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We are delighted to introduce CHASMs newest Advisory Board member, Dr William Derban. William is an alumnus of Birmingham Business School and has over 20 years’ experience of financial inclusion and international development in the private and development sectors.

William is currently the Global Director for Digital Financial Services at Opportunity International, where he seeks to leverage the power of digital financial services for deprived communities, and in particular to advance women’s digital financial inclusion across enterprise, agriculture and education programmes and partnerships.

During his time working and studying in Birmingham William became interested in financial and social inclusion. William worked for a community development finance institution which provided loans to businesses in deprived areas in Birmingham. Through his work, he built links with inner-city areas with high levels of poverty and deprivation where people lacked financial security and found it difficult to lift themselves out of poverty, despite the policies and support available. The work that CHASM does to explore these issues is key to William’s decision to become closely involved through this advisory board position.

In 2016, William set up the Financial Inclusion Forum Africa, which brings together professionals who are passionate about promoting financial inclusion. The Forum has grown to over 1500 members and its signature event, Mobile Technology for Development (MT4D), is key event in Ghana’s FinTech calendar. He also serves on several boards, including the Financial Inclusion Forum, UK and Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR).

Having worked in many developing countries, exploring local financial systems and building on the digital innovations that are transforming the financial landscape of developing world, William shares CHASM’s ambition to positively impact international societies, and is enthusiastic about sharing his experience to benefit the cause. ‘The research that CHASM provides can transform the lives of many, and that is why I am honoured to be a part of it.’