Behind the Scenes with Inclusive Fintech Investors


19 July 2023 9:00 am - 10:15 am EDT
This event has concluded.

Nearly 500 million micro and small enterprises (MSEs) are estimated to be operating around the world. Access to credit and other financial services is critical to the growth and sustainability of these businesses, and consequentially to the low-income and vulnerable populations which rely on MSEs for their livelihoods. Yet despite decades of efforts and some notable successes in expanding MSE finance, the credit gap remains an estimated 4.9 trillion U.S. dollars. New technologies are transforming the financial sector, and some could be the key to enabling business models that can overcome traditional barriers to MSE finance: high operating expenses, low lifetime customer value, and credit risk uncertainty. 

This webinar will take a closer look into these new tech-enabled business models, how they function, and discuss their potential to reach underserved MSEs. However, having a new generation of fintechs deploying new business models is just one part of the solution. New innovative fintechs require funding and access to suitable early-stage funding is scarce. Fundraising also proves to be an overly time-consuming process for fintech founders who need to focus on operations/ product development. After discussing some new business models in the MSE finance space, and their promise for financial inclusion, the webinar will focus on the investor lens to understand how and when they invest in financial inclusion fintechs, and how they balance between social impact and financial returns. Finally, the webinar will highlight the potential role of fintech incubators and accelerators in supporting early-stage fintechs and providing linkages to the investment community. 

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Chief Investment Officer, Women’s World Banking Asset Management

Christina (CJ) Juhasz is the Chief Investment Officer of Women’s World Banking Asset Management. She has worked for the organization since 2007, and for WWB Asset Management since its inception in 2011. She leads the management of Funds I and II for Emerging Markets, directing equity investments into Women’s World Banking’s network members and other women-focused inclusive FSPs, in order to pinforovide responsible growth capital and demonstrate the business case for investing in women. Before transitioning into the role of the CIO, Ms. Juhasz was the director of the Women’s World Banking Capital Markets Group where she conducted and oversaw due diligence, negotiation, and structuring of direct investments in or guarantees of over $6.5 million to four network members from 2009-2011.

Prior to joining Women’s World Banking in 2007, Ms. Juhasz spent 12 years structuring and marketing international secured and unsecured debt and hybrid capital transactions for banks and financial institutions globally. Ms. Juhasz earned a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Stanford University. She is a 2013 Eisenhower Fellow.


Senior Investment Advisor, Bamboo Capital Partners

Christian Ruehmer is a Senior Investment Advisor for Bamboo Capital Partners, a Fund Manager for debt and equity investments in the impact space. He joined Bamboo in 2013 as the Head of Risk Management and was the Chief Investment Officer between 2020 and 2022.

Christian has 30 years of experience in banking and has worked in several large international banks, primarily in the areas or Risk Management, Treasury, Credit Portfolio Management, and Investment Management. Christian has worked in various countries including the US, Germany, Mexico, and Spain.

Between 1989 and 2013, before joining Bamboo, he worked for several multinational banks, including Deutsche Bank and WestLB. Among others, he was the Deputy Treasurer of an affiliate, headed the Deal Management Team of the Bank’s Loan Portfolio Management Group, and worked as an Assistant to the Management Board. As a Managing Director, he headed the Investment Management Team and managed the Work-Out and Restructuring practice. Since 2001, Christian also worked as a consultant for Risk Management and Efficiency Management where he advised over 100 FIs as well as several international organizations. In 2004 Christian founded Proyecto Horizonte, a community development program in Bolivia, which today serves over 3000 children every year with programs in education, health, and community services.

He graduated from Frankfurt School, Germany with a Diploma in Banking and Finance is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a Financial Risk Manager (FRM).


Senior Investment Associate, Goodwell Investments

Ayodele Ogunnoiki is currently a Senior Investment Associate at Goodwell Investments with extensive experience in private debt and equity, specialising in impact investment strategies. Prior to Goodwell, Ayodele was an Investment Analyst at Symbiotics Group, a private debt and asset management firm focused on emerging markets and impact investing.  Ayodele holds a BCom. Economics and a Postgraduate Honours Degree in Economics from the University of Cape Town.

