Inspired Innovation: International Women’s Day reception

Date: 06/03/2024
Time: 18:30
Location: Simmons & Simmons, Citypoint, 1 Ropemaker Street, London

Ticket price is £25 and includes drinks and canapes.

Inspired Innovation: International Women’s Day reception

Join us in celebration of International Women’s Day 2024 and immerse yourself in an evening reception that explores the dynamic fusion of gender, innovation, and technology.

Embark on a journey of insights and inspiration as our panel of experts and business mavericks unravel the secrets behind game-changing strategies, cutting-edge technologies, and impactful initiatives reshaping the financial landscape to be more inclusive.

We have an all-star speaker line up for you. You will hear from UK businessperson and champion for the UK’s global FinTech industry, Alastair Lukies CBE, Medha Wilson, MicroLoan’s Group CEO, Christine Bamford, CEO of Women’s Coin, Sanghamitra Karra, Managing Director, EMEA Head of Morgan Stanley Inclusive Ventures Group, Sonali Siriwardena, Global Head of ESG at Simmons & Simmons and Neelam Hundal, Managing Associate at Simmons & Simmons. Each speaker will bring a unique perspective to the table.

There will be plenty of opportunity to mingle and connect after the panel discussion while enjoying drinks and canapes. Engage in thought-provoking conversations, forge new connections, and be a part of the collaborative force driving positive change.

Your presence matters

By attending our Inspired Innovation event, you will help us generate essential funds to support female entrepreneurs living in extreme poverty in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The ticket price of £25 will help a woman start a business fostering financial independence and resilience. 

Don’t miss the chance to join us for an evening that goes beyond the ordinary – an evening of empowerment, innovation, and global solidarity. We can’t wait to welcome you!

Click here to secure your spot.

Event Programme

6.00pm – 6.30pm – Guests arrive and networking starts.
7pm – Welcome by Sonali Siriwardena, Global Head of ESG at Simmons & Simmons.
7.05pm – Panel discussion on financial inclusion and gender-centric tech and innovation with Medha Wilson, Group CEO of MicroLoan Foundation, Christine Bamford, CEO of Women’s Coin and Managing Director, EMEA Head of Morgan Stanley Inclusive Ventures Group moderated by Sonali Siriwardena, Global Head of ESG at Simmons & Simmons.
7.30pm – Q&As
7.35pm – Networking, drinks and canapes.
8.00pm – Fireside chat with Alastair Lukies CBE, Founder of Pollinate International, and Neelam Hundal, Managing Associate at Simmons & Simmons.
8.20pm – Q&As
8.30pm – 9.30pm – Networking, drinks and canapes.

A huge thank you to Simmons & Simmons for partnering with us on this event, generously hosting at their venue and providing drinks and canapes.

Our Speakers

Medha Wilson, Group CEO of MicroLoan Foundation

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Medha Wilson, Group CEO of MicroLoan Foundation

Medha Wilson, Group CEO of MicroLoan Foundation

Medha Wilson is the Group CEO at MicroLoan Foundation. Medha’s career began at KPMG before moving into the world of financial inclusion and microfinance for underserved communities. She has worked across Europe, Asia and Africa to alleviate poverty and truly make a difference to people’s lives. Over the past 5 years, Medha's visionary leadership has quadrupled the MicroLoan Foundation's assets, driving the number of active clients from 44,000 to over 90,000 – creating sustainable change for over 400,000 women and over 1.7 million children across Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Medha has extensive experience in financial inclusion in both senior operational and investment management roles in emerging and frontier markets, across Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Alastair Lukies, CBE, Co-Chair of ChaChing, Founder of Pollinate, Chair of Fintech Alliance

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Alastair Lukies, CBE, Co-Chair of ChaChing, Founder of Pollinate, Chair of Fintech Alliance

Alastair Lukies, CBE, Co-Chair of ChaChing, Founder of Pollinate, Chair of Fintech Alliance

Alastair Lukies CBE is a UK businessman and entrepreneur best known as a pioneer and champion for the UK’s global Fintech industry. He has been at the forefront of the UK’s Financial Technology industry, working with financial institutions, investors and regulators to promote collaboration and mutual benefit across the ecosystem. Alastair is Founder of Pollinate International. He is also Co-Chair of ChaChing, Chairman of the Fintech Alliance, Vice-Chairman of the Global Advisory Council at Motive Partners, Advisor to the recently formed government backed FinTech Growth Fund and sits on the Prime Minister’s Business Council. Prior to Pollinate, Alastair founded Monitise and was awarded a CBE for services to mobile banking and charity in June 2014.

Christine Bamford, Founder and CEO of  Stepping Up Learning Academy and Women’s Coin

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Christine Bamford, Founder and CEO of Stepping Up Learning Academy and Women’s Coin

Christine Bamford, Founder and CEO of Stepping Up Learning Academy and Women’s Coin

Christine is the Founder and CEO of Women’s Coin, a fintech company offering the first global blockchain token supporting empowerment for women and girls through education.
Christine was nominated Top 2021 50 Global Digital Innovators, 2020 Industry Era Best 10 Female leaders, Top 10 Global Female Fintech Humanitarian company: Women at the Top leading crypto-currencies Sunday Times and Putting the F (female) into Fintech 2020 Sunday Times: Best Digital Currency CEO - Influential Business Women Award 2022.
Christine is also a CEO of Stepping Up, an award-winning diversity leadership programme from Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). By 2021, 400 diverse leaders will have undertaken the programme. More recently she advised Scotland, Thailand, Malaysia Government Policy Makers on the adoption of Blockchain and crypto currency. She has taken part in many trade delegations as an active member of Scotland Fintech Society.

Sanghamitra Karra, Managing Director, EMEA Head of Morgan Stanley Inclusive Ventures Group

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Sanghamitra Karra, Managing Director, EMEA Head of Morgan Stanley Inclusive Ventures Group

Sanghamitra Karra, Managing Director, EMEA Head of Morgan Stanley Inclusive Ventures Group

Sanghamitra Karra is the powerhouse behind Morgan Stanley's Inclusive Ventures Group in EMEA. With over 15 years at Morgan Stanley, she's a seasoned leader in Risk Management, now focused on tackling long-term systemic risks like climate change and social inequity. As a member of the Race to Action Group, Sanghamitra is shaping the future of finance with innovation and inclusivity.

Sonali Siriwardena, Global Head of ESG at Simmons & Simmons

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Sonali Siriwardena, Global Head of ESG at Simmons & Simmons

Sonali Siriwardena, Global Head of ESG at Simmons & Simmons

Sonali Siriwardena, the Global Head of ESG at Simmons & Simmons, is a distinguished expert in advancing financial inclusion through her focus on ESG matters. In her commitment to shaping the ESG regulatory landscape in the UK, Sonali serves as a member of the ESG Advisory Committee convened by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. Her dedication extends to key roles on the boards of UKSIF and Social Investment Business, where she actively contributes to sustainable finance and responsible investment.

Neelam Hundal, Managing Associate at Simmons & Simmons

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Neelam Hundal, Managing Associate at Simmons & Simmons

Neelam Hundal, Managing Associate at Simmons & Simmons

Neelam Hundal is a dynamic force in the finance sector, advising major banks, FinTechs, and global payment providers on regulatory matters. With extensive experience across UK retail banks, she anticipates issues and crafts innovative solutions for product launches, compliance, and multi-jurisdictional expansions. Whether structuring new products or driving digitalization projects, Neelam's expertise is unmatched in navigating the complexities of today's financial landscape.

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