This week’s interview is with a woman who has recently entered the world of fintech and has green matters very much at heart.
Bethan Unsworth is a green entrepreneur, embarking on her fintech journey with ReforestPay. (Which eWeek UK reported in a scoop in February.) This is a green payment gateway that offers merchants the opportunity to connect their supply chain, investing in our planet by planting a tree for every transaction.
As part of the Reforest Group, she has been a part of planting 25,000 trees whilst providing green web services in the form of web design, SEO and content creation; and plans to hugely scale that with ReforestPay, having taken the Million Tree Pledge.
She believes that business can be a huge force for good. In her view, people vote with their money, and her plan is to help businesses create strong, green brands that engage their ideal customers and create a more sustainable world – maximising their growth, whilst minimising their impact on the environment.
How and where did you start your career in fintech?
ReforestPay is my first endeavour in fintech, an opportunity came up for my partner and I and it was too good to miss. We saw an opportunity to scale up the good that we were doing in our other web services business (Reforest The Web & Reforest Hosting) and really make a difference in the world.
Are there any women in tech or fintech that have particularly inspired you?
I think that Reshma Saujani (founder and CEO of Girls Who Code) is incredibly inspiring in her endeavours. Outside of tech, I love Mary Portas – her challenging our ideas of how things work, to create a kinder and fairer working culture is very empowering to me. It reminds us that as business people we are in charge of not only how we operate, but how we bring value to our people and planet to create a fairer, more sustainable environment.
What’s the most pressing issue for women in fintech today?
I think the most pressing issue for women in fintech is being separated from our male counterparts. As business people we can often be defined by our gender, rather than what we’re bringing to the table.
What challenges did you face when founding ReforestPay?
Funding. Raising capital to invest in this venture has been our biggest hurdle so far, cash flow can be difficult and as a totally self-funded company we’re keen to retain the control of our business so that we can stay true to our values and not have to compromise on the vision that we have.
What advice would you give to women looking to get into fintech?
Believe in yourself and be a sponge. Take in everything that you can learn and discard what is not useful to you. Keep your ‘why’ close and go out there and smash it.
The previous fintech-themed interview with Alexandra Vidyuk, Co-Founder and Executive Director at DigiDoe, is here.