Thea Sokolowski

Thea Sokolowski

Head of Marketing & Communications

Thea leads Communications and Influence at BFA Global, as well as Marketing and Communications at BFA Global's Catalyst Fund for inclusive fintech startups in emerging markets. She is a writer, storyteller, and marketing and communications professional with experience in Africa, the US and Europe.

Prior to joining BFA Global, Thea led marketing and communications for Pan-African entrepreneurial training program, seed fund and tech incubator, MEST Africa, as well as for the AI division of its parent company, global software firm Meltwater. At MEST, in addition to leading marketing and communications for the organization itself and expanding recruitment across Africa, Thea worked closely with MEST entrepreneurs developing tech solutions for local markets. Her areas of expertise include marketing and communication strategies, product validation and customer research, investor pitches, business models and more. She also worked on the brand's launch in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa. She previously led content for a KPCB-funded health tech startup in San Francisco. Thea holds an MBA from Oxford University’s Said Business School and a Bachelor's degree from New York University.

Publications by this author

How domestic fintech ecosystems shape the nature of innovation
Policy and Regulation |

How domestic fintech ecosystems shape the nature of innovation

Blog 1 of the Recovtech series, this post written in partnership with members of the South Africa Recovtech team....

By David Porteous
Fintech forests: classifying and comparing fintech ecosystems
Policy and Regulation |

Fintech forests: classifying and comparing fintech ecosystems

Blog 2 of the Recovtech series, this post written in partnership with members of the South Africa Recovtech team....

By David Porteous
How fintech startups should pursue B2B partnerships
Digital Financial Services |

How fintech startups should pursue B2B partnerships

For many fintech startups, particularly those in the insurtech space where high levels of trust are essential, business-to-business (B2B)...

By Celine Duros Acheampong
Beyond financial inclusion: Measuring and improving financial health outcomes in México
Financial Health |

Beyond financial inclusion: Measuring and improving financial health outcomes in México

Measuring financial health is a challenge. Although there is industry consensus on the theme of financial health, the methodologies...

By Benjamin Mazzotta
Press release: Catalyst Fund and Greenhouse Capital announce Fintech in Focus event to discuss strategies for Africa’s tech sector to rebuild in a post-pandemic climate
Inclusive Fintech |

Press release: Catalyst Fund and Greenhouse Capital announce Fintech in Focus event to discuss strategies for Africa’s tech sector to rebuild in a post-pandemic climate

LAGOS, Nigeria, August 25, 2020 – Catalyst Fund, the global inclusive fintech accelerator managed by BFA Global, supported by...

By Thea Sokolowski
Conoce a Graviti, una startup mexicana que está utilizando métodos de PAYGo para llevar servicios esenciales a mexicanos subatendidos
Inclusive Fintech |

Conoce a Graviti, una startup mexicana que está utilizando métodos de PAYGo para llevar servicios esenciales a mexicanos subatendidos

In English   Graviti tiene como objetivo brindar acceso asequible y conveniente a servicios esenciales para familias no bancarizadas...

By Thea Sokolowski
Press release: Catalyst Fund announces seventh cohort of inclusive fintech startups
Inclusive Fintech |

Press release: Catalyst Fund announces seventh cohort of inclusive fintech startups

NAIROBI, Kenya, June 23, 2020 – Catalyst Fund, the global inclusive fintech accelerator managed by BFA Global, supported by...

By Thea Sokolowski
Meet Graviti, providing underserved Mexicans with access to essential utilities via PayGo technology
Inclusive Fintech |

Meet Graviti, providing underserved Mexicans with access to essential utilities via PayGo technology

En Español   Graviti aims to unlock affordable and convenient access to essential services for unbanked and underserved families...

By Thea Sokolowski
Pulse surveys with shopkeepers across Mexico during COVID-19
Financial Health |

Pulse surveys with shopkeepers across Mexico during COVID-19

Pulse surveys with shopkeepers across Mexico during COVID-19   in partnership with     In our previous publications we...

By Benjamin Mazzotta
Videos tutoriales: Modelo de pruebas de estrés
Financial Health |

Videos tutoriales: Modelo de pruebas de estrés

En esta página pueden encontrar una serie de tutoriales que pueden utilizar para poder instalar el modelo...

By Jorge Hernandez
How to go to market: 3 templates for fintech startups during product launch
Financial Health |

How to go to market: 3 templates for fintech startups during product launch

Featuring how to go to market templates by Jane del Ser Existing networks of mobile agents can be a...

