Lab Fellows are the pioneers of a new financial system – one that serves people and planet.
In 2017, the Lab is partnering with anti-poverty charity Toynbee Hall to support the best innovations for improving financial health. We’ve selected 13 Fellows working on projects that could support financial wellbeing by offering access to fairly priced financial products that are easy to understand and control. Their ideas they have the potential to positively disrupt the financial system and challenge the rules of the game in financial health. Read our full selection criteria here.
Aelm – Maysam Rizvi
Aelm is a consultancy and technology hybrid that uses big data and AI to improve business processes, benefit people’s lives and support the wider community. Its products include a data-driven tool to improve personal financial wellbeing and a new approach to regulatory reporting and analysis.
Maysam has two decades’ experience in banking, including at National Bank of Dubai and JP Morgan, and as Vice President at United Overseas Bank, where he saw first-hand the impact of the financial crisis on the citizens of Iceland.
Chip In – Audrey Giroud
Chip In is a money app that makes saving engaging through the use of gamification, including collective goals and competitions, leveraging behavioural economics for improved financial habits. Now live as a beta, Chip In is looking to partner with financial institutions and financial health organisations to reach more users.
Audrey has worked in both large corporations and an early stage finance startup, which she helped grow to a very successful company. She has now taken on the challenging of helping millions of low income households claim back their financial freedom.
Creating Life Chances – Akilah Corrie and Moestak Hussein
Creating Life Chances CIC, based in Bristol, works to tackle social and economic inequalities. Through creative financial education workshops in schools, new literature and games, Akilah and Moestak aim to boost children’s confidence with money and inspire an entrepreneurial spirit in marginalised communities.
Akilah has a BA (Hons) in Community Development with a Youth Work Specialism. She has worked within a variety of community settings, including managing a day care centre for the elderly and coordinating numerous summer schools.
Moestak has a passion for social justice, activism and working towards a safe and sustainable environment, locally and globally. She extensive experience in grassroots community development and has worked as a researcher in collaboration with universities and diverse communities.
FamilyRise – Andres Korin
FamilyRise aims to help parents manage the costly adventure of raising young children, by providing flexible financing to individuals and employers to make parental leave and childcare more affordable for new parents.
Andres is a finance professional with more than twelve years’ experience in investment banking, risk management and international development, including two years as a microfinance specialist in the Dominican Republic.
Greater London Mutual – Fionn Travers-Smith
Greater London Mutual is a new community benefit bank for London businesses, individuals, and the financially underserved.
Fionn is a consultant, campaigner, and researcher working with the New Economics Foundation, the Greater London Authority, and the RSA on local banking in the UK. Previously Fionn managed the Move Your Money campaign, where he was a leading voice in the movement for a more democratic, sustainable, and just financial system.
Harmoney – Nick Lee
Harmoney is a charity and social enterprise that will help people to find a balanced and healthy approach to their money. Initially offering debt advice to people struggling with unmanageable debt, Harmoney will also develop a personal account service making it easier to budget, manage bills and debts, and save.
Nick has extensive experience in debt advice, including leading two Citizens Advice Bureaux, and has been director of three credit unions and a microfinance project. He currently tutors in Professionalism, Ethics and Regulation at the Chartered Banker Institute, and has previously taught personal finance at the Open University.
My City My Pound – Kurtis Wright
My City My Pound is a payment initiation service provider and app that brings together the benefits of a local currency scheme with a digital platform. My City My Pound offers more affordable payment services to businesses and more engaging and responsible payment experiences for consumers.
Kurtis is a former banker with 14 years’ experience in the banking and the financial services sector. My City My Pound is his first venture, following 12 months researching financial health challenges for business owners and the general public in Sheffield.
St Luke’s Hub – Sam Bedford and Laura McCullagh
St Luke’s Hub works to improve the financial resilience and wellbeing of local residents in Kennington, London. It is one of seven services run by West London Mission, a charity supporting vulnerable and homeless people across London. Sam and Laura are developing innovative approaches to generate income from St Luke’s resources and assets, which in turn will enable them to develop innovative ways to support local residents’ financial health.
Sam has been working in community development since 2010, in a mix of housing associations and charities, where his work has focussed on building partnerships that deliver services that meet the needs of local communities. He currently manages the residential accommodation and venue space at St Luke’s Hub.
Laura has over 10 years’ experience working in voluntary sector organisations supporting people who are marginalised and excluded from mainstream society. She manages West London Mission’s Money Champions project from St Luke’s Hub and is also studying a Masters in Social and Cultural Psychology at LSE.
Testudo – Alasdair Blackwell, Sam Grainge and Peter Sach
Testudo is a platform designed to facilitate more socially cohesive and architecturally compelling affordable housing and mixed-tenure development, offering tenants greater economic mobility and an invested sense-of-ownership. Testudo provides a secure and transparent platform for tenants to save towards mortgage deposits, collectively pooling their savings to spread risk, attracting longer-term institutional investment and enabling tenants to pay an affordable rental rate.
Ali cofounded Decoded, a technology education provider with the goal of teaching the world to code, and more recently was Head of Technology at Everledger, a startup that uses blockchain to prevent fraud.
Sam is a Part II architect at London’s Cullinan Studio, with professional and academic experience centred on the design and planning of affordable housing and mixed-tenure residential development.
Pete is a currently researching Urban Design and Public Policy at University College London and has previously worked in social enterprise and community engagement in the UK and internationally.
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