Director, GSMA Innovation Fund

Wadé Owojori is a Director on the GSMA Innovation Fund which supports innovative digital solutions with positive socio-economic impact in low- and middle-income countries. As part of this team, Wadé focuses on developing and managing the Fund’s strategy, is responsible for shaping the support provided to early-stage start-ups and oversees the insights and MEL (monitoring, evaluation, and learning) strategy.

Wadé has over 10 years of experience working in the telco industry, initially with mobile operators across Europe, US, and China on industry initiatives like Rich Communications Services (RCS). In 2016, Wadé joined GSMA Mobile for Development where he has worked across M4D Utilities and Ecosystem Accelerator to support start-ups and innovators before taking up his current role.


Managing Partner, Catalyst Fund

Maelis Carraro is the Managing Partner of Catalyst Fund, a pre-seed VC fund and accelerator dedicated to backing tech startups shaping a climate-resilient future in Africa. With a career spanning impact investing and tech, Maelis works closely with startups, investors, DFIs, banks, and philanthropic funders to drive transformative solutions across emerging markets, benefiting people and the planet. She focuses on investing in and supporting early-stage entrepreneurs building tech-enabled solutions in areas such as fintech, agtech, insurance, carbon finance, and water access for underserved and climate-vulnerable communities. Having backed over 70 startups across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, Maelis has played a vital role in nurturing the innovation ecosystem in emerging markets. Before Catalyst Fund, she worked at the International Finance Corporation, the OECD, Grameen Bank, and impact fund Global Partnerships, where she supported impact investing strategies, inclusive finance product innovation and research on microfinance schemes to enable climate adaptation and resilience. Maelis also co-founded RemitMas, an inclusive fintech startup that empowers Latino immigrants through cross-border remittances, enabling them to save for long-term goals in their home countries. She holds a dual MBA and Master's in International Affairs from Columbia Business School and the School of International and Public Affairs, and a BA Cum Laude in Political Science and Development Economics from University College London.



Financial Sector Specialist

Sai Krishna Kumaraswamy is part of CGAP’s policy team and works on digital finance regulation and supervision, financial consumer protection, and policy responses to financial crises. He also serves as CGAP's Asia representative based in Bangkok, where he supports member engagement and partnership development, contributes to regional projects, and works to deepen CGAP's influence in the region. 

Previously, Sai was part of CGAP’s Business Models team for five years, where he worked on digital finance innovations that enabled improved livelihoods and expanded access to essential services for people living in poverty, focusing on micro and small enterprise financing, asset finance, off-grid energy access, and gender-responsive fintech innovation. Before joining CGAP, Sai worked at the Gender Group and the Global Infrastructure Facility of the World Bank, and as an auditor and consultant in India. 

Sai holds a Master’s degree in Development Economics from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, a Master’s degree in Liberal Arts from Ashoka University, and an Undergraduate degree in Accounting, Business and Finance from St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore. He is also a Chartered Accountant. He is fluent in Tamil, Kannada and Hindi.

David joined CGAP in 2021 as part of its MSE team. Prior to this he has accumulated a wealth of experience in the microfinance sector working for organizations like ProCredit, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and OXFAM. David held Board positions on regulated MSME banks in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya, one Serbian Bank and a finance company in Kosovo.

More recently he has been a Director of a fintech that digitises MFI operations and designs credit scoring algorithms, and has worked for the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance helping them establish a global collaboration network, where he still holds a Research Affiliate position. Currently David is Chairman of Musoni BV, and Credit Committee member at Incofin.

David obtained his first Masters degree at the Agricultural University of Wageningen in Rural Development Studies, and a second Masters degree at Aberystwyth University in Post-Colonial Politics.