Tuesday 27th September 2016
As we approach our Annual Summit, which kicks off on October 18, I am proud to share that it will be our largest ever and reflective of the tremendous efforts of all our members and other stakeholders, including Summit host the International Finance Corporation, in gaining such traction with the Women’s Market. Just as we have welcomed 10 new banks in the past 12 months, so the number of banks within the Alliance with deep experience has increased. The expansion of these “resource” banks means we are able to mobilize more know-how, and so the virtuous circle continues.
This will be manifest during the Summit, where we have an extraordinarily strong line-up of speakers and new interactive sessions, including “Meet the Banks,” where participants will be able to discuss opportunities and challenges directly with expert practitioners. We also have a series of new knowledge products, including a seminal report synthesizing key insights from 13 GBA banks on what women want from financial services providers, as well as the launch of the our fourth cohort of GBA’s Mentoring Program.
During September, GBA’s efforts were spread far afield. We were delighted to be joined by two GBA banks, BLC Bank and our newest member in China, Bank of Luoyang, at a workshop on “Financing Women SME Owners” during the SME Finance Forum Annual Meeting in Beijing. This enabled us to share best practices with the many Chinese banks in attendance, many of whom are new to the concept of a Women’s Market. Then it was on to FMO’s Future of Finance event in Noordwijk, a quiet and beautiful coastal town in the Netherlands, where GBA showcased our work during a roundtable that included GBA member Banco Pichincha, which shared know-how on serving women in the Ecuadorian market.
GBA also participated in the Alliance for Financial Inclusion’s 8th annual Global Policy Forum in Fiji, where this network of regulators from over 100 countries came together to adopt an action plan on gender and financial inclusion that stressed the importance of sex-disaggregated data to closing the gender gap in access to and use of financial services.
This month we are proud to welcome our first member in Central Asia, IMON International, and in this issue we interview Gulbakhor Makhkamova, Chief Executive Officer, and ask her about the bank’s strategy for the Women’s Market in Tajikistan.
There are many people who deserve in-person thanks for their successful efforts around the upcoming Summit, but for now I would like to single out Jessica Schnabel and the team at IFC for being such excellent hosts. We all owe them thanks for what promises to be a substantively rich, productive and collegial gathering.
See you in DC.