24-25 May | Mumbai, India

2023 Making Finance Work for Women Summit

Join financial inclusion leaders from around the globe to accelerate her economy.

What to Expect

Powering Growth in Uncertain Times

This year’s Summit will bring together, in-person again, financial service providers, investors, donors, policymakers, and fintech players to explore themes such as gender lens investing, deepening digital engagement, and the importance of leadership & diversity. In addition, Women’s World Banking is hosting its Fourth Fintech Innovation Challenge, designed to identify innovations that target unbanked and underserved women.

Want to sponsor the Summit and become a Partner? Learn more.

Official Summit Agenda

Summit Day 1

24 May

Today’s Reality and What it Means for Inclusive Growth

Women’s financial power is critical for global economic resilience. Within global instability and uncertain economic climates lies opportunities and learnings to build more inclusive and relevant financial systems. Together, we will investigate why women’s financial power is vital to economic resilience and, ultimately, recovery and what we can do as a community to meet women where they are.

8.00-9.30 | Registration opens, light breakfast, coffee, and networking

8:30-9:45 | Attendee check-in

9:45-10:00 | Welcome remarks

Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President & CEO, Women’s World Banking, and Janet Truncale, EY and Women’s World Banking Board Chair

10:00-10:30 | Keynote

10:30-11:40 | Mitigating Drags on Growth through Financial Inclusion | Plenary | Panel Discussion

By exploring the realities of three key challenges through the lens of how they affect women uniquely – climate change, the macroeconomic environment (inflationary environments, interest rate volatility, recession, etc.), and women’s labor force participation – we’ll set the stage for inspiring, inclusive solutions.

11:40-12:00 | Coffee and Networking Break

12:00-13:00 | Creating an Enabling Policy Environment to Inspire Growth

Innovation and policy aren’t typically thought of together. This plenary will examine the evolving role policymakers play in creating an environment for inclusive growth. From innovation hubs to collaborations between unlikely partners, the panelists will share their approaches to women’s financial inclusion.

13:00 –14:00 | Lunch

13:20-13:50 | Lunch & Learn: Another Crisis to Conquer – Finance for Displaced Women

There are of course many other challenges facing our global community and dampening women’s financial resilience, but we often lack data and insights to influence sustainable solutions. As a subset of the 20,000 women Women’s World Banking has spoken to understand their lives and financial needs, nearly 1,000 were from Ukraine. Women’s World Banking spoke with them to understand the financial needs of women amidst a migrant crisis. This session will present those findings and couch them in a global context – what financial solutions and infrastructure need to be in place to ensure the financial resilience of women facing tragedy like those from Ukraine, Yemen, Syria, …? Although these crises may continue, the financial infrastructure to support women can be solved.

14:00-14:20 | Interactive Programming

14:20-14:45 | Afternoon Opening Remarks – Inclusive by Design

14:45-16:10 | Design That Delivers Breakout Sessions

There’s no engagement with products and services without relevancy – whether in technology, product design, onboarding, or marketing. In this session, we will explore financial services that are relevant to women (and men), how to replicate and scale solutions, and methodologies that maximize engagement for women’s economic empowerment.

Breakout 1: Give Her Credit: Lending Approaches that Expand Access

This session will examine viable approaches to lending from around the world that expand access to credit for women (micro-entrepreneurs, salaried workers, domestic workers, and more) who are traditionally excluded.

Breakout 2: Women-Centered Design for Commercial Viability

Enabling women to gain better access to finance could unlock $330 billion in annual global revenue. This session will showcase financial services providers around the world who are serving women well and how this translates to their bottom line – and how commercial viability may not guarantee a full rollout by the financial service provider.

Breakout 3: Moving from Digital & Financial Literacy to Digital Financial Capability

Despite limited evidence to support financial literacy, policymakers, financial service providers, and civil society organizations still predominantly focus on literacy programs. However, it is time to shift mindset and action to capability vs literacy in the rapidly changing digital world.

16:10-16:30 | Coffee and Networking Break

16:30-17:40 | Working Together to Accelerate Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion

As the world continues to grapple with COVID-19, growing inequalities, and stagnant economies, we must ensure that women are not left behind, especially women-owned MSMEs – major drivers of economic growth. Our individual actions – while critical – are no longer sufficient to close the gender gap in digital financial inclusion. This session will bring together both global and local experts, demonstrating the power of shared insights and platforms across borders.

