Letter from Inez: June 2023

Thursday 29th June 2023

Spotlight on: Summit 2023

June marked a busy travel schedule for the Alliance team as we sought to build our membership and establish new partnerships. While we’re much more conscious about how much we travel since the pandemic began, we also recognize the importance of meeting people face-to-face to make strong connections. And there is no better way to meet similarly minded professionals dedicated to championing the female economy than at our Summit, hosted by Banco BHD on Nov. 8–9 in the Dominican Republic. Click here to register.

This Summit will model national strategies to meaningfully support female entrepreneurs through the launch of a WE Finance Code for the Dominican Republic, the first replication of such an effort outside of the United Kingdom. We will gather the national and international ecosystem to build awareness and momentum and host a “teach-in” workshop so Alliance members can go forth and support a national Code in their markets.

The need for laser-sharp focus on supporting female entrepreneurs was highlighted during the first annual Inclusive Fintech Festival, which took place last week in Kigali, Rwanda. The financing gaps for women small business owners in Africa are stark. Women access just 10 percent of SME finance from banks despite running more than 50 percent of SMEs. And while digital footprints have been established for tens of millions of Africans in the past decade through access to mobile wallets, the loan amounts offered through them are mostly too small for business financing purposes. A huge gap also persists in access to early-stage finance for high-growth start-ups, where angel investors remain largely unavailable to women on the continent.

We believe that national WE Finance Codes offer a means to rally national ecosystems around solving supply- and demand-side problems. Another strategy for us in this regard is our Annual Hackathon , the winners of which will be announced at the Summit. The challenges for fintechs will include financing WSMEs and supporting women consumers and business owners to act on climate. We’ll be giving bonus marks to female-founded fintechs.

This month, we extend a warm welcome to our latest member, Equitas Small Finance Bank, which is addressing the missing middle of the women’s market in India: those who fall between microfinance and commercial banks. In this issue, we interview, Dheeraj Mohan, Head of Head of Strategy, Investor Relations, Business Intelligence (BI) and Customer Experience (CX), and learn about his vision for being the bank of choice for women in South India.

Thanks to all our members who have shared their latest innovations in our network news this month. We very much look forward to seeing you at the 2023 Summit.

In community,

Inez Murray Newsletter Signature