Forefront Communications

Finovate: Women in Fintech: Surround Yourself With the Best-In-Class

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Sam Belden

Sam Belden

Adding to our line up of leading women in fintech, we speak to Emma Margetts, Head of European Operations at Visible Alpha, about how she made it in the financial services space, having started out at just 16 years old.

Finovate: How did you start your career?

Emma Margetts: While growing up in South Africa, I always had a passion for capital markets and entrepreneurship. I started investing in the stock markets at 16 years old and later started the non-profit Business Learning Network, the first women’s accelerator for female entrepreneurs in the townships of South Africa. Straight after university, I moved to London and worked in asset management for five years. This is where I met my co-founders for Alpha Exchange and the idea for our company was born.

Finovate: What sparked your interest in fintech?

EM: I’ve always loved the financial markets coupled with knowing definitively that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. The problem was: I didn’t know where to start. Many people starting out in fintech ask me if it’s possible to run a tech company without being technical. Well, if you don’t count being able to turn an iPhone on or off as technical, then “yes.” The truth is, I surrounded myself with a best-in-class co-founding team with complementary skill sets, which proved to be the optimal way forward. I had the vision and drive to make up for the shortfalls in my technical skills. But even so, it was an extreme learning trajectory for the first 18 months.

Finovate: What inspires you?

EM: I surround myself with people who approach life with passion and enthusiasm. I get so much out of this – I think that kind of energy is contagious and necessary in life. I’m inspired by remarkable people who are courageous and brave. My mum is one of these people. She is a strong woman who has faced entrepreneurship battles whilst raising a family and being a constant source of excitement in my life!

To read the full interview, click here.