Global Impact Investing Network: 2023 Impact Forum .
Event | October 4, 2023
Chemonics was thrilled to be a flagship sponsor of the leading impact investing conference.
We joined more than 1,500 of the world’s leading impact investors in Copenhagen, Denmark for the GIIN 2023 Impact Forum. Over the course of the conference, our experts from across diverse technical areas engaged in thought-provoking conversations and interactive sessions, all centered around this year’s theme, “Big Transitions. Bold Solutions. Collective Power. Systemic Change.” Chemonics’ delegation was led by our private sector engagement team, which works to mobilize and harness the power of private sector capital for scaled development impact.
Learn more about the 2023 GIIN Impact Forum here.
Chemonics hosted the following sessions.
From Margins to Mainstream: Scaling Inclusive Tech in Emerging Markets
How do we mainstream local ideas with enormous potential for global impact? This dynamic session offered an opportunity to hear from the most cutting-edge innovators and entrepreneurs developing technology solutions that meet the unique challenges and needs of their communities. Attendees participated in an engaging and interactive session moderated by Dean Hand, chief research officer at GIIN, that explored the best strategies and insights to take inclusive, locally-driven technology solutions to scale.
Chief Research Officer
Global Impact Investing Network
Dean Hand is the chief research officer for the GIIN. She is responsible for developing and guiding the GIIN’s research agenda. Dean has ten years of specific impact investing experience within emerging market asset management focused on originating investment opportunities, development of catalytic blended finance tools, impact fund development, and impact measurement strategies.
Fireside Chat Panelists
Louise brings more than 20 years of experience working in international trade and development, banking, and professional services to her role as a passionate and strategic leader. As managing director of Chemonics UK, Louise provides strategic vision, leadership, commercial acumen, and management to a diverse portfolio of international programmes. Passionate about combating climate change and violence against women, Louise currently serves as a trustee of WeForest and chair of Luminary Bakery. Prior to joining Chemonics, Louise worked at Crown Agents as chief commercial officer and supply chain lead. In this role, Louise led Crown Agents’s response on both their COVID-19 supply chain offer response and their Ukraine response.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Wenyi Cai is the founder and CEO of Polymath Ventures, a venture studio that builds digital platforms to empower the middle-class of Latin America. Prior to founding Polymath, Wenyi was an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. As the COO of Milo.com, a consumer internet startup that was sold to eBay in 2010, Wenyi led business development efforts with major technology companies like Microsoft and eBay and oversaw the product and engineering teams. Earlier in her career, Wenyi was a consultant with McKinsey & Company in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. Preceding her business career, Wenyi helped build a quantitative trading hedge fund, and was a published researcher in applied physics.
Head of Venture Capital
Development Partners International
As head of venture capital at Development Partners International (DPI), Ashley Lewis oversees the firm’s Innovation Fund. Before joining DPI, Ashley was the partner, Africa at Accion Venture Lab. Ashley has 15 years of experience across financial services, investments, and social ventures, having worked as an investment consultant and early-stage accelerator manager with LGT Venture Philanthropy and working in the institutional asset management arms of Goldman Sachs and Vanguard. Ashley holds a bachelor’s degree from Morgan State University, an MBA from HEC Paris, and is a fellow of the Finance Innovation Lab of London. Ashley is dedicated to investing in and scaling social ventures across sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Yahya Bouhlel is the CEO and co-founder of GoMyCode, which offers users upskilling and reskilling in digital skills through instructor-assisted training. Yahya started developing technology products by himself at the age of thirteen. After working at Silicon Valley startups such as Make School and UPGRADE, Yahya built GoMyCode in 2016 as a summer project after recognizing the gap between the market needs of tech companies and available talent. GoMyCode brings intensive, accessible tech education and a valuable professional network to thousands of aspirating software developers across Africa. Since its launch, GoMyCode has trained over 40,000 students and 1,500 teachers in 45 cities.
Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer
Titilola Olaolu-Hassan the COO and co-founder of Zuri Health, a virtual hospital which provides high-quality, affordable healthcare services across Sub-Saharan Africa. Before Zuri Health, Titilola worked for MTech Communications, Oando and Navgas, where she supported women in adopting cleaner cooking fuels, thereby reducing the incidence of respiratory diseases and deaths. Titilola was recently recognized by both VivaTech’s Female Founders Challenge and the Lagos State Government Health Service Commission for her support for maternal and neonatal health. With more than 18 years of experience in sales, strategy, and product management, Titilola has a proven track record in driving business growth, business expansion and optimization.
Dr. Sara Saeed Khurram
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Sara Saeed Khurram is the CEO and founder of Sehat Kahani, a telehealth startup that is democratizing health care through a mobile application and 24/7 helpline. As a grantee of two USAID-funded programs – the Pakistan Investment Promotion Activity and the Small and Medium Enterprise Activity – Sehat Kahani allows more women in rural Pakistan to access care. She is a medical doctor and a public health specialist with more than eight years of experience. She is a World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders member and an Acumen, Rainer Arnhold, and Cartier fellow, and has won many awards for her work, including the Rolex Award for Enterprise, UN WE Empower award, and the UNICEF Heroines of Health global health and global campaigner award. Dr. Sara Saeed Khurram was included in the 2023 Forbes Asia 100 to Watch list.
