Ismail Ahmed: Celebrating Black Excellence In FinTech

by Duke Magazine

The world of finance is defined with many complexities, but many thanks to digital upgrades courtesy creativity and Innovation, daily transactions and daily living has no doubt become easier. 

FinTech leader, WorldRemit’s Founder, Chairman, and former CEO for eight years, Ismail Ahmed stands tall in the Software & Tech Services industry. Through his leading digital money transfer firm currently operating in six continents has applaudably provided easier  financial solutions to payment and transaction processing services, such as online money transfers through bank deposits, cash pickup, and mobile money, thereby redefining mobile approach to sending money around the world.

Ismail Ahmed who founded the company in 2010 boasts of a wealth of experience in the money transfer industry for 20 years to be exact, spanning across academic, consulting and in-house roles.

Prior to establishing his own business, he worked for the United Nations Remittance Program where he lent expertise towards helping African money transfer companies comply with tough anti-money laundering rules.

Highly accomplished in his chosen field, the thought leader, 61, has notably published widely-cited research on the effect of remittances in Somaliland following the country’s civil war.

Ismail Ahmed topped the Powerlist 2020 to emerge the most influential black Briton. The Powerlist 2020 which covers 100 most powerful people of African and African Caribbean heritage in the UK also named Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex. He has also notably been featured on the Financial Times World Tech Founders podcast.

Born and raised in Somaliland where he grew up in the city of Hargeisa, before the outbreak of the Somali Civil War, Ahmed was awarded a World Bank scholarship to study economics in the UK at the University of London, but plans were soon halted after the outbreak of war. He was smuggled out of Somalia to the United Kingdom as a refugee.

While studying, to make ends meet he worked in a number of part-time jobs to enable him send money home to family in Somaliland, but during this time be began encountering difficulties which inspired Ahmed to put on his creative cap to think of “better way to do this”.

He is also Director of the Sahan Foundation International.

Ismail Ahmed holds an MSc and PhD from the University of London and an Executive MBA from London Business School.

In April 2021, the top entreprenuer launched the Sahamiye Foundation based in London and Hargesia to drive entrepreneurial development in Somaliland. A selfless builder dedicated to empowerment, Ahmed committed $500 million of his own wealth and investments over the next ten years to Somaliland-focused development programs.

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