The MENA Fintech Association, the not-for-profit organisation dedicated to serving fintech startups and established players across the Middle East and Africa, has revealed how fintechs can overcome challenges and foster positive impact in the realm of environmental sustainability.
The MENA Fintech Association, founded in 2018, has unveiled its Sustainable Fintech Report 2023. Nameer Khan, chairman MENA Fintech Association stated the following, “For the MENA Fintech Association, sustainability is not just a concept; it’s a commitment to shaping the future of finance responsibly. The Sustainable Fintech Report 2023 reflects our dedication to fostering innovation and collaboration.
“As we navigate the intersection of finance and technology, we believe that a sustainable future is not just desirable – it’s essential. Through this report, we invite industry stakeholders to join us on this transformative journey towards a resilient and environmentally conscious financial landscape.”
This report features insights from:
- Heriot Watt University
- The Entertainer
- KARM Legal
- M2P Fintech
- BPC Fintech
- Codebase Technologies
- Marshal Fintech Partners
- Green Digital Finance Alliance
What is sustainable finance and its impact on the environment?
The report begins by establishing what sustainable finance is, identifying key trends in 2023 that have helped shape the ecosystem in the past year. These include consumer demand, honouring commitments, and moving on from greenwashing.
Gihan A.M Hyde, CEO and founder of CommUnique then identifies the challenges that many organisations are finding. This is quickly followed up by the importance of collaboration and partnerships, technology adoption, education and awareness, and green investments.
The report turns its focus to international frameworks and tools that can help with green fintech classification and landscape readiness assessments. The section is then finished off with a variety of case studies from Klarna, ekko, Neem and more.
Can’t forget social and governance
Many organisations can often forget about the S (social) in ESG, putting the majority of their efforts into environmental and governance programmes. However, a social focus is extremely important. Hyde once again establishes the common challenges that organisations face when looking to implement changes, before identifying three main ways this can change.
Firms can build internal capacities, enhance data collection and measurement, and embed social impact in organisational culture. Paymob then identifies how MENA fintechs can build trust and drive sustainable growth in the region.
Case studies on social importance from around the world are brought to the fore, prior to the final topic of the report: governance.
According to the Sustainable Fintech Report 2023, the main drivers for positive governance change are:
- setting clear ESG goals and metrics
- integrating ESG considerations into decision-making
- engaging with stakeholders
- collaborating with other organisations
The last of those points is especially important as the report explains the importance of fintechs in facilitating better governance through sustainable finance.
For the third and final time, it identifies case studies in the region and how firms have improved their governance efforts.