Kaylene Alvarez is a financial inclusion and impact investment specialist

Alvarez founded two businesses that support women’s access to finance before joining IFC.

Kaylene Alvarez

Co-founder, BIDUK Indonesia; Founder & CEO, Athena Global Alliance

Kaylene Alvarez is a financial wiz. She is a specialist in financial inclusion and impact investments with over twenty years of experience in many emerging markets. She leads the global advisory practice for banking, with a focus on building segmentation strategies and business cases for women’s markets at International Finance Corporation (IFC). Her specialties include data and analytics, risk management, and innovations to reach the underserved sectors. Earlier, Alvarez helped in building and leading a global business development and mergers and acquisitions teams for a large New York City-based financial company. Before joining IFC, Alvarez founded two businesses that support equitable access to finance for women; a consultancy business to support MFIs and SME-focused banks in frontier markets and a lending platform for financing MSMEs in ethical textiles and fashion. She has also published on the topics of Sharia investments in MFIs and risk management for mobile banking.

Alvarez has always had a passion for helping clients in emerging markets in accessing appropriate funds. She loves to work for the benefit of the clients in populations that are underserved. She considers herself fortunate enough to be able to work in this area for more than twenty years. She has been an entrepreneur for seven years and after that, she joined the IFC to lead their global advisory services practice group for the Banking on Women program that is based in Mumbai. In her current role, she focuses on women as an underbanked segment by working with financial institutions to build programs that serve women as a part of an inclusive and sustainable business model. Working with financial services companies to specifically support women was one of the segments where Alvarez had focused as an entrepreneur; this position at IFC allows her to go deep in supporting women as clients of financial institutions to giving better access to finance as side of a functioning economy.

The Banking on girls program encompasses a two-pronged approach to directly support money establishments in building a Women’s Market:

 1) associate degree investment fund (currently $1.6B committed) for investments into money establishments to support girls little and medium-sized (SME) business homeowners, and,

 2) fee-based informatory services with purchasers. On the informatory facet, International Finance Corporation works with purchasers to develop a worth proposition and business case for serving girls purchasers.

Banking on girls tends to figure with money establishments that area unit any on the spectrum in terms of ritual, industrial orientation, and loan or bank account sizes to specialize in SME loaning and therefore the retail market.

Alvarez supported the Pallas Athena international Alliance (Athena) in 2009 as a practice platform to support access to finance in rising markets. The firm’s services targeted on four pillars in money services: SME, gender, Sharia, and digital, additionally to supporting M&A and investment services. when the money crisis of 2008, it became apparent that the weaknesses of the United States’ money services sector had been exposed. though Alvarez had solely worked in rising markets, she was aware that the impact from this may have within the short and long markets was about to be large. and he or she needed to try to to one thing that will facilitate the money establishments weather the looming crisis and build healthier long businesses. Her fellow writer alumni joined her in 2013 as a business partner. She has expertise in energy and renewable energy then they supplemental that to their ‘sustainable businesses’ arrange through Pallas Athena.

They conjointly created a emerging debt fund referred to as Indigo Social Finance to support SMEs in moral textiles and fashion. Alvarez’s partner is Southeast Asian and that they each have a passion for SMEs and property businesses. producing all the factors, they researched specific pain points and launched atiny low debt fund to support direct investment into SMEs within the provide chain for moral textiles. Their construct dated back to the seventeenth century and was terribly sure-fire in Asia.

When Alvarez joined International Finance Corporation, her partner took over Pallas Athena and Alvarez hopes that they could be ready to return Indigo Social Finance or a version of it sometime. She is extremely pleased with each entities ad they were supported as a women-owned business and stay thus nowadays.

In her personal life, Alvarez loves textiles and something to try to to with them. She loves stitching, weaving, dyeing, and every one the opposite processes that go together with textiles. She conjointly enjoys Yoga and has gotten into meditation since she has been living in Bharat. She took a ten-day Vipassana meditation course that enclosed no talking, reading, writing, or the usage of cell phones and therefore the net and it’s been a transformational expertise for her. Alvarez features a kinswoman and kinsman that she adores and loves outlay time with them.