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Last week, ShareIn CEO and Co-Founder Jude Cook joined a panel of fintech leaders and entrepreneurs to discuss growth and development in the Scottish fintech ecosystem at the 8th annual DIGIT Fintech Summit 2021. Kicking off 4 weeks of events as part of this year’s Scotland Fintech Festival under the umbrella of FinTech Scotland, the Summit was a hybrid digital and in-person event hosted at Edinburgh’s Dynamic Earth. Joining Jude on the panel moderated by BBC Scotland’s Mark Stephen were Sustainably CEO and Co-Founder Loral Quinn, LendingCrowd CEO and Founder Stuart Lunn, and Zumo CPO and Co-Founder Paul Roach.

Introduced by Fintech Scotland CEO Nicola Anderson, who emphasised the purposeful, supportive, and future-focused nature of the Fintech Scotland community, the panel considered how the national fintech ecosystem has evolved and developed, exploring learnings and observations from within the sector, and discussed how we can build on the foundations and optimise growth potential going forward.

Explaining the niche that ShareIn has carved out in the fintech sector by facilitating investment platforms delivering an environmental and social impact, Jude shared with the audience how one of the key aspects we have focused on with our clients is the ability to feed back to investors about the non-financial impact of their investment, highlighting the trend of consumers demanding greater transparency on what their money is funding.

ShareIn work with a number of clients in the impact investment space, including Netherlands-based Triodos Bank, positive investment platform Ethex, and Energise Africa, a partnership between UK-based Ethex and Dutch impact investment platform Lendahand. The investment platforms ShareIn has built and manages for these clients offer a variety of impact investments such as renewable energy bonds – which can be held in an Innovative Finance ISA tax wrapper due to ShareIn’s ISA manager service – and community share offers.

In the lead-up to the COP26 climate conference to be held in Glasgow in November 2021, ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) investment is in the spotlight now more than ever. As Jude noted during the panel, “ESG isn't just a preserve of financial institutions; it's actually getting to the heart of what a large proportion of the population are starting to really get behind. I'm enormously optimistic for that.”

Stay tuned for video recordings of the Fintech Summit panels, to be uploaded to the DIGIT YouTube channel.

The 4-week Fintech Festival culminates with a full day event at Glasgow’s University of Strathclyde on 14th October – Accelerating FinTech Across the UK: Actions and initiatives to drive the UK's global fintech leadership – with guest speakers including Ron Kalifa OBE, Chair of the UK Government Fintech Strategic Review.

The month-long Scotland Fintech Festival comes on the heels of Fintech Scotland’s announcement earlier in September that the number of Scottish fintech SMEs has increased by over 50% during the previous 18 months. The Fintech Scotland entrepreneurial community currently boasts 181 members and a newly-formed SME Advisory Board of fintech entrepreneurs including ShareIn CEO and Co-Founder Jude Cook. The Board is “focused on ensuring the necessary support is in place to continue the momentum of fintech innovation” in Scotland.

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