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It is not hyperbole to say that Durreen Shahnaz’s lifelong enterprise mannequin has been defying the chances. However even after climbing to the very best rungs of the worldwide finance world, her playbook for convincing individuals to put money into “excessive danger” ventures stays refreshingly sensible and welcoming. For those who’ve ever discovered your self pitching an concept that others say is inconceivable — as a result of it is uncommon, idealistic, or just does not align with the pursuits of whoever is writing checks — then take word, as a result of Shahnaz’s story is a masterclass within the artwork of successful over highly effective allies.
Shahnaz, 55, was born in Bangladesh, one of many poorest international locations on the earth. She got here to the U.S. alone at 17, went to Smith School, then acquired a job at Morgan Stanley — making her the primary Bangladeshi girl to work on Wall Road. She labored in microfinancing at Grameen, the World Financial institution and Merill Lynch, based an e-commerce firm, grew to become the youngest-ever VP at Hearst, heading their Asia operations. And eventually, she based Affect Funding Change (IIX), the first-ever social affect inventory change that connects traders on the earth’s wealthiest international locations to principally women-owned companies within the International South.