A stellar cast of speakers stress empowerment

Amy Jadesimi
Amy Jadesimi, a Nigerian physician and entrepreneur, is one of a new breed of businesswomen speaking at CBF this year

A strong selection of powerful and influential women will be advancing the female agenda at The Commonwealth Women’s Forum

By Mike Cowley

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Amy Jadesimi, a Nigerian physician and entrepreneur who serves as the CEO of Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL), a state-of-the-art logistics and engineering facility located within the Port of Lagos in Nigeria, was just one of new breed of influential businesswomen invited to speak at CBF this year.
Included in the largest ever turnout of female speakers at CBF were CEOs, founders and representatives of global organisations and even and an expert on blockchain technology, all outstanding examples of the ever increasing contribution women are making in Commonwealth trade circles.
The list itself mirrors the empowerment of women theme at CBF.

  • Jessica Ground, Global Head of Stewardship at Schroders, the British multi-national asset management company, and a board member for the Investor Forum CIC. Schroders are also Strategic Partners of CWEIC.
  • Amali De Awalis, the CEO of Code First: Girls, and also one of CWEIC’s CommonwealthFirst Mentors. Code First: Girls is a multi-award winning social enterprise aiming to increase the number of women in tech.
  • Australian-born Leanne Kemp, CEO of Everledger, a digital global ledger that tracks and protects items of value, which is leading the market in the real-world application of blockchain technology. Everledger are a CommonwealthFirst Export Champion.
  • Geetha Muralidhar, Chair and Managing Director of Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India, and also the Managing Trustee of National Export Insurance Account Trust, set up by the Government of India.
  • Professor Ngaire Woods, the founding Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government and Professor of Global Economic Governance at Oxford University.
  • New Zealander Kate Brown, Executive Director of the Global Island Partnership, a platform that enables island leaders and their supporters to take action to build resilient and sustainable island communities.
  • Julia Deans who leads Futurpreneur Canada, a national non-profit organization that has helped more than 10,000 18-39 year olds launch start-ups with its business coaching, financing, mentoring and other resources.
  • Margaret Doyle, Partner and Head of Clients & Markets, Financial Services and Real Estate at Deloitte. She has also covered business and finance for a range of news organisations including The Daily Telegraph, The Economist and the BBC.
  • Dame Inga Beale, Chief Executive Officer, Lloyds of London. She is a Member of the UK Government’s Financial Services Trade and Investment Board, the London Mayor’s Business Advisory Board, the Geneva Association Board, and is President of the UK Chartered Insurance Institute
  • Natasha Mudhar, CEO and managing director of Sterling Media, an award-winning global communications consultancy. Sterling Media has offices in London, Mumbai and Delhi.
  • Singapore based Agnes Hugot, Co-Founder of Cites Gestion, and CEO of Fast Track Trade – a digital marketplace connecting SMEs across South-East Asia.

Phyllis Muscat convened the first ever Commonwealth Women’s Forum in Malta in 2015. Commenting on this year’s line-up, she said: “The CBF is an important opportunity to not only promote intra-Commonwealth trade and investment but also to advance this agenda as it effects women and girls across the member states.
“The economic empowerment of women is crucial to our agenda at CWEIC, so to have such a strong selection of important and influential women speaking and leading sessions at the Forum is fantastic. I am delighted to see the theme of economic empowerment taking centre stage at CBF 2018.”

Commonwealth Business Forum 2018 Partners

Standard Chartered Principal Founding Partner

There’s never been a more important time for governments and businesses to reinforce their connections and open up conversations across borders. With our long history of operating across The Commonwealth, we are delighted to support the forum and hope that it can advance intra-Commonwealth trade, promote investment and help drive economic growth and development.
José Viñals, Chairman, Standard Chartered

Royal Dutch Shell Principal Partner

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS) was a key sponsor of The Commonwealth Business Forum 2018, which provided a unique platform for dialogue, bringing together business and Government leaders from across The Commonwealth. This was part of the 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in the UK after 20 years.
Royal Dutch Shell RDS is a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with around 84,000 employees in more than 70 countries including in a large number of Commonwealth member states. We use advanced technologies and take an innovative approach to help build a sustainable energy future. We seek a high standard of performance, maintaining a strong and growing long-term position in the competitive environments in which we operate. We aim to work closely with our customers, our partners and policymakers to advance a more efficient and sustainable use of energy and natural resources.

Jaguar Land Rover Principal Partner

Jaguar Land Rover is the UK’s largest automotive manufacturer, built around two iconic British car brands: Land Rover, the world’s leading manufacturer of premium all-wheel- drive vehicles; and Jaguar, one of the world’s premier luxury sports saloon and sports car marques.
Celebrating 10 years of Tata ownership and its links to The Commonwealth, Jaguar Land Rover is proud to support The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting as principal partner.

De La Rue Official Partner

Since its inception, The Commonwealth has been at the heart of our business, we trade with more than 86% of Commonwealth countries and 95% of our workforce live and work in The Commonwealth. The Business Forum is a fantastic opportunity to strengthen our existing relationships and build new ones. We believe The Commonwealth is a huge engine for global growth and by collaborating with our partners now and in the future, it will only go from strength to strength.
Martin Sutherland, CEO, De La Rue

Wood Official Partner

Wood logoCelebrating a glorious diversity of nations, The Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council’s Business Forum was a tremendous opportunity for the open exchange of ideas, capability and experience. Operating in 60 countries, Wood enjoys a similarly rich mix of cultures across our span of project, engineering and technical services and we know that a large measure of our success stems from the wide range of perspectives and attitudes this brings. I look forward to seeing what we can achieve together.
Robin Watson, chief executive, Wood Group

City of London Organising Partners

The City of London, as the world’s most dynamic, and international financial centre is the natural place in which to hold The Commonwealth Business Forum. Hosting an unprecedented cluster of financial and professional services such as insurance, business management, accounting, legal services, asset management, and banking, the City is an asset to all members of The Commonwealth as they invest for the future.

Jersey Finance Roundtable Partner

Jersey Finance works to proactively communicate the many factors that set Jersey apart as a leading international finance centre, from its first-class regulatory and legal framework to its expert workforce and political and economic stability, all of which have kept the jurisdiction at the forefront of global finance for more than 50 years.

Prudential Roundtable Partner

For 169 years, Prudential is proud to have helped remove uncertainty from life’s big events for our – now – 26 million customers worldwide. Emerging markets across Asia and Africa are a key part of our current and future socio-economic contribution; building stronger communities, fuelling the growth cycle and creating long term value for customers and shareholders. We are proud to be supporting The Commonwealth Business Forum in London, working with governments and the private sector from across The Commonwealth to support financial sector development and growth.
Julian Adams, group regulatory & government relations director, Prudential

Sterling Media PR, Communications & Roundtable Partner

We are honoured to lead the Global PR and Communications strategy for The Commonwealth Business Forum. As a business with a multi-cultural team of experts overseeing operations around the world, we can act as a fulcrum to uplift the unique messaging that The Commonwealth Business Forum seeks to collaborate on.
Alongside this, we are delighted to be hosting our own Roundtable to debate how the Entertainment and Sports industries could do more to influence social change.
Natasha Mudhar, CEO, Sterling Media