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Centre for Building Sustainable Value · Rebecca Zuker, HBA '23 Candidate

Ashley Wang: Building community and creating global impact through innovative finance

May 11, 2023


Ashley Wang, HBA ‘19, is passionate about leveraging innovative finance to deliver sustainable social and environmental impact. Ashley is currently a Senior Analyst on the International Development team at Social Finance UK, where she supports innovative finance and outcomes-based finance projects.  

The Intersection of Business and Impact  

Ashley's journey toward Social Finance began in 2017. As a climate and social impact enthusiast, Ashley started her HBA degree with the intention of combining her interests with the business education she would receive at Ivey. She sought every opportunity to learn about topics like social innovation, impact investing, and social entrepreneurship. In her HBA2 year, Ashley became the Vice-President of Events for the Ivey Social Impact Club and a co-founder of the London Propel Impact Fund (formerly London Social Value Fund) with support from passionate professors like Tima Bansal and Diane-Laure Arjaliès 

Exploring Innovative Approaches to Impact  

Following graduation, Ashley joined Social Venture Connexion (SVX) - a nonprofit, diversified financial services firm driving impact for investors, organizations, funds, and enterprises. During her time there, Ashley worked on projects across a variety of portfolios, ranging from impact investor relations, to due diligence and impact investment advisory, to partnership and program management. 

Eager to apply her impact and business mindset internationally, Ashley’s next role brought her across the pond, where she joined Social Finance UK’s International Development team. She now works with a variety of stakeholders to address development challenges and deliver sustainable impact through innovative finance, outcomes-based approaches, and cross-sector partnerships. Through all these methods, Ashley ensures she is accelerating progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Ashley’s work spans a wide range of sectors and geographies such as water and sanitation, employment, and education in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean.  

All of these impactful projects have earned Ashley a spot as one of Corporate Knights’ Top 30 Under 30 Sustainability Leaders. 

Pushing the Agenda

When it comes to the agenda for social and environmental change, Ashley believes that we are all in this together. She stresses the importance of global accountability.

"Every day is an opportunity to make progress towards the SDGs, and one individual, organization, or country cannot address these issues alone. We need to work in partnership towards the outcomes we seek, and we need to hold each other accountable to achieving those outcomes. Making use of innovative tools like outcomes-based finance, if done correctly, can drive collaboration, cost-effectiveness and ultimately, impact.” 

For current students, Ashley emphasizes the importance of having a strong foundation for creating impact in your career.

“The skills I learned at Ivey - financial modelling, strategic thinking, and data-driven decision making for example, are fundamental in my day-to-day work. Continuing to develop these skills in combination with your acumen for impact is essential to success in this sector.”