June 8, 2016, Washington, D.C. – FINCA International, a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit, pioneer of microfinance services and social enterprise, is pleased to announce the appointment of Amanda Ellis to its board of directors. Ms. Ellis is a global leader and advocate for women’s entrepreneurship and access to banking.
FINCA serves low-income entrepreneurs in 23 countries with financial services and “social good” products that help people save time and money, improve their health and resilience, and empower them to participate in the local economy. FINCA is innovating service delivery and leveraging new financial technologies across its network to ensure that the world’s poorest citizens can be part of the upside of global economic growth.
Ms. Ellis is currently the Visiting Fellow and Special Advisor to the President of the East-West Center in Hawaii, on secondment from the Foreign Ministry of New Zealand. Prior to this, she was New Zealand’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and specialized agencies in Geneva. Ms. Ellis was also the first woman appointed to head New Zealand’s development agency after working at the World Bank in senior roles in gender and development, poverty reduction and economic management, and at the International Finance Corporation as head of the global gender unit.
Ms. Ellis’ focus on women’s banking began at Westpac Banking Corporation in Australia, where as National Manager of Women in Business she proved the win/win outcome of expanding access to finance for underserved women, leading her team to create half a billion dollars in annualized revenues in just three years. She is a founder and past chair of the Global Banking Alliance for Women, and the author of two best-selling Random House books on women in business and five on gender and growth in the World Bank Directions in Development series. Ms. Ellis is also a recipient of the International Alliance for Women Lifetime Achievement Award for promoting women’s economic empowerment.
“FINCA has long championed the idea that access to market-based basic financial services can bridge the economic gap between the haves and have-nots and create economic sustainability and self-reliance for the poor, including for women who have been traditionally marginalized,” said Rupert Scofield, President of FINCA International. “Ambassador Ellis’ leadership and expertise in women’s banking will help FINCA advance the cause of enabling full economic participation by women and the economically disenfranchised.”
Ms. Ellis said: “As a strong advocate in removing barriers to women’s entrepreneurship, I am proud to be joining FINCA. Individuals and communities not only need access to financial services; they have a right to them.”
FINCA International’s mission is to alleviate poverty through lasting solutions that help people build assets, create jobs and raise their standard of living. For more information, please visit www.FINCA.org or follow us at http://twitter.com/finca.