded INI Farms in 2009 and is the first woman CEO of one of the largest fresh fruit company from India. Purnima has built InI Farms into a global enterprise operating in 35 countries and 8 Indian states. With direct farm to fork model, INI Farms works with over 5000 farmers and links them directly to world’s largest retailers. Purnima is the driving force behind creating India’s first “safe food’ brand Kimaye leading the entire gamut of brand building initiatives from consumer insights to packaging innovations to distribution. Her strength in building long lasting relationships has helped InI achieve leadership in exports as well as domestic market. Purnima’s experience spans over 20 years including 17 years as an entrepreneur. As a cofounder of INI Consulting (started in 2003) she has advised large private sector companies in agriculture, heavy engineering, electronics, infrastructure, chemicals and also Government organizations like Indian Railways, Confederation of Indian Industry and Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. Purnima has been widely recognized for bringing gender and social equality in agriculture. She was the first women ever to be on the cover of Asia Fruit magazine. Purnima holds a Bachelors degree in Economics from St. Xaviers College Calcutta and an MBA from T A Pai Management Institute, Manipal.
Wi-Agri, CEO and Founder
Renée Chao-Beroff comes from the rural Financial Inclusion sector where she worked as a practitioner for more than 25 years in the field in Africa. She has also been an advisor to public and private decision makers in policy and strategy. She has initiated work in measuring social and environmental performance for Microfinance as Chairwoman of CERISE and participated in the foundation of the Social Performance Task Force. Today, with CIDR Pamiga, Renée aims at pushing the frontiers of Financial Inclusion even further into Impact Investment, Digital Platforms for Agricultural Value Chains and to address the challenges of Climate Change.
Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund, Managing Director
Tamer El-Raghy is the Managing Director of the Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF); a $58 million impact Agri VC fund and the world’s first equity fund designed to build the climate resilience of African smallholder farmers. Tamer has more than 20 years of private equity, venture capital, M&A, entrepreneurial, and innovation experience in Africa, the Middle East, the United States, and Europe. Prior to joining ARAF, Tamer was with responsAbility AG as head of Agri&Food PE Fund in Africa where he co-led the structuring, due diligence, and closing of transactions that impacted 35,000 smallholder farmers. Before responsAbility AG, he led Cargill’s growth strategy and M&A activities in Africa with a focus on animal nutrition, animal protein, and commodities value chains in Egypt, Morocco, Kenya, Zambia, and Ghana, impacting 50,000 smallholders. Tamer started his career as a materials engineer, where he co-invented a new class of materials, held 9 patents, and founded 3-ONE-2 LLC, as a joint venture, commercializing the technology for both civilian and defense applications. Tamer earned an MBA from the New York University (NYU) Stern School of Business , a PhD in Materials Engineering from Drexel University, and a BSc in Metallurgical Engineering from Cairo University.