Private Sector Event

Microfinance Roundtable

Sponsored by Credo Bank Georgia and Mastercard (by invitation only)

Friday, 3 May 2024, 8:30 am - 10:30 am (Asia/Tbilisi)
Paragraph Hotel, Meeting Room 3

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Opening Remarks

Cathy MarshDeputy Director General, Private Sector Operations

Cathy Marsh is deputy director general of the Private Sector Operations Department at ADB. She joined ADB in August 2018. Prior to this, Ms. Marsh spent 25 years in private practice (including as a partner of the US law firm Milbank from 2004 to 2013), focusing on development and project financing throughout her career. She completed her BA (Hons) in international relations and European studies with French at the University of Sussex in 1990, and her common professional examination and College of Law finals from the College of Law in London in 1992 and 1993, respectively.

Closing Remarks

Zaza PirtskhelavaChief Executive Officer, Credo Bank 

Zaza Pirtskhelava is the general director of JSC Credo Bank since 2014. In 1992 he graduated from Tbilisi State University, Faculty of Economic Statistics. After that he continued his education at the Free University Business School ESM and in 2004 he became a master of financial management. Mr. Pirtskhelava graduated from Harvard Business School's 2012 General Management Program (GMP). He has also successfully completed more than 25 training courses in business, finance, banking, and general management in Georgia and Europe.

Yasemin BedirPresident, Eastern Europe Division, Mastercard

Since January 2022, Yasemine Bedir has been overseeing the newly formed Eastern Europe division within the Mastercard EEMEA region, across six offices in 12 countries. She joined Mastercard in 2007. Prior to joining Mastercard, she worked as a manager in retail banking services at HSBC, Garanti Bank, and Yapı Kredi in Turkey. Ms. Bedir is among the founders of the Professional Women Network (PWN), and in that capacity is also co-sponsoring the Women Leadership Network globally within Mastercard, and leads many projects to help SMEs grow.

Moderators

Yasemin BedirPresident, Eastern Europe Division, Mastercard

Since January 2022, Yasemine Bedir has been overseeing the newly formed Eastern Europe division within the Mastercard EEMEA region, across six offices in 12 countries. She joined Mastercard in 2007. Prior to joining Mastercard, she worked as a manager in retail banking services at HSBC, Garanti Bank, and Yapı Kredi in Turkey. Ms. Bedir is among the founders of the Professional Women Network (PWN), and in that capacity is also co-sponsoring the Women Leadership Network globally within Mastercard, and leads many projects to help SMEs grow.

Martin RohnerExecutive Director - Global Alliance for Banking on Values

Martin Rohner is an economist and banker with over 25 years of experience in the field of social banking, sustainable trade, development finance, economic policy, and debt relief. Before joining the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), Mr. Rohner was CEO of Alternative Bank Switzerland and served on the Board of GABV, representing the European member banks.

The roundtable discussed the microfinance industry's efforts in Asia and the Pacific to support micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), low-income groups, and women-led businesses, focusing on financial resilience, including climate change adaptation. They also deliberated on innovations in microfinance and the factors limiting the expansion of successful microfinance models.

Panelists highlighted the important need to contribute to clients’ financial resilience to climate change and resulting risks in livelihoods and food security. Discussing the persisting challenges faced by women and women-owned or led businesses in accessing finance, they outlined key factors needed to spread gender-lens and ESG investing more broadly and how successful models are addressing the issues.

Participants cited examples of how microfinance has reduced the vulnerability of low-income populations in the regions, including in rural areas and new target segments, such as micro and small enterprises. The session elaborated how technology innovations provide opportunities in achieving the goals of microfinance entities.

Co-sponsored with

Credo Bank of Georgia logo

Mastercard logo