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Caterina Meloni

Gender and Social Inclusion Adviser at USAID Green Invest Asia


Caterina is a gender finance specialist with 17 years of experience working for private sector and development finance institutions on inclusive finance, women’s economic empowerment, and entrepreneurship development. She has worked for leading funders, such as the World Bank, IFC, EBRD, DFID, USAID as well as development consultancies to implement projects in over 30 countries.  From microfinance and then SME finance, she found her niche and passion as she began focusing at the crossroads of gender and finance, advising banks on how to increase their outreach to women-owned businesses and promoting private sector investment in the sector. 

She has led and contributed to numerous market studies on quantifying the business opportunity of the women-owned business sector in emerging countries, including leading IFC’s 2017 study on the potential of women-owned small and medium enterprises in Vietnam. In 2015 she founded Connecting Founders, a Bangkok-based advisory firm that focuses on bridging the funding gap for female founders by providing financial and strategic advice to entrepreneurs. It works with female founders to structure tailored funding plans and represents women-owned businesses in attracting the right type of capital and strategic partners for their business throughout all stages of their growth.  Caterina is a Lean In enthusiast and founder of Thailand’s international Lean In chapter. She holds an M.A. in International Relations and Economics from The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).