19:00-21:00 | Cocktail Reception co-hosted by Leading Sponsor

Summit Day 2

25 May

Investing in Women’s Financial Power

From business profitability and increased customer lifetime value to advancing women in leadership, when institutions put women at the center of their business and/or investing strategies, positive outcomes follow for all. Day two will highlight how to unshackle women’s financial power via gender lens investing, women-centered fintech business models and solutions, and gender-intentional organizations.

9.00-9.15 | Opening Remarks

9.15-9.50 | Welcome Back Keynote – Championing the Economically Empowered Woman

9.50-11.00 | How a Holistic Approach to Gender Lens Investing Reaps Outsized Rewards | Panel | Plenary
This session will explore what a holistic approach to Gender Lens Investing actually looks like. Experts will share evidence of how investing in businesses that are not just run by women, but that put women at the center of their business strategies (supply chain, leadership, and product solutions), leads to higher returns on investment and economic growth.

11.00-12.00 | Sustainable Investments for and by Women | Breakout Sessions

Breakout 1: Investing to Achieve the “S” in ESG Goals

Women’s economic empowerment has been underinvested in and poorly understood. Attention is often focused more on the E and the G with the S sandwiched in the middle. This session will outline how the asset owner, investor, and company manage the tension that can come with different ESG priorities.

Breakout 2: Feminine Investing Unleashed: A Woman’s Investor’s Global Impact
When women have access to capital and are in the investor’s driver’s seat, do they actually invest differently and more sustainably than men? If women invested at the same rate as men, there would be an estimated extra $3.22 trillion of assets under management today. This all-female panel will explore the gap in women investing in private and public markets, unveil the questions they ask themselves before they allocate their capital, discuss the opportunities and barriers they face, and what roads need to be paved so that investing decisions ultimately lead to a better world.

12.00–12.30: Fireside Chat: How Did She Succeed: VC-Funded Woman Founder Spotlight
Too often the narrative is focused on why women founders aren’t receiving as much or no funding compared to their male counterparts – the barriers, the discrepancies… It’s a tale as old as time and it’s time to flip that narrative. This fireside chat will feature a woman founder and explore insights from her success story because it deserves to be elevated and inspire more stories like hers.

12.30-13.30 | Lunch

13.30–15.00 | Fourth Fintech Innovation Challenge

Our Fintech Innovation Challenge provides a global stage to elevate innovations in digital financial solutions across a suite of products that are designed to increase access to and engagement of financial solutions by unbanked and underserved women. Four finalists will take the stage and present to a distinguished judging panel. New this year, a portion of our programming will also highlight the “Female Founder’s Winner’s Circle” – seven female-founded fintechs, who made it to our top 10 shortlist of candidates and are paving the way for equal gender representation in a male-dominated industry.

15.15-16.15 | Speed Research Presentations 

16.15-16.35 | Networking Break

16.35-17.30 | Women at the Table Workshop

Throughout the two days of the Summit, there have been many discussions about where we are in addressing women’s financial inclusion and where we need to be. This interactive session will guide participants to lead through complexity and change more effectively by applying an adaptive leadership approach. Be ready to “get on the balcony!”

17.30-18.00 | Fintech Innovation Challenge Winner Announcement & Award Ceremony

One winner out of the four finalists will be crowned the Fourth Fintech Innovation Challenge Champion.

18.00-18.15 | Closing Remarks by Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President & CEO, Women’s World Banking

VIP Cocktail Reception (Invitation-only)

FIC 2019 Video Thumbnail

The Fintech Innovation Challenge

Women’s World Banking’s Fintech Innovation Challenge attracts over 100 fintech applicants around the world who are developing innovative products to close the gender gap in serving the low-income women’s market. On 25 May, 2023 four finalists will compete on the Summit stage and answer to an expert panel of industry-renowned judges. The Challenge will also highlight the female founders of the fintechs in the Top 10 applicants, elevating them as part of a Female Fintech Founders Circle.

2023 Sponsors


Bill Melinda Gates Foundation logo


20170526 EY Digital Brand


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UNCDF logo
We are grateful for the ongoing support of our core funders for enabling our strategy.
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sida logo
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