Maria Pontes

pontes-maria-photo_0

Netherlands

Senior Advisor & Sector Challenges Coordinator, BiD Network
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Maria Pontes is a Senior Advisor for BiD Network since 2010 being responsible for the activities of the organization in Mexico and Liberia. There she works closely with local partners to increase and improve their services to Small and Medium Businesses (SMEs). She has also been coordinating the BiD Network’s business plan competitions focused on specific sectors or themes such as the Women in Business Challenge [link: http://www.bidnetwork.org/women]. They are a perfect way to identify promising entrepreneurs, offer a supporting and networking framework, and connect them with financiers.

Before, Maria was involved in the SME Investment Guide Series at BiD Network, co-authoring two publications. Previously to BiD Network, and after working for the Portuguese Development Aid Agency on multilateral issues, she worked in Mexico for 3 years where she led several research projects and coordinated programs directed at poverty alleviation and issues related to sustainable development. Maria holds a Master in Social Development from the University of Sussex and a degree in Political Science and International Relation from the Universidade Nova de Lisboa.