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WiSF: Helping Women Move Mountains

January 30, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

| £10.00
When Sleeping Women Wake, Mountains Move - Women in Social Finance | The Side Room

‘When sleeping women wake, mountains are moved’ – Chinese Proverb

This evening will showcase stories of women who have built their faith in women’s ability to move mountains. Our three speakers, who are women involved in social entrepreneurship and social finance, will explain how they use common sense, money and connections to build influence and make the world a better place for women and girls; with women and girls.


Impact Finance Advisor, Yogi and Harvard Alumni

“At 18, witnessing the look of eternal gratitude for restoring his dignity on the face of a dying beggar as he was lovingly washed and cleaned by Mother Teresa’s nuns, imprinted two indelible insights that have shaped my life and career journey:
– The tremendous ability of the human spirit to transform itself and the lives of others
– We each need to discover our unique path to make our best contribution to the world.”

For 20 years Puchka Sahay Direnzo has worked at the intersection of finance, social and environmental impact-driven innovation and market development. She is a distribution partner for Alquity IM and since 2010, has been advising impact investors and operating companies in strategy, building portfolios, developing robust operating models and scaling initiatives. She sits on Oxfam’s Global Agricultural Investment Committee.

Prior to this, she was founding Fund Manager of Big Issue Invest (2004-2009). And between 1996-2004, she built and managed a $100M commercial portfolio at ShoreBank (Chicago) invested in SME’s focused on social and environmental impact. Puchka holds a MA in Economics and Policy from the Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a BA in Psychology and Sociology from Pitzer College. She lives in London with her husband and two teenage sons.



Financial Inclusion, Microfinance advisor, and biker

Maude is advising NGOs that help rural communities in Congo and Chad build sustainable drinking water access – on the development of their financial inclusion strategy. From 2009 to 2015, she has worked for CARE International UK as a Senior Microfinance Advisor leading the financial inclusion strategy implementation, providing technical support and supervising the monitoring and evaluation of various Village Savings and Loan Associations projects. Previously she worked with local Micro Finance initiatives in East and West Africa to develop innovating savings-led approaches for smallholder farmers. Early in her career, Maude worked with NGOs in Peru and Madagascar to develop targeted financial inclusion programs.
One day, she can be on a motorbike in a rural village in the Andes or Africa and the minute after talk to the Minister of Finance to get him understanding why we should have more inclusive financial inclusion national policies. She says: “ Every single moment I’ve spent in a rural village in Africa, Asia or Latin America has built my faith in women’s ability to move forward. This is a universal law: wherever they are, women want to get the best for themselves, their children, and they will work relentlessly to achieve so.”


Social Entrepreneur, Investor, Campaigner

June O’Sullivan MBE is Chief Executive of the London Early Years Foundation (LEYF), a social enterprise that currently runs 38 nurseries across eleven London boroughs.
As CEO of the UK’s leading childcare charity and social enterprise since 2005, June continues to break new ground in the development of LEYF’s scalable social business model. She remains a tireless campaigner, looking for new ways to influence policy and make society a better place for all children and families.
June is also a member of the CAN Early Intervention Fund Investment Board which was set up as a business unit with the charity CAN, to help charities and social enterprises with two key barriers to improving their sustainability and impact, namely ‘skills’ and ‘finance.’ She is bringing her experience of running and growing a social business in London to the investment team from UBS and CAN.

Men are welcome as guests of women attending the event

Meet, listen, learn, taste, explore.

The Side Room



Henry’s Den at Finch’s
London, EC2A 1AN United Kingdom + Google Map