Fireside Chat – Inclusive ESG – The Diversity of Money: Why Investment Needs Inclusion

Discover the incredible insights shared by Joel Blake OBE, Eric D. Collins, and Susanne Chishti as they discuss the transformative power of Fintech in creating a diverse and accessible investment space.

Fireside Chat - Inclusive ESG. The Diversity of Money: Why Investment Needs Inclusion

Date: 11 July 2023
Author: FINTECH Circle

Our CEO Susanne Chishti spoke at Fintech Week London back in mid June 2023… and in this insightful article we are going to share some of the Fireside chat & discussions and insights as shared by Joel Blake OBEEric D. Collins, and our very own Susanne Chishti on the important & interesting Fintech topic of… Inclusive ESG: The Diversity of Money.

Our speakers all “waxed lyrical” on the important role that Fintech plays in creating an investment space that better embraces diversity and inclusion. The discussion explored how Fintech has the power to transform the traditional financial landscape and make investing accessible to all, regardless of social background, ethnicity, affiliation and/or personal association.

Our Founder & CEO, Susanne Chishti (who is always a champion of the power of Fintech when it comes to diversity & inclusion…) provided those in attendance with a wealth of knowledge on the power of networks and partnerships. 

She highlighted

“…the need for large institutions to collaborate with Fintech companies, pooling their resources and expertise in order to foster innovation and social impact. “

Susanne also spoke of the tremendous potential of financial inclusion in emerging markets, where Fintech can facilitate easier capital remittance, introduce digital wallets, and even explore the exciting realm of cryptocurrencies. Susanne urged companies to embrace the triple bottom line—economic, social, and governance aspects— in order to maximize their positive impact on society.

Joel Blake OBE, also highlighted the importance of challenging the current financial system, which often fails to serve women and people of colour. He emphasised that Fintech provides a platform for disruptive innovation, a space where brilliant ideas can flourish and barriers can be shattered. 

He revealed that the magic lies in the ability to think beyond the confines of the old ways and imagine a future that empowers everyone to participate.

A very passionate, Eric D. Collins, the man behind prominent venture capital firm, Impact X Capital shared his insights on democratising the world of venture capital. His enthusiasm was contagious as he spoke of “their mission to invest in under represented entrepreneurs across Europe.”   Through their website’s clever intake form, empowered by data science and artificial intelligence, they identify promising entrepreneurs who deserve a chance to shine.

Eric truly “beamed with pride” as he revealed that their previous fund was raised entirely from black individuals, proving that investing in underrepresented communities can generate remarkable returns and create jobs that withstand the test of time. 

… Absolutely inspiring & great stuff!

As this extraordinary fireside chat drew to a close, the audience was left buzzing with inspiration. The speakers had painted a truly vivid picture of a future where Fintech breaks down barriers, where anyone with a brilliant idea can knock on the doors of opportunity, and where diverse voices are heard and celebrated.

Let us embrace the transformative power of Fintech, as we challenge the norms and build an investment space that welcomes all. Together, we can create a future that surpasses our wildest dreams—a future where diversity thrives, investments flourish, and the magic of finance truly becomes a realm for everyone.

Sound good? Then let us the future Fintechs, now set forth on this grand adventure of Inclusive ESG and the Diversity of Money. Fintech Week London has shown us that the possibilities are endless, and the thrill of the unknown awaits us all!

[ Video ] Watch a small part of the talk below:

Meet the Speakers:

Eric D. Collins
CEO and Founding Member
Impact X Capital Partners

Eric Collins is a serial entrepreneur, investor, technology executive and host of Channel4businesss how, TheMoneyMaker, which is based on the highly successful US show The Profiton CNBC. 

Eric has spent much of his career building the value of digital companies through innovative strategies at public and private companies including AOL, TimeWarner, Tegic/Nuance Communications, Mobile Posse, SwiftKey/Microsoft and most recently, TouchSurgery, where he was COO. He sits on the boards of companies in SanFrancisco and London, including TechNation. 

In 2011, President Obama appointed him to Small Business Administration’s Council on Underserved Communities. Eric has been featured in Bloomberg, CNN, Dow Jones, The Times, The Guardian, BBC Radio, ITV NewsSkyNews, and several other media outlets and podcasts. He is regularly invited to be keynote speaker or panellist for leading companies and events both in the UK and internationally.

Eric has been named among the UK’s top 100 BAME leaders in technology by The Financial Times and has been voted one of the most influential Black people in Britain on The Powerlist.  Eric’s award-winning book, “We Don’t Need Permission: How Black Business Can Change Our World” (Penguin), emphasizes the transformative power of investing in Black and underrepresented entrepreneurs as a socio-economic game changer. For more information about Eric, you can visit his website.


Joel Blake OBE
Founder & CEO
GFA Exchange

Rebel entrepreneur and business leader, Joel is sought for his expertise in balancing commercial growth with actionable inclusion, to help transform financial support for professional and financial services firms.

He is the Founder of GFA Exchange, an award – winning inclusive fintech that provide advanced credit risk management technology, to help firms reduce the risk and costs of supporting underestimated SMEs.

He is also the current Chair of Employability UK, and a Non-Executive Director. He previously co-founded an SME lending brokerage firm and is the former President of the Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce.

In 2019, he was chosen as one of the Top 50 Most Influential Black Voices in UK tech and was awarded an OBE for Services to Business Support and Enterprise in 2016. 


Susanne Chishti
Founder & CEO

Susanne Chishti is the award-winning CEO of FINTECH Circle and a FTSE Board Member. As Investor and Editor of The FINTECH Book Series she lives with her family in London and is a Non-Executive Director of CMC Markets PLC and Crown Agents Bank.

She is also an in-demand keynote speaker at leading finance and technology conferences globally. She is also the Co-Editor of the bestselling The FINTECH Book, which has been translated into 10 languages and is sold across 107 countries, as well as The WEALTHTECH Book, The INSURTECH Book, The PAYTECH Book, The AI Book and The LEGALTECH Book.

Susanne’s awards include “Top 10 global fintech influencers in 2022” (Evening Standard), “Top 5 ESG Influencers Globally” (Refinitiv) and the Fintech Champion of the Year in 2019 (Women in Finance Awards).

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