Academic Background

My name is Joyce Meng, and I am a native of the Greater Washington DC area, though I currently reside in New York City. After receiving a Rhodes Scholarship, I studied at Oxford University (Balliol College), pursuing two separate masters degrees. In June 2010, I graduated with distinction from the MSc Financial Economics Program. In June 2009, I completed with distinction the MSc in Economics for Development, receiving the Arthur Lewis Prize for Excellence in Development Economics and the George Webb Medley Prize for Best Overall Performance (Proxime Accesit). In May 2008, I graduated summa cum laude from the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business at the University of Pennsylvania, with degrees in Finance and International Studies and minors in Mathematics and Spanish. Now, I'm pursuing a career in investing in the city. You can find me on facebook, twitter, and linked-in. In my spare time, I'm working on Givology, wandering the streets of New York City, playing hockey, or reading.

View Joyce's Resume (Updated January 2016)

Public Sector and Research Experiences

I am deeply interested in microfinance and international development, with particular focus on social entrepreneurship and private financial sector development. In 2007, I had the chance to pursue microfinance field work in Mexico with FINCA International, where I witnessed the potential power of microfinance. We conducted surveys of 800 microcredit clients across all of Mexico, asking women in rural villages about their lives, their families, their expenditures, and their businesses. Although microfinance is now widely accepted as a tool for promoting grassroots development, it remains an imperfect instrument given high interest rates, dependency on the individual entrepreneur to make his or her business work, and limited impact on the poorest of the poor, who are often tempted to consume (rather than invest) their loan, or lack skills to start or grow their business. In my research with Fundación Nantik Lum in Spain, I investigated these issues in depth, contributing to the publication of a research monograph "Microcredit in Spain”, as well as helping the Foundation's Chiapas business collectives transform into a full group-solidarity lending microcredit fund. More recently, in 2008, I worked at the World Bank as a research assistant in the Finance and Private Sector Development Group, where I investigated various drivers of international capital raisings.

To practically apply potential solutions, I co-founded Generation Enterprise (formerly known as YouthBank) (www.generationenterprise.org), a youth-led network of small business incubators and community hubs that equip street youth to leave life on the streets, start sustainable businesses, and create jobs. The goal of Generation Enterprise is to address the roots of poverty, and provide a means for sustainable self-employment. Unlike traditional microfinance institutions, Generation Enterprise provides substantial business training and mentorship to build trust relations and business skills to improve business viability and sustainability. From 2007-2010, I served as the CFO and then the Director of Development, but later transitioned away from the team to focus on building up Givology.

Drawing upon my experiences and launching in 2008, I co-founded and serve as CEO of Givology (www.givology.org), an online giving marketplace for education. At Givology, we believe education is the single most important and sustainable resource for empowerment, advancement, and poverty alleviation. Through the Internet, we connect individual donors to students and communities in need of education support. We partner with highly esteemed grassroots non-profit organizations and schools providing education grants and infrastructure projects to students and villages throughout the world. What truly distinguishes Givology is our philosophy of building lasting sponsor-student relationships and leveraging small dollar donations to make a difference. Donors not only have a chance to track the impact of their contribution, but can also read quarterly updates about the progress of the student and project, as well as blog about their experiences and "message" the student or project. Our aim is to make giving easy, transparent, and rewarding, with the premise that philanthropy ought to be an engaging community activity, rather than the passive act of cutting a check. Notably, as a 100% volunteer organization, Givology not only crowd sources small dollar donations to make a difference, but rather, we also leverage volunteer hours across a large base to carry out our work - if not money, then time, dedication, and skills are incredibly valuable resources to enact change.

We utilize creative campaigns to raise awareness and motivate people to act, such as the $50 dollar exhibition we held at Station Gallery in Tribeca, NYC to raise funding for the Circle of Peace School, a school in Kampala, Uganda that focuses on providing high quality education to children who would otherwise not be able to afford tuition. Likewise, we embarked on our "Make your Mark" campaign in 2011 in which we comissioned Joseph Kilrain of Gigapixel Creative to create a giant mural of the world which we displayed at Union Square to collect fingerprints (see the video by Jubilee Project below for more details) and then subsequently auctioned off at our grand finale event. As we've grown through the years, we're now taking our impact generation to the next level with our partnership with the M Night Shyamalan Foundation, which we proudly launched in the summer of 2011. Collectively, we have so much ambition for this partnership (summarized in the video below) and many exciting projects in the pipeline. Recently, we published our book "A Guide to Giving" (available on amazon), which captures the inspiring stories of our partners and our own best practices through the last five years. If you are interested in our work or in joining our team, please reach out to me!

Video about the Givology and M Night Shyamalan Foundation Partnership

Video filmed by the Jubilee Project about our 2011 "Make Your Mark" Union Square Event

Private Sector Experiences

Since the intersection of business and development is my passion, I’ve had a variety of international business experiences to gain exposure to the logic and workings of capital markets. In 2006, I interned as a summer analyst at Credit Suisse in Debt Capital Markets in Hong Kong, where I witnessed the immense power of international capital markets in facilitating economic development and driving sustainable growth. In 2005, I was an intern at Taishin International Bank in Taipei, Taiwan, - the second largest domestic bank – where I provided support and consulting for business development initiatives aiming to emulate US best practices. In 2007, I worked as a summer analyst in Leveraged Finance at Goldman Sachs on Wall Street, where I built leveraged buy-out and project finance models for deals in the energy space (an opportunity to witness the height of the financial bubble and subsequent crash!). In 2008, I was a summer analyst in the autos and health care groups of a large credit hedge fund in Boston. Through my work, I was able to cover distressed companies, learning a lot about our current economic crisis and the challenges financing our financial sector. After graduation, I returned to Goldman Sachs Investment Partners to work in a multi-billion dollar long-short equity hedge fund on the industrials team. Afterwards, I left for the energy team at MSDC Management, analyzing investment opportunities in coal, chemicals, midstream/MLPs, oil services, and E&P, among other sub-sectors using fundamental, bottoms-up work. For me investing is fasinating because it involves so many different layers of analysis and creativity in finding opportunities within the market. In January 2014, I joined two former colleagues at GSIP to launch a hedge fund Vernier Capital, where I work today as a partner and managing director.

Having seen both formal and informal financial sectors, I want to aid in the process of banking reform, rural credit extension, and private sector development in emerging markets, especially in Latin America and Asia.

Contact me