Naheed Islam

Naheed is a senior financial inclusion consultant based in Hong Kong. She has extensive experience in conducting quantitative and qualitative research, program evaluation and insights generation on financial inclusion topics for the UNCDF, IFC, CGAP, and the World Bank. Naheed is also a senior consultant for the Boulder Institute of Microfinance, working on knowledge dissemination. Recently, she was a consultant for IFC team that worked with the Tajikistan microfinance sector, the microfinance association and the National Bank of Tajikistan to support their efforts in developing a 10-year national microfinance strategy for Tajikistan. Formerly, Naheed was the research and insights lead for the Gates Foundation funded multi-country research program Financial Inclusion Insights (FII) to track the development of mobile and digital financial services across eight countries in Asia and Africa. She also previously worked on Access to Finance projects with Enclude (formerly ShoreBank International), Mercy Corps, USAID, bKash/Brac, Sub-K, and other clients in South and Southeast Asia. She has a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California at Berkeley.

By Naheed Islam


What Most Providers Don’t Realize About Microentrepreneurs

Conventional measures of creditworthiness paint an incomplete — even misleading — picture of microbusiness owners, whose success often hinges on strong local networks and unconventional business strategies.