The organization celebrates its 40th anniversary with the inaugural FinTech Innovation Challenge, 18th Network Member Day, and launch of new She Counts cohort
SINGAPORE—Global NGO Women’s World Banking brings its biennial international gathering, the Making Finance Work for Women Summit, to Singapore on 22-23 October 2019. The Summit features leading international experts in driving innovations in women’s financial inclusion. More than 300 attendees from more than 40 countries will participate in interactive workshops, debates, plenary sessions, and the inaugural FinTech Innovation Challenge.
“Nearly one billion women around the world do not have access to formal financial services and hundreds of millions more are underserved. Our Making Finance Work for Women Summit will address the obstacles financial service providers face in meeting these women’s needs and the solutions that will allow them to reach this market at scale,” said Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO of Women’s World Banking. “We want all attendees to leave the Summit with concrete steps they can take in their own organizations to make finance work for women worldwide as a critical step in building a more equitable world,” continued Iskenderian.
The Making Finance Work for Women Summit will also include Women’s World Banking’s inaugural FinTech Innovation Challenge in partnership with the Singapore FinTech Festival and KPMG Digital Village. Four finalists have been selected to pitch at the Summit. Esteemed judges and attendees will then vote to select the top two candidates who will go on to participate as finalists in the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Global FinTech Hackcelerator Demo Day. The four finalists are: Aflore from Colombia; Bloom Impact from Ghana; Frontier Markets Consulting from India; and Pula Advisors from Kenya. Each finalist is paired with a corporate champion to help refine their pitch and solution for the Summit. The corporate champions are: CIB (Egypt); Credit Suisse; DBS Bank; and SwissRe. The FinTech Challenge is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Calibra.
“With more than 80 applicants to the FinTech Innovation Challenge, it was exciting to see so many FinTech solutions addressing the needs of unbanked and underserved women around the globe,” said Iskenderian. “Our four finalists show great promise in addressing women’s economic security and prosperity. I am particularly excited to see that all of our finalists have women CEOs and/or Founders.”
Women’s World Banking will also be hosting its 18th Global Network Member Day. The Women’s World Banking Network of financial service providers has been a central part of the organization during its 40-year history. Institutions in the network champion women’s financial inclusion in their local markets, share best practices, and leverage each other’s expertise in inclusive economies to help acquire, activate, drive usage by, and retain women clients. At this year’s meeting, 16 new members were inducted into the network, including: Access Bank (Ghana); Access Bank (Nigeria); Access Bank (Rwanda); Access Bank (Zambia); Aflore (Colombia); Banco Azteca (Mexico); Bank of Baroda (India); Bank of Industry (Nigeria); Bloom Impact (Ghana); Frontier Markets Consulting (India); Kaleidofin (India); One FI (Nigeria); Pula Advisors (Kenya); Sterling Bank (Nigeria); TMSS (Bangladesh); and Wing Ltd Specialised Bank (Cambodia).
The programming in Singapore concludes with the launch of the second cohort of She Counts members. She Counts harnesses the power of savings and other financial tools to help women save securely, invest in their businesses and take control of their financial future. The financial service providers that are designated as She Counts members represent institutions that showcase best practices in engaging women clients with savings and other products. The 2019 She Counts cohort includes: Access Bank (Nigeria); ASA (Bangladesh); Banco W (Colombia); CARD Bank (Philippines); Kaleidofin (India); MaTontine (Senegal); NMB Bank (Tanzania); and Sterling Bank (Nigeria) and is supported by the Exxon Mobil Foundation.
The Making Finance Work for Women Summit is presented by Women’s World Banking with support from Leading Sponsors Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Standard Chartered Bank. The event is made possible with additional support from Oriente, Oliver Wyman, #SheMeansBusiness and WhatsApp.
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Women’s World Banking designs and invests in the financial solutions, institutions and policy environments in emerging markets to create greater economic stability and prosperity for women, their families, and their communities. With a global reach of 53 partners in 32 countries serving more than 30 million women clients, Women’s World Banking drives impact through its scalable, market-driven solutions; gender-lens private equity fund; and leadership and diversity programs.