By Thea Sokolowski
The DataStack blueprint
Policy and Regulation |

The DataStack blueprint

    The DataStack, introduced below and elaborated on in our more detailed report, is both (a) a map...

By Simone di Castri
Webinar y presentación: FinnSalud ante el COVID-19: Hallazgos e iniciativas para enfrentar la crisis
Financial Health |

Webinar y presentación: FinnSalud ante el COVID-19: Hallazgos e iniciativas para enfrentar la crisis

FinnSalud ante el COVID-19: Hallazgos e iniciativas para enfrentar la crisis Presentación virtual para diversas agencias ejecutoras y académicos...

By Jorge Hernandez
Innovation in Finance: how Spoon Money is improving livelihoods for South African female informal traders
Inclusive Fintech |

Innovation in Finance: how Spoon Money is improving livelihoods for South African female informal traders

Catalyst Fund welcomes new cohort of inclusive fintech startups creating solutions to improve the financial health of underserved communities...

By Thea Sokolowski
Innovation in Finance: how Abalobi is creating a thriving marketplace for South Africa’s fisher communities
Inclusive Fintech |

Innovation in Finance: how Abalobi is creating a thriving marketplace for South Africa’s fisher communities

Catalyst Fund welcomes new cohort of inclusive fintech startups creating solutions to improve the financial health of underserved communities...

By Thea Sokolowski
Innovation in Finance: Sokowatch and Turaco improve financial resilience for East Africa’s underserved
Inclusive Fintech |

Innovation in Finance: Sokowatch and Turaco improve financial resilience for East Africa’s underserved

Catalyst Fund welcomes new cohort of inclusive fintech startups creating solutions to improve the financial health of underserved communities...

By Thea Sokolowski
Why the Catalyst Fund startup accelerator delivers outsized success
Inclusive Fintech |

Why the Catalyst Fund startup accelerator delivers outsized success

Catalyst Fund welcomes new cohort of inclusive fintech startups creating solutions to improve the financial health of underserved communities...

By Thea Sokolowski
Meet Kwara, the digital platform powering Kenya’s cooperative savings and credit sector
Inclusive Fintech |

Meet Kwara, the digital platform powering Kenya’s cooperative savings and credit sector

Kwara is bringing digital transformation to Kenya’s cooperative savings and credit sector Catalyst Fund accelerates startups that excel on...

By Thea Sokolowski
Meet Pesakit, the smart app for mobile money agents in Kenya
Inclusive Fintech |

Meet Pesakit, the smart app for mobile money agents in Kenya

Pesakit is building a network of mobile money agents who can help distribute digital financial services to the underserved...

By Thea Sokolowski
Meet Spoon Money, the savings and lending platform for South Africa’s female informal traders
Inclusive Fintech |

Meet Spoon Money, the savings and lending platform for South Africa’s female informal traders

Spoon Money is helping South Africa’s female informal traders transform their businesses Catalyst Fund accelerates startups that excel on...

By Thea Sokolowski
Accelerating Inclusive Fintech Startups in Emerging Markets: Evaluation Report
Inclusive Fintech |

Accelerating Inclusive Fintech Startups in Emerging Markets: Evaluation Report

Produced following our work with the first four Catalyst Fund startups, this report aims to evaluate the design, operations,...

By Thea Sokolowski
Why our money is on this Brazilian female fintech founder: meet Monica of Grão
Financial Health |

Why our money is on this Brazilian female fintech founder: meet Monica of Grão

A former securities broker and two-time entrepreneur, Monica Saccarelli was the first female partner at Brazilian brokerage house Link...

By Thea Sokolowski
What will it take for Nigeria’s inclusive fintech sector to flourish?
Inclusive Fintech |

What will it take for Nigeria’s inclusive fintech sector to flourish?

Despite a notoriously challenging operating environment, there are signs of improvement for fintech startups in Nigeria. Financial inclusion rates...

By Thea Sokolowski
Catalyst Fund welcomes new cohort of inclusive fintech startups
Inclusive Fintech |

Catalyst Fund welcomes new cohort of inclusive fintech startups

Catalyst Fund welcomes new cohort of inclusive fintech startups creating solutions to improve the financial health of underserved communities...

By Thea Sokolowski
Catalyst Fund announces expansion, $15 million in funding from UK aid, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Inclusive Fintech |

Catalyst Fund announces expansion, $15 million in funding from UK aid, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Global inclusive fintech accelerator Catalyst Fund announces new £12 million GBP ($15 million USD) commitment from UK aid and...

