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Open Webinar: Supply Chain Finance for Women-SMEs

16 June 2021
8 : 00
9 : 30
Woman sitting on a computer with a background of tech icons

Supply Chain Finance (SCF) is an effective solution to extend access to finance to SMEs by developing a technology-driven low-risk product aimed to channel liquidity to the strategically important value chains. It also has strong potential to close finance gaps for SMEs, including the $1.5 trillion finance gap for Women-SME (W-SMEs).  

The SME Finance Forum, together with IFC - International Finance Corporation organized a six-part training series, covering major areas important for building successful SCF programs for financial institutions. Building on this successful SCF program, the SME Finance Forum is organizing a webinar on Supply Chain Finance for Women-SMEs to showcase innovative approaches and initiatives in Supply Chain Finance for W-SMEs.

What you will learn

Models and approaches in Supply Chain Finance for W-SMEs
Unique products and structure across the supply chain for women entrepreneurs
Role and integration of technology platforms, W-SMEs adaptation
Legal and Regulatory considerations for W-SMEs 
Host and Moderator
Matthew Gamser, CEO, SME Finance Forum
About the Speakers
Elizabeth A. Vazquez is the CEO and Co-Founder of WEConnect International, a global network that connects women-owned businesses to qualified buyers around the world. She is a world leader in women’s economic empowerment and global supplier diversity and inclusion. As the head of WEConnect International, Ms. Vazquez is responsible for mission delivery and measurable impact. WEConnect International identifies, educates, registers, and certifies women’s business enterprises that are at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by one or more women, and then connects them with member buyers. The WEConnect International WECommunity supports and promotes women-owned businesses based in over 120 countries, including local support and certification in almost 50 countries across the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The organization also helps to develop the capacity of large buyers to source more products and services from underutilized suppliers, including women-owned businesses globally. Ms. Vazquez is the co-author of the book, “Buying for Impact: How to Buy from Women and Change Our World.” She sits on several boards of directors and councils including the Procter & Gamble Supplier Diversity Advisory Council. She “rang the bell” at the New York Stock Exchange in 2019 in support of women business owners around the world and is a W20 Representative to advance G20 commitments.  She also served as a member of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment from 2016-2017. Ms. Vazquez is an advisor to a long list of corporate, government and multilateral leaders, including WEConnect International members with over US$1 trillion in annual purchasing power. She has served as a trainer and guest lecturer on international trade and gender inclusive growth to graduate students at several business schools and universities such as American University, Arizona State University Honors College, Brown University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, MIT, Oxford University, Tufts University, University of Johannesburg, University of Ottawa, and more. She was born in Mexico, has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Arizona State University, and was honored by the Barrett Honors College as an Inspiring Alumni for making significant contributions in her career and community. She has a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University where she studied development economics and international negotiation as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and is the recipient of the 2018 Fletcher Women’s Leadership Award for outstanding graduates who are making a meaningful impact in the world. She also completed graduate seminars at Harvard Law School and the Kennedy School of Government, the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University, and Sookmyung Women’s University in South Korea.
Ashish Gadnis is the Co-founder / CEO of BanQu, which was recently named to the TIME Magazine 2019 Innovations List and MB 2020 Leaders List. In February 2021 BanQu was named to be one of the top innovation for circular economy by World Economic Forum and Accenture. BanQu is the first ever blockchain-based (patented) Supply Chain & Economic  Passport platform that enables transparency, traceability, equity and sustainability for farmers (especially women), workers, waste pickers/recyclers living in extreme poverty. BanQu has also become the leading platform for ensuring COVID-19 supplies are reaching the most vulnerable nations and communities in the MENA region. BanQu is being used in 40+ countries and over 1 million last-mile-first-mile beneficiaries today. Prior to his current engagements, Mr. Gadnis was the founder and CEO of multiple technology startups, the last one of which was acquired by a $1.5 billion global consulting firm in 2012. Over the past 25 years Ashish has been recognized for his private / public sector contributions with awards such as – MIT Innovate for Refugees (Syrian refugees) award, Young Global Leader (World Economic Forum), Minority Business Leader (Twin Cities Business), 40 under 40 (Business Journal), Change-Makers Innovator Award (Coding Schools in Refugee Camps in East Africa) and Battery Ventures Innovation Award – Democratic Republic of Congo (for Asili: a mobile / cloud-based business focused on reducing infant child mortality, improving maternal health and increasing livelihood in conflict zones). Ashish has a Bachelor’s degree in Systems Engineering from Bombay University, MBA in Finance and Marketing from the Carlson School and Executive Education in Global Leadership and Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School.

Kathryn Petralia is a senior executive at American Express and co-founder of Kabbage, a cash flow technology company for small businesses. Her co-founder, Rob Frohwein, shared his idea for Kabbage with Kathryn in 2008 during the height of the financial crisis. While many doubted its success, Kathryn immediately saw the value in using technology to reexamine lending and provide marginalized small businesses easier access to financial products. She believed funding decisions could be automated based on analyzing real-time data rather than lengthy, manual paperwork. At the time of its sale to American Express in 2020, Kabbage was the largest online lending platform for small businesses in the U.S. and during the COVID-19 pandemic it became the second-largest Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) lender in the nation, helping 300,000 small businesses retain nearly one million U.S. jobs. Before co-founding Kabbage, Kathryn spent nearly 15 years working with large and small companies focused on credit, payments and e-commerce. Also, an advocate for women in the workplace, a humanitarian and philanthropist, Kathryn was recognized as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World by Forbes magazine in 2007, serves on the board for CARE.org, PadSplit, Tricolor and the Atlanta Chamber Music Festival, is a member of the Digital Advisory Council at Fannie Mae, and is a trustee for the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta.
A summary of the event will be posted here>

For more information, please contact: Minerva Kotei or send us an email to smefinanceforum@ifc.org.

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Gender FinanceSupply & Value Chain Finance