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Wendy Teleki, Head, We-Fi Secretariat

Wendy Teleki is the Head of the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) Secretariat, which is housed in the World Bank and supports women entrepreneurs in over 60 developing countries around the world. We-Fi works with multilateral development banks and local institutions to increase women entrepreneurs access to finance, markets, skills and technology through investments, technical assistance and policy reforms.  It has allocated over $360 million and helped catalyze $3.6 billion in financing for women entrepreneurs since its creation in 2017.

Prior to joining We-Fi in 2019, Ms. Teleki worked at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. At the IFC, Ms. Teleki spearheaded efforts to help private and public institutions in emerging markets expand financing and support for small businesses and women entrepreneurs. Ms. Teleki led programs to privatize and build the small business sector in Ukraine in the early 1990s, developed solutions for SMEs in Indonesia during the Asian Financial Crisis, launched innovative SME finance and advisory offerings, and pioneered blended finance efforts.

In 2022, Ms. Teleki was named one of Forbes’s “50 Over 50” women in finance for her leadership in advocating for women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship. She is the co-author of Rebalance: How Women Lead, Parent, Partner and Thrive and has written on SME finance, entrepreneurship, and gender equality. Ms. Teleki is also a sought-after speaker at high-level events, where she shares her insights and experiences to inspire action towards gender equality and economic empowerment for women in developing countries.

Ms. Teleki holds an MA in International Economics from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of Business.

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