Yunus Social Business Fund in CEO Summit

Bringing learnings and experiences from experts in a certain business area is the objective of Women on Wings’ Summits for CEOs of its business partners. Summits are an important platform to bring together CEOs and are organized next to the ongoing ‘1-on-1’ workshops with partners. On Friday September 24, 2021, Yunus Social Business Fund facilitated a most engaging online session on understanding the right fit for capital for 41 participants.

The right fit for capital
Sipika Nigam is a senior investor at Yunus Social Business Fund (YSB) in Bengaluru focusing on investments in livelihoods, agriculture and healthcare sectors. Sipika shared her extensive experience and knowledge, taking the CEOs of Women on Wings’ business partners on an interesting journey about understanding the right fit of capital and demystifying debt capital. She decoded various forms of capital that are available to social businesses at different stages of growth. Sipika invited participants to share their experiences or raise questions, which many did, making it a most engaging and interactive online session.

Yunus Social Business Fund
YSB grows and supports social businesses with financial and other solutions to solve the world’s pressing problems. YSB’s work offers a dignified hand out of poverty to millions of people through Social Business – a model pioneered by its co-founder, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus. Women on Wings’ co-founder Maria van der Heijden had the honour to interview Professor Yunus during his visit to the Netherlands in 2014. Asked for feedback on the work of Women on Wings, Professor Yunus said: “You are doing wonderful work. You are dealing with women. In our region we completely forgot the economic role of half the mankind, women mostly have a servant role and follow their husband. You give women the opportunity to discover themselves. If you can overcome this huge challenge, that will be a transformative thing. Congratulations for that!” Watch the video of this interview.

Social entrepreneurs benefit from Summits
Next to these regular CEO Summits, Women on Wings facilitates monthly casual CEO networking sessions. Every last Friday of the Month, Women on Wings connects its business partners online, with the aim to seek for collaboration opportunities among them. These monthly meet ups are a result of an impact assessment among Women on Wings’ partners which took place at the end of 2020. The assessed social entrepreneurs said to really benefit from Women on Wings’ Summits since they normally do not get many opportunities to interact with other CEOs. Since 2012, Women on Wings has been organizing 2 to 3 CEO Summits per year. Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Summits were two days’ events, but since April 2020, Summit have been transformed into quarterly two hours’ online sessions. All with the aim to continue to support and bring together social entrepreneurs, resulting in generating more jobs for women in rural India.