By Thea Sokolowski
Designing fintech solutions for inclusion: key takeaways from SOCAP 2019
Inclusive Fintech |

Designing fintech solutions for inclusion: key takeaways from SOCAP 2019

“A truly inclusive innovation only works if it is adopted by the end-users it’s designed to serve.” — Maelis Carraro, Director,...

By Thea Sokolowski
Financial Authorities in the Era of Data Abundance: RegTech for Regulators and SupTech Solutions
Policy and Regulation |

Financial Authorities in the Era of Data Abundance: RegTech for Regulators and SupTech Solutions

Financial service providers are quickly adopting regulatory technology (RegTech) to ease the burden of compliance. This white paper shows...

By Simone di Castri
Beyond Marketing: Generating Trust to Sell Online
Livelihoods and Microenterprise |

Beyond Marketing: Generating Trust to Sell Online

Small merchants need to create and maintain trust with customers to sell online, but they could use more help...

By Amolo Ng'weno
Rethinking Agents to Scale PAYGo Businesses
PAYGo and Essential Services |

Rethinking Agents to Scale PAYGo Businesses

How to Leverage Agents for Critical Customer Relationship Management     Field agents have been critical to expanding digital...

By Jacob Winiecki
R²A Case Study: AML Data Infrastructure Prototype
Policy and Regulation |

R²A Case Study: AML Data Infrastructure Prototype

The Mexican National Banking and Securities Commission (Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores, or CNBV) requested a partnership to...

By R2A
Digital Savings Groups Can Help Women Finally Bridge the Financial Gender Gap
Digital Financial Services |

Digital Savings Groups Can Help Women Finally Bridge the Financial Gender Gap

Authored by Sushmita Meka; Sally Ross, AKF; Daryl Collins The rapid growth of mobile money in some countries has...

By BFA GLOBAL
R2A API Solution Creates a Faster, Direct Data Delivery Channel between Philippine Banks and the Central Bank
Policy and Regulation |

R2A API Solution Creates a Faster, Direct Data Delivery Channel between Philippine Banks and the Central Bank

THE CHALLENGE: The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (the Philippines Central Bank, or BSP) Supervisory Data Center (SDC) was receiving...

By R2A
R²A Case Study: Chatbot Prototype
Inclusive Fintech |

R²A Case Study: Chatbot Prototype

The consumer complaints system at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (the Philippines Central Bank, hereafter BSP) was limited by...

By Simone di Castri
The RegTech for Regulators (R²A) process
Policy and Regulation |

The RegTech for Regulators (R²A) process

The purpose of this working paper is to share the RegTech for Regulators Accelerator’s (R2A) approach, process, and tools...

By Simone di Castri
From Ideas to Field Tests in 4 Days: A Design Sprint for Refugee-Centered Financial Services
Refugee Finance |

From Ideas to Field Tests in 4 Days: A Design Sprint for Refugee-Centered Financial Services

In June 2018, BFA Global, a global consulting firm led a four-day design sprint for financial service providers (FSPs)...

By John Won
R²A CASE STUDY: API AND VISUALIZATION APPLICATION PROTOTYPE
Policy and Regulation |

R²A CASE STUDY: API AND VISUALIZATION APPLICATION PROTOTYPE

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (the Philippines Central Bank, or BSP) Supervisory Data Center (SDC) was receiving incomplete, late, and...

By R2A
R2A Chatbot Prototype Helps the Philippine Central Bank Sort and Resolve Complaints – Video
Policy and Regulation |

R2A Chatbot Prototype Helps the Philippine Central Bank Sort and Resolve Complaints – Video

Teaming with fintech vendor Sinitic, BFA Global’s RegTech for Regulators Accelerator program trialed a chatbot solution for BSP’s complaints...

By R2A
The State of RegTech: The Rising Demand for “Superpowers”
Policy and Regulation |

The State of RegTech: The Rising Demand for “Superpowers”

Most financial authorities collect data monthly or quarterly or as needed. The infrequent nature of data collection is a...

By R2A
Financial Inclusion for Refugees: Laying the Foundation for a Business Case for Financial Industry Players in Uganda
Refugee Finance |

Financial Inclusion for Refugees: Laying the Foundation for a Business Case for Financial Industry Players in Uganda

On Friday 8th December, FSD Uganda held a roundtable event in Kampala to provide a platform for stakeholders to discuss Financial Inclusion...

By Roland Amoah
A Tale of Two Catalyst Funds
Inclusive Fintech |

A Tale of Two Catalyst Funds

It takes money to make money, the saying goes. This holds true both for early-stage startups and pilot projects...

By Jane del Ser