The alternative finance sector is democratizing the financial world in more ways than one.
Every year luxury lifestyle magazine Brummell publishes a list of the City’s most inspirational businesswomen. Of the 30 entrepreneurial thought-leaders that make up the showcase, 10% are representatives of the UK’s budding alternative finance space. Louise Beaumont (Co-Founder of Platform Black), Nicola Horlick (Founder and CEO of Money&Co) and Louise Wilson (Co-Founder of Abundance Generation) all made the grade. The contribution made by the broader fintech space is larger still.
Louise Beaumont commented on the list:
“I am delighted to be named alongside such other inspirational women in business. I am also pleased to have been in the vanguard of a revolution in financial services, providing competition and access to finance at a time when SMEs have been starved of it. Alternative finance is now rapidly becoming a mainstream force in business lending, backed by Government and regulators.”
Crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and online invoice finance are paradigm-shifting phenomena that are each making a meaningful impact on the way that people interact with money. As indicated in the opening line, people often refer to crowdfunding as a democratizing force – and that generally relates to opening up previously exclusive investment opportunities to ordinary people. Seedrs, for instance, affords private investors access to the kinds of deals that previously have been reserved for VCs and Angels. But clearly there’s another powerful form of democratization going on here.
There are many women – beyond the three highlighted by the Brummell showcase – who hold senior positions at UK-based alternative finance providers. A few that spring to mind are Julia Groves (CEO of Trillion Fund), Jude Cook (Founder of ShareIn) and Amanda Boyle (CEO of BloomVC). The global industry is home to countless more female pioneers. To name a couple: Jilliene Helman (CEO of Realty Mogul), Sara Hanks (CEO of CrowdCheck) and Danae Ringelmann (Co-Founder of Indiegogo). Though there’s no official data to hand, it’s clear that female entrepreneurship is among the most fundamental driving forces of the alternative finance revolution.
Will the stereotype of a male-centric financial services sector begin to ebb away as the dynamic alternative finance sector comes to the fore?