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Andre Turkienicz brings more than thirteen years of experience in the tech industry to his role as CEO at AgTrace, a blockchain traceability solution that tracks all stages of the food value chain. Prior to founding Ag Trace, Andre led the digital agriculture area of the IBM Research in Brazil, implementing projects in blockchain, artificial intelligence, and lnternet of Things. Andre also developed IBM’s research strategy for the agribusiness industry in Brazil, working with cross-functional teams to create a platform-based solution for the agricultural value chain. He holds an MBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.
Innovating an Inclusive Path Forward: Investing in High-Integrity Nature-Based Solutions
Nature-based solutions are crucial for helping to drive economic development in high-value landscapes while contributing to global climate and biodiversity objectives. This session highlighted collaborative, innovative investment approaches and explored durable solutions that benefit local stakeholders, balance financial, social, and environmental objectives, and link with jurisdictional and landscape-led initiatives.
Senior Climate Finance Advisor
Sashi is a senior climate finance advisor with USAID’s Center for Energy, Environment, and Infrastructure, where she leads coordination and provides technical leadership to USAID and its partners seeking to mobilize finance for climate goals. She oversees the Climate Finance for Development Accelerator (CFDA), a USAID initiative designed to mobilize $2.5 billion in public and private climate investments by 2030 to fund climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions focused on scaling up the transition to an equitable and resilient net-zero economy. Sashi brings two decades of experience in the design, development, and implementation of projects focused on private sector development, impact investing, women’s economic empowerment, and financial inclusion. She has previously worked on structuring financial transactions using guarantees, human centered product design for new markets, and product development for financial institutions in Africa and Asia. Sashi holds a MSc from the London School of Economics, and a BA from Vanderbilt University.
Cédric is an expert in climate finance, impact investing, and carbon solutions, boasting a career in bridging multilateral agencies, financial institutions, donors and private enterprises across emerging markets. As a principal at KOIS Invest, a leading impact finance firm, he spearheads their climate finance practice. Cédric is a co-founder of InfraBlocks, a climate fintech endeavor incubated in partnership with the Asian Development Bank and Monetary Authority of Singapore, which aims to unlock carbon markets using blockchain technology. Cédric holds a master’s degree in corporate finance & strategy from Sciences Po and a master’s degree in engineering from Ecole Centrale. He is also engaged in the Erasmus Mundus Program at the Indian Institute of Technology.
Founder and Director
Tanja has more than 20 years of experience in environmental finance, including climate finance and is the founder of Clarmondial, which develops and implements innovative climate and biodiversity financing solutions to mobilize private capital, working with leading corporations, investors, and conservation organizations. In partnership with USAID, Rainforest Alliance, CDP, and Conservation International, Clarmondial is developing the Biosphere Integrity Fund to finance the transition to regenerative value chains and sourcing landscapes. Tanja serves on the board of the Food Securities Fund, and is an advisor to Cartier for Nature and the Science Based Targets initiative. Tanja is Danish-Swiss and was born and raised in Tanzania and Kenya. She holds academic qualifications in environmental science, environmental economics and environmental law and policy.
Belinda is managing director and co-founder of Colibri Catalyst, a new catalytic capital facility created to mobilize private investment in nature-based solutions and generate impact aligned with global climate and biodiversity goals. She has more than 25 years experience working on environmental markets in emerging and developed markets. Previously, she managed the Packard Foundation’s Climate and Land Use program and worked with the Foundation’s mission investing team on program related investments in the climate and land use sectors. Immediately before that, she helped establish the American Carbon Registry’s participation in California’s cap and trade program. Belinda grew up in Zimbabwe and has lived and worked in Indonesia, Kenya, and the U.S. She holds an M.S. in environmental economics and is passionate about shifting food and fiber production to regenerative and sustainable systems that preserve environmental integrity while supporting local communities.
Stevie Smyth is the CEO of impact investing advisory firm SVX Mexico, and is a managing partner of Regenera Ventures, a USAID-funded impact investment fund developed through the Sustainable Landscapes Ventures project. Since 2017, she has advised on multiple projects for the firm, including structuring investment transactions for impact enterprises and educating hundreds of funds, banks, angel investors, governments and NGOs on impact investing, blended finance and gender lens investing. Stevie co-developed the impact investing strategy for the UN Foundation’s Clean Cooking Alliance, managing the Spark Fund and Pilot Innovation Fund, and supporting the Clean Cooking Working Capital Fund and the Clean Cooking Capacity Building Facility. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga University in Economics and Latin American Studies and a M.A. in Social Enterprise from American University’s School of International Service.