Work in Fintech – NFTs for Good
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June 16th, 2022

Over the last 18 months, we have been blown away by the love and support that Work in Fintech has received. From leaders in fintech and web3 helping with their time and resource through to the superstar students and graduates we’ve met. From 15-year-old Loveday Mwatsuku from my old high school who now wants to work in UI/UX for Goldman Sachs, to Zachary Scott who has had his eyes opened to fintech and web3 through to Jagraj Singh, a budding physicist and all round rockstar and all the other team member of Work in Fintech. We’re lucky to have met them all.

The inaugural Work in Fintech Summer Cohort of 2021 was a raging success – here’s some of the amazing people that they met. One year later I’ve seen the same group, who were aged 14 through to 21, go on to create big bold visions. All of them now see themselves forging a career or company in fintech, web3 and greentech.

We believe it's our responsibility to help guide and inspire young people and to push them beyond their limits and achieve greatness. We’ve been incredibly fortunate to see this bright young group of individuals not only evolve as people but also break down the invisible handcuffs that being from a small town and lower socio-economic background can sometimes bring. Through Work in Fintech we’ve opened their eyes up to new opportunities, mentors have shared skills and mindset that can help set them apart and we’ve taught them about the different job roles in fintech and web3 companies as well as providing work experience and insight days.

Along this journey I've also been super lucky to meet an amazing tribe of like-minded individuals, many of which we have had on as podcast guests or mentors in our work experience programmes. Through the ‘Interviews with Leaders in Fintech’ podcast series I've been blessed to meet Ying Cao, former head of digital products at Barclays investment bank, who joined Work in Fintech as co-founder and Benyamin Ahmed, a 13-year-old crypto prodigy, who in the last year has sold $20 million worth of NFTs and also now holds the title of youngest guest lecturer at Oxford University.

Combined we have a unique outlook on fintech and web3. Ying has come from a corporate fintech background, Matt has been in fintech for the last 20 years running startups and Ben is grassroots crypto who has been coding since the age of 5. What unites us is our shared passion for helping others join the fastest growing industry in modern times.

We believe young people who are embarking on a career should attach themselves not to traditional industries but instead to the fastest growing and most exciting sector where you will be faced with many challenges and a fast, steep learning curve but this also provides the biggest rewards both intellectually and financially.

However, fintech and web3 does face two major challenges; there is a shortage of talent and a shortage of diversity.

Because of this Work in Fintech was designed to address diversity on day one, from the leadership team, to the broad set of schools, colleges and universities we work with. For example, we were delighted to have been asked to join the University of East London as a strategic Advisory Board member of their new Centre of Fintech. Why was this important? The University of East London, is diverse by nature due to its location in the borough of Tower Hamlets, Europe's poorest borough. Most students that attend the University of London were born and bred in the local area with nearly 75% of students having ethnic minority backgrounds and being the first in their families to attend university. It’s important to work with universities in poor boroughs as much as it is to work with the top tier universities.

The mission of Work in Fintech is to help and inspire students and young people from any background, be it race, gender, sexual identity or socio economic to build careers and companies in fintech and web3.

Sadly, Fintech and web3 companies suffer from a talent and diversity shortage often because of a vicious circle where fast growth and scaling means paying high salaries and recruiting from top tier institutions. Of which, this set of students may already have had an advantage from birth by being of the gender, race, demographic or school that is seen most favourably in the eyes of some employers.

However, these companies do recognise this problem and want to address it. It’s not something that will change overnight but investing in projects like Work in Fintech will help to address the balance turning a vicious circle into a virtuous one, providing a better, bigger more diversified talent pool. So, a win-win for all.

Over the last 18 months’ Work in Fintech has worked with some of the world's leading fintech and web3 companies including revolut, checkout.com, blockchain.com, ipushpull and Adaptive Financial Consulting as well as traditional financial institutions such as TP ICAP and Goldman Sachs.

To build on this success it’s now time to scale up what Work in Fintech is trying to achieve and help more young people across more schools, colleges and universities around the world.

By embracing the same technologies that we champion, Work in Fintech is launching the world's first B2B NFT. We’re turning corporate sponsorship on its head by working with fintech, web3 and traditional financial companies who are sponsoring Work in Fintech in the form of an NFT (non-fungible token). Beyond digital art, the Work in Fintech NFT is an access token to the Work in Fintech community bringing sponsors closer to the students they are supporting and ultimately might employ. All proceeds of the NFT sponsorship will be trackable on chain and used to fund new learning programmes, coaching, mentoring and work experience for students. Through this NFT, fintech and web3 companies will enable free learning for all, with a specific focus on those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The NFT is represented by artwork from Massai, a black Brazilian artist who has worked with the likes of Red Bull and Converse and overseen by Benyamin who has himself been involved in NFT projects with over $20 million in sales. Ben is 13 years old. The Work in Fintech team will be launching in New York on June 20th at the NFT.NYC festival.

if you are a young person reading this please reach out to Work in Fintech and join our thriving community. If you’re a company and you want to give back, sponsor us, help young students achieve great things, or just want to get involved then please reach out.

Want to learn more about how to break into fintech and web3 start-ups?

Check out the Work in Fintech website and follow us at LinkedInTwitter, Discord, YoutubeInstagram and TikTok.

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