The past few weeks have seen some important topics come to light across the media and wider fintech industry, so we’re really pleased to be involved in discussions that can shape the future of our society and planet.
Firstly, we were immensely proud and grateful for the opportunity to speak at the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), with a mission to highlight fintech’s role in tackling climate change.
We were involved in various events across the conference, from a roundtable session with ethical finance leaders, a full day of Islamic finance events that included a UN session, to a task force that positions Green Sukuk as an innovative solution to attract private capital at scale to help developing and emerging economies. Our UK general manager, Umer Suleman, was also one of the hosts for Faith in the SDGs – exploring how faith-based finance can help to advance a net-zero economy.
Fintech was founded to change financial services for the better, and much of its success is because of a shared mission to make financial products more inclusive, transparent, and ethical. As an industry, we need to apply the same approach to fighting climate change.
Umer featured on the StockBox podcast, where he spoke about ethical investing and climate change. From abandoning plastic cards and cash in favour of digital payments to banks and pension providers ditching investments in environmentally destructive companies, fintech and financial services has the power to lead.
And for us, that leadership also includes tackling the issue of punitive interest rates: because debt is as bad for our mental wellbeing as the planet we are destroying. Umer penned a piece in the FinTech times as part of World Mental Health Day in which he spoke about interest-based debt, and how our entire lives and aspirations are increasingly connected to debt whether it be through the homes we live in, the cars we drive, and increasingly, the everyday items that we buy. This has been exacerbated by the rise of ‘buy now pay later’ subscription models that have been in the headlines recently.
In other news, Maydan Capital, one of our subsidiaries, unveiled an equity crowdfunding platform that offers tech-focused investors vetted, early stage, ethical investment opportunities. Together, we’re building a new financial ecosystem by connecting investors with entrepreneurs as part of a long-term goal to take steps towards finance based on participation, not debt.
Overall, these are exciting times for Wahed and the world of fintech. Our SVP of Business Operations Syakir Hashim was on a panel in Malaysia organised by the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) where they discussed the Islamic capital market outlook, growing emphasis on Social Finance, and how fintech will empower investors further by offering more options for retail investors.
Finally, in our ongoing drive to promote financial literacy, Wahed has partnered with Learning Roots to create the children’s book “The Prophet Yusuf’s Amazing Investment” – a free online book that calls itself “a child’s first guide to halal investing.”
That’s all from us this month. Stay tuned and follow us for more news over the coming weeks!