• MEDA Convention 2018

    MEDA Convention 2018

    A weekend of inspiration, networking and fun celebrating the power of entrepreneurship to alleviate poverty!

  • MEDA Convention 2018

    MEDA Convention 2018

    Roads to Enduring Livelihoods

10:30 a.m. - 07. Jordan, Nigeria and Nicaragua: A Look at how Socio-cultural Context is Impacting MEDA’s Implementation of Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth Programs

Friday, November 3 at 10:30 a.m.
MEDA Projects

MEDA is currently designing initiatives that address the specific socio-cultural barriers and constraints faced by women and youth and that leverage opportunities in the private sector to make local market systems more accessible for women and youth. What are the socio-cultural barriers and constraints of young women and how do they impede entrepreneurs or small business growth in Nigeria? In Jordan, how can MEDA change socio-cultural attitudes to entrepreneurship and income generation for women? How do we initiate new projects in more challenging socio cultural environments, where host country governments would like to play an greater role in implementation and oversight?


Jennifer Ferreri is a Senior Project Manager and Consultant in Global Programs at MEDA. She has over 10 years of experience in the financial services industry, including savings mobilization, business strategy development and planning, mobile banking, microfinance, organizational capacity assessments and financial tool development and training at the SEEP Network. She also has experience in writing and producing technical tools and materials. In her current role at MEDA, she manages projects focusing on the incorporation of technology with financial services, subsidy delivery and agricultural development, including past projects in Ghana and Uganda and a new Techno-Links+ project in Nicaragua. She has developed trainings related to customer segmentation and utilizing data analytics for better client outreach, and also completed consultancies in Haiti, Jordan and Zambia focused on branchless banking, developing mobile banking ecosystems and promoting digital financial services. Previously, she worked with the MEDA’s former mobile financial services provider technical partner and Sarona Risk Capital Fund investee, Zoona in Zambia, providing support for agent network development and training, e-voucher evaluation and other product development. She has a Masters in International Development from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and a Bachelors of Arts in Government/International Affairs from Smith College in Northampton, MA.

Frances Fortune brings many years of project and program management experience, including the management of a variety of small projects of community business to multi-year national and regional programs. She lived in West Africa (Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea) for 28 years working with NGOs in the areas of conflict transformation and peace building. Most recently she has managed a consultancy business providing technical expertise in program design, monitoring and evaluation and strategic and tactical guidance to ongoing projects, NGOs and INGOS working in sub-Saharan Africa. She is a Ph.D. candidate, Global Social Policy with focus on youth informal employment at Balsillie School of International Affairs at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her educational background also includes a M.A., Conflict Analysis and Management from Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia; B. Sc., Geology from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and a Certificate, French as a Second Language from the French Immersion School of the University of Western Ontario at Trois Pistoles in Quebec.

Farah Chandani has over 15 years' experience as an International Development professional. Her career began with Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and has lived and worked in numerous countries, including Ethiopia, Tanzania, Pakistan, China, India and Sri Lanka. She has been with MEDA since 2014, and manages the YouLead project in Nigeria and the Jordan Valley Links project. She travels to both countries on a frequent basis and enjoys the challenges that these two very different cultures present for project management.

Farah earned her Masters of Science specializing in Rural Planning and International Development at the University of Guelph and her B.Sc specializing in Psychology at Queen's University. She was born in Kenya and immigrated to Canada as a teenager with her father in 1990. Farah and her husband live in Ottawa, and spend their limited vacation time between family in Kenya, Mauritius, Malaysia and Canada.