About our program

Co-creation is an explicit goal of this event.  Because we believe that in order to take joint action we have to build shared ideas and visions, we have organized a number of panel discussions for you. If you’d like to take some time out of a discussion you can meet with others in the semi open space. Presentations on our inspiration stage will showcase opportunities, insights and lessons learned. We invite you to grow each others ideas!

8.30 Coffee /reception/registration

9.00 Welcome & introduction
Zairah Khan (VIVEinvest), Linda Broekhuizen (FMO), Marijn Wiersma (FMO)

Keynote speech: Inez Murray (Global Banking Alliance for Women)
Time: 9.20 – 9.40

The business case for female entrepreneurship

As the CEO of the Global Banking Alliance for women (GBA), Inez Murray represents 37 commercial banks and is working in 135 countries worldwide. The GBA has just announced a plan to mobilize $4.3 billion in additional capital for women-owned businesses worldwide, substantially advancing financial inclusion for women across the globe.

Keynote speech: Sharron McPherson (Wedi Fund, South Africa)
Time: 9.40 – 10.00

Walking the talk, transformative investments

Sharron McPherson is transforming the face of infrastructure, agriculture and sustainable energy in Southern Africa by strategically investing in women. These sectors are not only male dominated but also receive a large part of government funding. With Wedi tap, Wedi has developed a total solution to investing in women from pipeline to end beneficiary.

Panel 1:
Overcoming barriers and challenges for female owned SME’s and the role of alternative and informal funding.
Time: 10.00 – 10.55

Lack of finance is considered to be one of the greatest hurdles to SME growth worldwide. On average, 30% of SME owners in Sub-Saharan Africa see their credit application rejected by formal financial institutions due to lack of “suitable collateral” (real estate collateral or cash), and another 25% do not even bother to request a loan. These constraints can be even more severe if the owner of the SME is a woman. This workshop is aimed at identifying and overcoming barriers to financing women owned SME’s through alternative and ‘smart’ funding.

Facilitator: Nicolette Loonen
Speakers: Corinne Heijn (UnitedSucces), Steven Lee (IGNITE/ BiD network/ Angel), Sara Japenga (BiDNetwork), Suzanne Biegel (Large Consulting)

10.55 – 11.10 Coffee Break


Inspiration 1: The potential of philanthropy to bridge the gap

Presentation: A WIN-WIN proposition (Calvert Foundation)
Time: 11.10 – 11:35

CEO of the Calvert Foundation, Jennifer Pryce, will be giving a sneak preview of their new fund, aimed at women and clean energy in emerging markets, as well as share some of the valuable lessons learned from the first WIN-WIN program.

Presentation: Philanthropic behaviour of women, research by ABN AMRO

Time: 11:35 – 11.55

Diana van Maasdijk, head of Philanthropy at ABN AMRO MeesPierson, will talk about the philanthropic behaviour of women. The research, conducted by Maastricht University and commissioned by ABN Amro MeesPierson, gives insight into the fact that women have different priorities in giving and tend to be more generous.

Panel 2: Putting a gender lens on value chain development.
Time: 12.00 – 12.55

Markets are rapidly globalizing, generating new consumption patterns and new production and distribution systems. Value chains, often controlled by multinational or national firms and supermarkets, are capturing a growing share of, amongst others, the agri-food systems in developing regions. They can provide opportunities for quality employment for men and women, yet they can also be channels to transfer costs and risks to the weakest nodes, particularly women. This panel explores the role of female owned SMEs in the value chain and their ability to create positive impact.

Facilitator: Caroline Wildeman (Hivos)
Speakers: Lindy van Vliet (Oxfam-Novib), Nelleke van der Vleuten (ICCO, BoP Innovation Center), Peter Zerp (Accenture), Noortje Verhart (KIT)


13:00 – 14:00 Lunch


Panel 3: Financial institutions serving women: from myth to success story.
Time: 14.00 – 14.55

The Global Banking Alliance for Women is the leading international consortium of financial institutions and other organizations interested in building women’s wealth worldwide. They focus particularly on the needs of women entrepreneurs running small and medium enterprises. The GBA has recently published a report dispelling three common myths about serving women. After breaking these myths down the discussion will zoom in on what works and why.

Facilitator: Inez Murray (GBA)
Speakers: Bola Bamidele (Access bank Nigeria), Femke Bos (Triodos Investment Management), Ted van Hees (Oxfam Novib)

Inspiration 2: Innovation & Growth

Presentation: Driving innovation with AppsTech
Time: 15.00 – 15.15

Rebecca Enonchong will share her own entrepreneurial journey as owner of AppsTech, an international IT company working in three continents, and present her vision onhow AppsTech is contributing to innovation.

Presentation: Acceleration positive impact for women and girls
Time: 15.15 – 15.30

Suzanne Biegel is a catalyst in impact investing, philanthropy, and early stage social impact business. She will present SPRING, a new venture accelerator focused on ventures that positively affect the lives of women and girls, sponsored by DFID, Nike Foundation, and USAID.

Presentation: Moving capital, celebrating female entrepreneurship
Time: 15.30 – 15.45

Zairah Khan is initiator of Bridge the Gap an owner of VIVEinvestment. She will take you on an exciting journey of co-creation and will present a premiere opportunity to join her and others in a  new fund.


15.45 – 15.55 Coffee break


Connecting the dots, creating a conducive ecosystem for female entrepreneurship
Time: 15.55 – 16.35

Connecting the dots, creating a conductive ecosystem for female entrepreneurship. Panel representatives will create synergy between previous discussions, each elucidating the roles different stakeholders have to play.

Facilitator: Marijn Wiersma (FMO)
Speakers: Nicolette Loonen, Inez Murray en Caroline Wildeman

Declaration to Bridge the Gap: Pledges and Ceremony
Time: 16.35-17.00

Hand over of the Declaration to  Margriet van der Linden (UN Women’s Representative in the Netherlands)

17:00 – Closing remarks

17:15 – 19:00 Drinks



Support networks

  • BiD Network
  • Investeerders Club
  • WO=MEN Dutch Gender Platform
  • Yente
  • New World Campus
  • Vera Community