Including the Voice of the Customer in Ecosystem Development


In this session, Saskia shared FMO’s latest groundbreaking offering to help financial services providers serve women entrepreneurs more effectively. Providing a custom toolbox of financial and non-financial services, FemForward is based on in-depth research on the critical needs of women in business.

Key Points

  1. Saskia highlighted the importance of listening to the voice of the customer and ensuring that financial institutions know what the aspirations of female entrepreneurs are.
  2. FMO is bringing the voice of women entrepreneurs to financial services providers to help them better understand each other – and make a real difference in the lives of women business owners. This forms the basis of the new FemForward offering, a customized tool box with financial products and non-financial services to help financial institutions be gender-smart and serve female entrepreneurs better.
  1. In addition to financing, the FemForward initiative includes training for both entrepreneurs and bank managers.
  1. The initiative also features partner dialogues with NGOs, as well as financial sector dialogues that bring female entrepreneurs, banks and other ecosystem players together to encourage conversations across ecosystems. FMO has already coordinated financial sector dialogues in Zambia as well as in the Netherlands.
  1. FMO is looking to coordinate digital dialogues as well as leverage the role of influential women as role models in bringing the ecosystems together.

2018 GBA Summit


Senior Gender Finance Advisor, FMO


I challenge you to get closer to your female entrepreneurs – don’t think about what they want. Ask them.
— Saskia Vossenberg