I love banking, but after three years in my position I decided it was time for a change. I wanted to grow, both personally and professionally, and since I’d spent most of my life in Zimbabwe I chose to get my MBA at Nyenrode University, here in The Netherlands.
I had left Zimbabwe because I wanted to see the world beyond my own home, or at least beyond Southern Africa, which was my comfort zone. I never expected that I would land in Holland, but so far I haven’t been disappointed.
During my studies I took a focus course in sustainability, which was where my interest for finance and sustainable development was kindled. Once I finished my studies, I had the opportunity to intern with an NGO. But I found that it lacked the commercial focus and insight that I believe is necessary to really stimulate development. After that, FMO just seemed to be the right place to continue my career.
Since December 2014 I’ve been working as a portfolio analyst in the Africa team of the Financial Institutions department. So far it’s been an interesting experience. There are a lot of possibilities at FMO, both from a content perspective and from a personal development perspective. I think I’m still overwhelmed by FMO’s reach: the number of sectors we invest in, all the different places in the world we are active in. It’s a lot! But it’s overwhelming in a positive sense.
It’s also exciting to work with colleagues from all over the world – FMO is truly an international environment. But what I think makes it such a unique organization is that we have a really clear goal that we are trying to achieve. Doubling impact by 2020 while halving footprint? That’s unique. Impact investing is a growing industry, and knowing that I can personally contribute to an audacious goal like that is satisfying.
FMO dares to go where strictly commercial entities would not really go, because of the risk attached. But these are the places where you can make the most impact. At FMO we have the freedom to collaborate with other organizations working with the same goals, and to work in a lot of other sectors as well. There is a lot of diversity, like having your hands in a few different pies. I’ve only been here for a few months, but I look forward to further testing the possibilities of my role.