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East Africa Com
25 - 26 April 2023
Radisson Blu NairobiNairobi

Maelis Carraro
Managing Director, Catalyst Fund at BFA Global


Maelis Carraro is a Managing Principal Consultant at BFA Global and the Director of Catalyst Fund. She has over 10 years of experience working alongside fintech startups, development finance institutions, microfinance banks and impact investors to pioneer tech and data-enabled solutions that benefit underserved communities in emerging markets. She runs Catalyst Fund and its team and is deeply committed to accelerating early-stage inclusive fintech ventures in emerging markets. To date, she has helped 31 startups across Latin America, Africa and Asia create innovative, affordable and relevant financial solutions for underserved populations, designing tailored venture building projects that meet startups’ needs.

At BFA Global, she also ran the OPTIX program, working with four microfinance banks on digital transformation, behavioral interventions and product design to improve the financial health of people on low incomes.

Previously, she worked at the International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group), advising financial institutions globally on digital innovation and responsible financial inclusion, as well as the OECD, the Grameen Bank, and impact investor-Global Partnerships on impact investing strategies to support micro-businesses in Africa. She also co-founded RemitMas, a savings-focused digital remittances startup for Latino immigrants in the US, which sparked her passion for entrepreneurship and fintech.

Maelis is a Fulbright Scholar and holds a dual MBA and Masters in International Affairs from Columbia Business School and the School of International and Public Affairs. She received her BA Cum Laude from University College London in Political Science and Economics. Maelis speaks English, French, Italian, and Spanish.

Agenda Sessions

  • Panel: Inclusion Matters: Achieving Gender Equality Across East Africa's Tech Ecosystems