Learn how the World Bank Group is helping countries with COVID-19 (coronavirus). Find Out

Ellen Olafsen

Ellen Olafsen

Senior Private Sector Specialist, Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation

Ellen Olafsen is a senior private sector specialist in the Southern Africa Unit of the World Bank Group's Finance, Competitiveness, and Innovation Global Practice. She has 18+ years of experience in private sector development, including a 12-year track record in developing and overseeing entrepreneurship and SME development products and programs across 70+ countries in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. 

Olafsen managed the infoDev multi-donor trust fund, where she initiated and led the Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program and was a founder of infoDev's work in digital entrepreneurship. Previously, she worked for the Grassroots Business Department of the International Finance Corporation and for the Development Gateway.

Her first foray into development was with Citizens Energy Corporation’s corporate social responsibility program in Angola. Olafsen has an MBA in finance and an MA in international affairs, focused on Sub-Saharan Africa. 

  • Innovation
  • Trade
  • Private Sector Development
  • Agriculture and Food Security