On March 8th to honor the International Women’s Day, Innovate Finance, the UK trade association representing global FinTech and UK voice of the industry, has released a list of 21 female founders and CEOs that makes up its membership base.
At Hogan Lovells, Innovate Finance also hosted a brilliant event to discuss about women in FinTech and how Fintech is changing the world. The event was fully booked and well attended.The participants were diversified and working across various businesses including FinTech, Consulting, Banking, Charity, Legal and IT. They were keen to learn about FinTech and gender inclusion in the industry. Various topics were covered during the event. It was quite interactive. Its format was good.
To kick-off the event, Sharon Lewis, Lead of the Global Finance Practice at Hogan Lovells gave some remarks about her viewpoints on FinTech. She outlined that FinTech and gender inclusion are both the future, they should not consider them mutually exclusive.
Keynote speaker minutes
Viola Llewellyn – Co-Founder & COO at Ovamba, a peer-to-peer lending platform dedicated to help small & medium enterprises (SMEs) in Africa. She is one of the pioneers in the FinTech space in Africa. She did a great speech for a very attentive audience.
Some takeaways from Viola’s keynote:
- FinTech is very powerful, it is changing the world, and it is a promise.
- Women lead only 5% of the 50 European FinTech companies.
- LeanIn and role models are very important to encourage women to be active in FinTech.
- Remember when we make mistakes, we are failing forwards
- Ask your young girls: “what problem do you want to solve when they grow up?” They should evolve with issues and deal with them.
- Contribution of Women to FinTech should be a legacy for the next generation.
- FinTech enables and connects us to be more than we are.
After Viola’s brilliant keynote, Sarah Washington, Philanthropy Partnerships manager at UNICEF provided a great presentation about the initiative Girls Investment Fund Taskforce (GIFT) launched by UNICEF UK last year. GIFT is an innovative solution for women in FinTech, who want to embark in their first steps of philanthropy and to celebrate the contribution of women to tackle gender issues.
Panel discussion highlights
Nancy Hulgrave – Anchor at CNBC Europe, introduced the panel and moderated the discussion just after Sarah’s inspiring presentation. Panelists include:
- Liz Lumley – Head of Ecosystem at Startupbootcamp, a global network of industry focused startup accelerators.
- Anne Ravanona – Founder and CEO at Global Invest her, online platform dedicated to funding for women entrepreneurs.
- Claire Calmejane – Innovation Director at Lloyds Banking Group.
- Phoebe Hugh – Co-founder at Brolly, artificially intelligent insurance advisory application
I asked to a few attendees their feedback about the panel session. The majority of them found it very inspiring, engaging, and instructive.
Some sound bites from the panelists about how to get more women on board into FinTech.
Panellists’ conclusion notes for women who would like to succeed in FinTech
- Find a coach to prepare for your pitches.
- Be brave
- Take the risk, be resilient and confident”
- Speak out to ask for more money to investor.
Perfect Pitch by FinTech entrepreneurs:
Five women entrepreneurs in FinTech did a perfect pitch for the audience as they did to raise fund for their company. Each entrepreneur had 2 min to do her pitch. This was the flagship of night.
- Shreya Hewett– Co-founder & CEO – TransferGuru, payments platform.
- Norah Prida Bay – Founder & CEO – Nickle, microfinance app for the Mexican market
- Paulina Sygulska – Founder – Grant Tree, UK R&D Tax Credits, TSB Grants, SEIS, Government funding expert.
- Marta Krupinska– GM & Co-founder – Azimo, payments platform.
Lawrence Wintermeyer – CEO at Innovate Finance concluded the event by outlining the two priorities for of his organisation:
- Closing the gender gap
- Promoting diversity in FinTech.
Social media responses: