Natasha Cassinath is an Investment Manager for GCC’s Transition to Scale portfolio, as well as the Gender Lead and Manager of the Venture Advisor Program at Grand Challenges Canada.
Natasha has over 17 years’ experience managing and advising youth development and economic empowerment programs in Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt, Sierra Leone, Nepal, India, Grenada and Haiti. Natasha has built recognized expertise in program management, youth and gender mainstreaming, business approaches to development, micro-enterprise and micro-franchise development, social entrepreneurship and innovation, and individual and organizational capacity building. Throughout her career, she has advised various international NGOs such as Technoserve, Catholic Relief Services, ACDI/VOCA, IYF, EDC, IRC, MEDA, CAMFED and the Carter Center.
After serving as Chief Innovation Officer at Street Kids International, Natasha spent six years as an independent and associate consultant. Amongst her engagements, she was the team leader for Feed the Future/USAID’s review of Youth Engagement in Agricultural Value Chains across all Feed the Future countries and, as a Senior Associate with E.T. Jackson and Associates, she was team leader of a major evaluation of Save the Children’s $40 million Youth in Action program in five African countries, commissioned by the Mastercard Foundation.
Natasha holds as an MBA from l’Institut Supérieur d’Études Économiques et Commerciales (INSEEC) in Paris, a post-graduate degree in Asia Pacific Management (APMCP) from Capilano University’s MacRae Institute for International Management and a BA from Western University. In her past life, she started a social enterprise repurposing African textile, was an active practitioner of an Angolan capoeira, and wrote a memoir. She has lived in Nicaragua, Angola, Mozambique, Mexico, France, India, and Japan but shamefully only speaks decent French, and passable Spanish and Portuguese