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MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship


The Legatum Center supports entrepreneurs all around the world through the Fellowships and Grants

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Delila Khaled

Mastercard Foundation 2021 - 2022
Foundry Fellow
Private Equity and Microfinance
United States of America

Delila was inspired to become an entrepreneur after witnessing the profound impact of microfinance on women in Egypt, and the socio-economic ripple effects this had on their families and communities. Seeking to accelerate and scale that impact, she co-founded the Development Innovations Group (DIG) – an international development company that designs and implements innovative, pro-poor financing solutions throughout Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. While at DIG, she helped establish the company’s Africa headquarters in Kenya, which oversaw operations in eight countries including Senegal and Nigeria. In Africa, DIG helped establish microfinance divisions within commercial banks; introduced municipal bonds for pro-poor infrastructure investments; developed community-based enterprise models for women-led recycling companies; and launched a social enterprise housing fund.

Building on her work with DIG, Delila is pivoting into the investment space to tackle the alarming lack of venture funding for women entrepreneurs. While the entrepreneurial ecosystem is at various stages of development in Africa – and across emerging markets – Delila wants to address a systemic problem common everywhere: the notable lack of women entrepreneurs, ecosystem builders, and investors. Delila believes we need more women leading funds and directing investments. So, she is helping to launch Global Bio Fund a gender smart fund that will invest in women-owned businesses in the bio and life science sectors.



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