#FinAndTonic Financial Inclusion

Did you know that about two billion individuals and 200 million companies do not have access to financial services?  In other words, if you can receive your salary, save your money, pay, invest, transfer and have access to credit, you are part of the 50% of the adults of the world population with access to this service. If you are a woman and have a bank account, you are part of an even more restricted group of the population.

We can change this scenario using technology for finance. Through innovative technologies we can, with reduced costs, reach remote areas, we can give credit to small businesses, ensure that people have the tools to receive, save, transfer and pay their bills. By inserting people into the financial system, we can have a positive impact on society, foster local businesses, empower women, and increase GIP from developing countries by  $ 3.7 trillion by 2025.  Impressive, no?

Representing and harboring many European institutions, several nations mirror the initiatives promoted in Brussels. As Financial Inclusion should be close to everyone's heart, we put extra effort in securing a top notch line-up of speakers in collaboration with the UN, the Cabinet of Alexander Decroo (as Minister of Development Cooperation),  and the King Baudouin Foundation. It is with great pleasure that we look forward to your attendance at our next #FinAndTonic on Financial Inclusion.

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Cheryl Miller Vandyck is the Cofounder and Executive Director of the Digital Leadership Institute, a Brussels-based, international NGO whose global mission is to promote inclusive digital transformation in strategic, innovative sectors. In a career spanning 25 years, Cheryl has held global leadership roles in blue chip companies in the transport, banking, telecom and IT industries in Asia, North America, Europe and Russia. As founder of the Brussels-based Digital Leadership Institute, she has spent the last seven years leveraging disruptive technologies for the benefit of the world's most under-served communities. Cheryl's pioneering work is recognized by the United Nations, European Parliament and private sector organizations, and she is regularly invited to speak and author articles on the subjects of digital disruption, industry 4.0, entrepreneurship, innovation, education, digital inclusion, and the workforce of the future.

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The son of Afro-European parents who grew up in South America,  Sinouhé Monteiro experienced first hand the issues of sending and receiving money overseas. After completing studies in Rome, Italy, Sinouhe decided to create a platform to make money transfers more accessible between Europe and Africa. Ewala grew out of this decision, as an idea to empower the African diaspora via technology.  Ewala won the ‘Most Innovative Startup’ award at the Microsoft Innovation Center’s Boostcamp 2016 and Sinouhe & Stephane have also been invited to present at major conferences in both Europe and Africa such as the Makutano Business Network. Furthermore, they were highlighted by the African Forbes magazine in January 2017. 

Alex Houtart is specialised in sustainable development financing.  After 7 years in a law firm and 14 years at top level in the financial sector, including COO Global Trade Finance or Head of Sustainable Banking for BNP Paribas Fortis, he decided to create his own sustainable finance boutique.  He co-founded Inventures, a Venture Capital Fund for sustainable start-ups in Europe and he is currently advising the King Baudouin Foundation to develop Welc’Home Fund for social housing.  Alex is board member of several companies and social enterprises.  He is guest lecturer in finance at ICHEC.