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About Us

What We Do

  • Build capacity: We offer tailored support to financial institutions to enhance their capacity to deliver financial services for women entrepreneurs.

  • Find funding opportunities: We explore funding and co-financing opportunities to boost lending to women and women's businesses.

  • Identify technology solutions:  We support financial institutions with identifying cutting-edge technologies for gender-responsive and sustainable financing.

  • Support sustainability: We support financial institutions in “greening” their portfolios and in making sustainable and informed credit decisions.

Where We Work

We work in all  ADB Member Countries from Asia and the Pacific. 

We are currently engaged in:

  • Papua New Guinea and Fiji in the Pacific Islands 

  • Georgia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Viet Nam in other parts of Asia

Click here to find out more about our work.


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Tech Innovation






The Women's Finance Exchange was launched in August 2021.

Since then, we have piloted a data collection application in Papua New Guinea. We are currently piloting an alternative credit scoring model in Pakistan.

We have issued 9 newsletters on the subject of gender inclusive and sustainable finance. 

We've organized 12 knowledge events, attended by almost 800 participants.

We started supporting financial institutions  based on their needs. For example, we helped a partner financial institution in Georgia to issue a gender bond which is aligned with international social bond principles.

Our Team

Need more details?

We are here to assist you. Contact us by email at or through the contact form.

We are open from 8:00AM - 5:00PM Philippine Standard Time (UTC +8).

Meet Our Team

Mr. Cheema started his career at Deutsche Bank Securities, New York as an Equity Research Associate in 1996. Before joining ADB, he worked in various financial institutions including J.P. Morgan Securities, New York; HSBC Investment Bank, Dubai and London; Nomura International, Dubai as Executive Director, Corporate Finance and Investment Banking. He also has worked at Alpen Capital, Dubai, and the UAE. 

Mr. Asif holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Yale University and course work in International Affairs from Colombia University and Bachelor of Science in accounting and finance from New York Institute of Technology, New York.


Asif Cheema


Private Sector Operations Department 

Financial Institutions Division 

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Akhil is a digital transformation and financial inclusion specialist. Before joining the gWFX team, he was a Senior Director of Business Consulting at Ernst & Young in Manila, Philippines. Prior to that, he created investment pipelines for the UBX Philippines and the Union Bank of Philippines as a consultant. He has an MBA from China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), Shanghai, People's Republic of China.

Akhil Hemrajani

gWFX Manager

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Alexandra Harris is a writer, editor and communications specialist with a focus on sustainable private sector development. She previously worked for the International Finance Corporation and the Asia Foundation. Alexandra holds a Master’s in International Affairs and Economics, with a specialization in Southeast Asian studies. She currently resides in Washington, D.C. and has previously lived and worked in Indonesia and Sri Lanka.


Alexandra Harris

Knowledge Management Expert

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Before joining gWFX, Fae held consulting roles in ADB's Southeast Asia Department, Budget, Personnel, and Management Systems Department  and Controller's Department. Prior to ADB, she's held multiple roles in JP Morgan Chase & Co., particularly in risk management, and in the Philippine Savings Bank as a process management officer. She holds an MBA from Ateneo de Manila Graduate School of Business, Philippines.

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Alfea Bonsol

gWFX Coordinator

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In addition to her work in gWFX, Carola Menzel-Hausherr works as Senior Sustainable Finance Specialist at the Frankfurt School International Advisory Services (IAS) as part of the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaboration Centre for Climate & Sustainable Finance.

She has a consolidated background in sustainable finance sector development and institutional and staff development, with more than 20 years’ experience. She has worked with public and private sector organizations - revising and developing strategies, policies, processes and financial products.


Carola Menzel 

Sustainable Finance Expert

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Before joining ADB, Mon worked at the Department of Finance and Department of Education in the Philippines. He has more than 10 years of public sector experience. He has a BS in Economics from the School of Economics, University of the Philippines.


Edmond Yee

Project Analyst

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Before joining the gWFX team,  Joanna was an SME and gender finance specialist for 15 years at the International Finance Corporation  based in Washington, DC. Prior to that, she worked with the Afghanistan Ministry of Commerce and Industries, UK Trade & Investment and Ernst and Young in Manila, Philippines. She has an MA in International Trade and Investment Policy from The George Washington University, USA.

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Joanna Romero

Lead Gender Finance Expert

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Ruth is a development worker focusing on program management within international development contexts. Prior to joining gWFX, she worked for various international development organizations such as the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Southeast Asia Regional Center for Graduate Studies and Agriculture (SEARCA), and The Asia Foundation. Ruth obtained her Master's Degree in Development Management and Governance, specializing in Program Management and Administration at the University of the Philippines. 

Ruth Jazrel Bandong

gWFX Coordinator

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Sabine manages the Women’s Finance Exchange (gWFX) and is part of the microfinance program in ADB's Private Sector Financial Institutions Division. Before joining ADB, she worked as the Deputy Head in Frankfurt School of Finance and Management and was responsible for its Asia project portfolio. She has a commercial banking background and holds a PhD in Development Studies from the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Sabine Spohn

Principal Investment Specialist

gWFX Lead

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More than 20 years of experience in financial services, public sector and private entrepreneurship. Proven track record in product conceptualisation, development and commercialization success combining strategic outlook with pragmatic execution and commercial acumen. Areas of expertise include cash & liquidity management, corporate treasury advisory, offshore RMB market development, Sustainable Banking, digital strategy, Ecosystem Design, Fintech, API, Data Analytics and Blockchain/ DLT. Technology investment portfolio includes Fintech, Healthtech, EdTech, E-commerce, Event Management, Real Estate and Supply Chain SaaS companies.


Swee Siong Lee

Technology Feasibility Expert

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