Women Empowerment

Women, Peace and Parity: Speech at Wharton San Francisco

The following speech was delivered by IIX Founder and CEO Professor Durreen Shahnaz on October 24th at Wharton San Francisco, for IIX and Knowledge@Wharton’s event “Women, Peace and Parity: Using Finance as a Tool For Progress.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to Knowledge@Wharton and IIX’s joint event, ‘Women, Peace and Parity’. Thank you all for joining us today to celebrate the United Nations – so Happy United Nations Day. Today is a celebration of women — the Sustainable Development Goals #5 – Gender Equality, a celebration of Peace – SDG goal # 16, and a celebration of partnerships – SDG #17, because as we know, to undertake the mammoth task of creating a peaceful and equitable society – it takes women and it takes a village.

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Innovative Finance for Sustainable Peace: Speech at 72nd UN General Assembly

The following speech was delivered at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly by IIX founder Durreen Shahnaz to launch the Innovative Finance for Sustainable Peace Initiative. The 5-year initiative leverages the power of financial markets to unlock $1 billion to drive forward sustainable peacebuilding efforts across the globe by creating systemic social-economic resilience.

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When Philanthropy Meets Innovative Finance: Opportunities for Foundations in Gender Lens Investing

Innovative finance is emerging as a powerful tool for harnessing private sector capital to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment but remains limited in its scale to date due to challenges inherent in innovation. Philanthropic actors can help overcome these barriers and play a catalytic role in enabling innovative finance to reach its true potential in creating gendered impact. Using three case studies of innovative financial mechanisms that are applying a gender lens across Asia, Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) illustrates how innovative finance can create gendered impact and how philanthropic actors can use their resources to support the development of such funding mechanisms.

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Gender-Lens Investing: Putting Women at the Forefront of the Sustainable Development

Despite traction in gendered approaches to investment, women still represent an underutilized force for sustainable development and remain underserved in terms of access to capital, market linkages, and resources needed to improve their economic position. Closing the gender gap is not only a social imperative but also a key ingredient in fueling economic growth.

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Are you #Businessworthy?

The annual Business for Peace Summit brings together leaders from around the globe across business, society and politics, to advance their vision: business leaders must be “businessworthy,” i.e. they must work in an ethical and responsible way to create value for both business and society.  This May, IIX’s founder, Prof Durreen Shahnaz, was invited to receive the prestigious 2017 Oslo Business for Peace Award.

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Entrepreneur. Muslim. Woman. Impact: Open Letter to President Donald Trump

Dear President Trump,

Congratulations on your recent victory.

Like many others, I remain hopeful that, despite your administration’s numerous missteps during your first month in office and despite several indications to the contrary, you do aspire to have a positive impact on the world in which we live. I am writing to you today with a request that you use your business acumen to support sustainable development in communities across the globe in need by promoting investment in enterprises that aim to create positive impacts on society and the environment.

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Making Finance do Good…

I had a simple goal in life – to make finance do good for the world. That is why I joined Morgan Stanley at 21 and saw how finance brought amazing opportunities to the society (it did some bad things as well but let’s not go into that today). I wanted to take the magic of capital markets back to my poor country Bangladesh. Thus, with a head full of idealism and heart full of optimism, I left Morgan Stanley and returned to Bangladesh. There I joined Grameen Bank and worked on Grameen Bank’s first financing round, in effect bringing Grameen Bank to the world of capital. All this was almost 25 years ago and I am still at it. I still ardently believe that the right kind of investment capital and the emergence of social capital markets can make the world a more equitable place.  Interestingly it is happening now and it is happening through what is known as ‘impact investing’.

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“Are you building for legacy?” – In Conversation with Ms. Kuik Shiao-Yin, Co-Founder of The Thought Collective

In keeping with this quarterly’s theme of millennials, we set out to share the perspective of an organization that delves deep into issues of youth engagement here in Singapore – The Thought Collective. Starting out as an initiative to tackle youth apathy through education, The Thought Collective has evolved into an umbrella of social businesses whose mission is to collectively transform and strengthen social and emotional capital in Singapore.

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Women Empowering Women

In celebration of International Women’s Day this March, we turn the spotlight on three amazing impact enterprises, which we have had the pleasure of working with.

Led by women entrepreneurs, these women-focused enterprises have an invaluable impact on the lives of women across Asia – proving that creating opportunities for women is the key to driving development forward.

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Driven by a Passion for Equality: In Conversation with Tammy Medard, CEO of ANZ Bank (Laos)

Tammy Medard is a career woman, a mother, and the CEO of one of the largest banks in the Asia Pacific region – ANZ Bank (Laos). Recently listed on Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women Next Generation, she represented the ANZ Bank Group at the Institute of International Finance G20 Conference and led ANZ Laos in its commitment to the United Nation’s Women’s Empowerment Principles.

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