Session 5: Piloting Innovations

Panel Discussion: Innovation for Change: Lessons from PPAF Pilots
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Faeyza Khan

Investment Officer International Finance Corporation [Session Chair]


Ms. Faeyza Khan is an Investment Officer at International Finance Corporation (IFC). She is a financial sector professional with diverse geographical experience of investment projects in Tunisia, Oman, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Kenya. She has offered specialized consultancy services in the domains of digital finance, housing finance and as well as the microfinance domain. She has also conducted SMART assessments (social responsibility) for clients in Tunisia. Periodically, she works for development assignments in Washington DC. She is a regular jury member for the Citi Bank Microfinance Award in Pakistan. She is also part of the Digital Finance practice group, having concluded a strategic project in Pakistan and have conducted a study espousing financial inclusion to digital finance, including development of women-centric project. She did her Masters in finance from University of Montpellier and Masters in Economics from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.

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Kalsoom Lakhani

Founder / Chief Executive Officer, Invest2Innovate


Kalsoom Lakhani is the Founder/CEO of Invest2Innovate, or i2i, which supports startups and the broader entrepreneurship ecosystem in growth markets. i2i has been operating in Pakistan since 2011, and has accelerated 41 startups that have gone on to raise over $6.1M in funding (90% by female-led startups) and create over 1500 jobs in the country. Kalsoom is also a partner in i2i Ventures, a venture capital fund for Pakistan, and is the country's first female led in institutional fund. Kalsoom has also trained young entrepreneurs, changemakers, and civil society leaders in Nepal, Cambodia, Ireland, Bangladesh, Kosovo, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan, and has spoken at numerous venues, including the World Economic Forum, Aspen Ideas Festival, SXSW, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, and the Global Entrepreneurship Congress. She was previously a Washington, D.C. co-ambassador for Sandbox, a global network of innovators under 30, and is a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Shapers. She was featured in Diplomatic Courier's Top 99 Foreign Policy Leaders under 33 in 2012, and was named an Ashoka Changemakers/ American Express Emerging Innovator for 2013. Kalsoom also founded the popular blog, CHUP, or Changing Up Pakistan in January 2008, and has written for the Washington Post, The Next Web, the Huffington Post, Foreign Policy, NextBillion and Pakistan's Dawn Newspaper. She has a B.A. from the University of Virginia in Foreign Affairs and Middle East Studies, and an M.A. from The George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs in International Affairs/Conflict Resolution.

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Saram Bokhari

Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Social Entrepreneurship


Mr. Saram Bokhari has a masteres degree in public policy. He works with social entrepreneurs and startups that are passionate about solving Pakistan's social development issues. He has been associated with the social development sector working in different capacities. He has team lead of Monitoring and Evaluation of a USAID project as the Team Lead. He is now leading the Poverty Alleviation & Social Safety Division's efforts on social innovation. He also leads the Centre's policy framework for social entrepreneurship

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Neelam Azmat

Innovation Specialist Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund


Neelam is a strong advocate for using technology and innovation for economic, financial and social inclusion of the marginalized. Currently, she serves as the Innovation Specialist at Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund. Within her role, she identifies, sources and tests innovative pilots with high potential for exponential social impact to help alleviate poverty in Pakistan. Previously, she worked on innovation in KP and Balochistan, as well as knowledge management for financial inclusion of the poor. Neelam is a Fulbright scholar with a Masters in Public Administration from The Ohio State University. She is recipient of various prestigious awards like Australia Awards (grantee), Swedish institute Leaders Lab (participant) and the DICE Social Innovation Exchange (fellow). Neelam is member of Global Shapers Islamabad Hub (World Economic Forum) and a Techcamp trainer for the US State Department.