FINCA Impact Finance’s 2019 International Women’s Day Event

Can The Future Still Be Female? | A Panel Discussion on Fintech and Gender Balance

Tuesday, March 5th | 5:30pm – 8:30pm

Panel discussion moderated by Andrée Simon, CEO of FINCA Impact Finance, followed by a networking session.

The event is open to the public and free to attend.

Fintech promises to promote gender equality but more progress is needed.


Tuesday, March 5th
Panel, Q&A – 5:30 – 7:30pm
Networking Event – 7:30 – 8:30pm


FINCA Impact Finance HQ
1201 15th Street, NW Washington, DC 20005,
NAHB Auditorium First Floor


Rosita Najmi
Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Dr. Sonja Kelly
Digital Finance Advisor, U.S. Department of State

Bhavana Srivastava
Partner, MicroSave Consulting (MSC)

Elissa McCarter LaBorde
CEO, Vitas Group


Andrée Simon
President & CEO of FINCA Impact Finance


Have you already registered? Join the conversation by following @FINCAImpact on Twitter and using the hashtags #IWD2019 and #BalanceForBetter.

Event Details

Fintech is failing to empower women in ways that foster greater gender balance – but we can change that.

Fintech innovations such as mobile and agent banking promise to create new channels for women to access financial services. However, women are still being denied the opportunity to participate on an equal footing.

Research shows that fintech is most effective at narrowing the gender gap in markets where women already play active roles managing household finances. Where that isn’t the case, and where women face diminished access to digital technologies and digital literacy training, fintech is less empowering.

Clearly, financial service providers need to do better to achieve true gender balance. We need to be intentional in how we reach women, both through fintech and more traditional banking methods. This need is reflected in the official IWD 2019 theme, #BalanceForBetter.

FINCA Impact Finance—a global provider of responsible financial services dedicated to empowering women to take control of their financial futures—invites you to our fourth annual International Women’s Day event.

Our lively panel discussion will address one of the most important questions of 2019:

How can we leverage the power of fintech to empower women and help close the gender gap?


About The Panelists


Rosita Najmi is a senior program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Her work focuses on advancing digital financial services for low-income people. Ms. Najmi has led investments in women’s financial inclusion and economic empowerment.



Dr. Sonja Kelly advises the US State Department on digital finance in emerging markets. Dr. Kelly’s research highlights the ways innovative business models and new technologies expand access to finance around the world.



Bhavana Srivastava is a financial services consultant specializing in microfinance, SME lending and project management. Her work focuses on designing and managing large-scale programs to expand access to finance to low-income households.



Elissa McCarter LaBorde is the CEO of Vitas Group, the largest network of microfinance institutions operating in the Middle East region. Her work focuses on designing financial products and services for low-income people.



The event is open to the public and free to attend.

FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd Nigeria is part of the FINCA Impact Finance Network, a group of 21 microfinance and financial institutions that provides socially responsible financial services and enables low-income entrepreneurs and small business owners to invest in the future.
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