Bloomberg featured Women’s World Banking’s Annual Benefit at the IAC Building in New York City.
At the Women’s World Banking gala at the IAC Building, even the cocktail napkins broadcast the group’s message.
“Your support expands micro-insurance to Morocco and Uganda,” read one. Another touted guests’ help in creating “savings in Malawi.”
Near a cart of injera and spiced carrots, WWB staff talked about a savings product for Ethiopian youth that the organization helped introduce at a local bank. Girls raise chickens and sell eggs; boys shine shoes. There are now 9,000 accounts with average deposits of $9 earning 6 percent interest.
Maureen O’Toole, a managing director at Morgan Stanley (MS), has visited WWB partners in Jordan, Bosnia, Tunisia, Colombia and Ghana. She said she’d hire any of the microfinance bankers who work there. She is equally impressed with their entrepreneurial clients.
“They may not know ROI or Ebitda, but they know every penny of their enterprise,” O’Toole said. “It’s here and here, not in a spreadsheet. In a different set of life circumstances, any one of them could be CEOs.”
Before her WWB trips, O’Toole said she didn’t participate in women’s groups or mentoring at work. “Now I am much better at mentoring and feeling a part of a female global community.”
She called over her guests, all junior women in her department.
Microfund for Women in Jordan was honored.