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FRASER Frances N&B

Frances Fraser

Operations Director, Positive Planet

BACKGROUND / Academic and professional background

Ms Fraser started consulting independently in the inclusive banking field, in close association with Positive Planet in April 2011. After managing and implementing a range of projects, she was appointed as the Regional Director of the Office for Anglophone Africa in March 2012. As Regional Director, Frances was responsible for the attainment of the office objectives and the quality assurance on projects in the region. More recently took on the role as global Operations Director for Positive Planet. In this role she is responsible for supporting the execution of projects through the Positive Planet network to attain the strategic goals of the organisation. Positive Planet conducts a range of economic inclusion projects that aim to build solutions that contribute to a positive economy.

Prior to joining Positive Planet, Frances worked for Absa Bank (the largest retail bank in South Africa and a member of the Barclay’s Group). As part of the management of the microfinance downscaling program, she managed a team to deliver on a range of functions. This experience gave Frances hands-on exposure to the drivers of a successful, commercially sustainable microfinance model and the complexities of executing strategy to achieve the desired results.

Prior to joining Absa, Frances consulted for ECIAfrica Consulting (Development Alternatives Inc) for nearly six years. In this role she developed a broad understanding of different issues related to making financial markets work for the poor. Projects ranged from managing risks related HIV/AIDS within the microfinance sector, consumer recourse in the financial services sector, several studies for regulators that provided valuable insights into the trends and make-up of the South African microfinance industry as a whole, a three-year product development program with Teba Bank (now uBank), advisory services to the Central Bank of Tanzania on developing their credit information market and studies on financial literacy in the region.

Frances has also had short term work exposure within the region including Zambia, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Ghana and Botswana.

Academically Frances completed her Masters in Agricultural Economics (2007) (CumLaude) on guidelines towards credit information market development in Africa. In 2008, Frances was recognised as Top Student nationally in the Absa Management Programme at the Gordon Institute of Business Science. Frances is currently in her second year of her Masters in Business Administration at the Gordon Institute of Business Science.

Outside of work, Frances has been an active member of Toastmasters International since 2003. The mission of Toastmasters is to build effective leaders and communicators. During this time she fulfilled various leadership roles including convening the Toastmasters bi-annual regional (9 countries) conference. 

ACHIEVEMENT/ What is your project, initiative, start-up, company all about?

The program is about creating a sustainable approach and comprehensive ecosystem for distributing renewable energy or energy efficient technology to urban low–income communities in South Africa. EnerGcare (as it is known) was established to address energy poverty and job creation challenges with support from Citi Foundation, Alstom Foundation and Engie.

LOCATION / In which city, country, part of the world do you conduct your activities?

Johannesburg, South Africa.

IMPACT / What is the positive economic, social, political, environmental…of your activity, project, initiative, start-up, company?

More than 5000 community members bought micro-products like solar lights and clean cook stoves that enabled children to read at night, business to operate after dark and safer, cleaner and more affordable stoves for cooking and thermal use.

QUOTE/ A saying, quote or reference phrase that tells something about you

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead