It’s been a rough last couple of years with the pandemic and all of its economic and relational fallout. However, I’ve noticed that whenever you get handed a lot of negatives, there’s always at least a few positives that come with the bundle.
Recently, I spent some time with entrepreneurs from the Entrepreneur Access Network and Winning Women program. Some of these folks had emerged with a great idea that coincided with the pandemic timeline. Others experienced growth spurts in the last couple years.
However, across the board, as I connected with these entrepreneurs it was amazing to see the strength that has emerged from difficult times. I was deeply impressed by these entrepreneurs and how, during a tough time for our entire world, they were able to stay focused, determined, and innovative as a means for powering through it.
Listed below are some examples of amazing companies that caught my eye as noteworthy innovators growing during a time of widespread doubt and uncertainty.
Brim Financial, one of the fastest-growing FinTechs in Canada, has its own business-to-consumer issuance license. Brim provides its financial technology platform as a business-to-business service for financial institutions and large commercial partners. Brim delivers an innovative suite of products and cards, integrated “Buy Now, Pay Later” solutions, mobile and digital banking, and behavior-driven customer engagement — all embedded within a global rewards ecosystem.
To its credit, My Home Pathway strongly believes that homeownership isn’t just a right for the fortunate few. Their business model is built on the notion that homeownership is an achievable goal for all Americans. They put their money where their ideals are, regardless of credit score, student loan balance, or how much wealth one comes from. They’re building a game-changing company on the idea that with the right tools, education, and guidance, they can positively impact the financial health of generations to come through the power of homeownership.
Penserra is an institutional financial services firm which includes global equity trading, fixed income trading, investment banking, ETF subadvising, transition management, and equity research. The folks at Penserra work to develop partnerships, challenge conventional thinking, work with relentless tenacity and act with integrity, empathy and conviction. Penserra is a minority business enterprise, but what really caught my attention is their commitment to sound business ethics and socially responsible practices.
RedSwan CRE is a property technology (PropTech) company. They seek to service all investors but work to elevate the inclusion of minority investors who are currently underserved in the industry. The RedSwan vision is to attract the world’s best projects for tokenization and become the largest commercial real estate marketplace of digital security tokens. RedSwan plans to make institutional projects more accessible and affordable, accelerating the demand for commercial real estate investments with digital capital markets funding.
Many of us hit up Mom and Dad when we were buying our first car. Perhaps it’s no surprise that approximately one in three financial loans taking place in the U.S. is relationship-based, meaning that someone is borrowing money from someone else that they know personally. Zirtue is accessing that niche market by making it simpler for borrowers to get the funds they need, track their payments, and stay accountable. By offering an increased level of transparency, Zirtue is helping people get the funds they need without introducing awkwardness into relationships.
This is exciting for those of us bored by drudgery. As of this writing, Veritas Automata (VA) is still in the process of spinning off from its sister company, but the plan for VA is to leverage artificial intelligence-fueled algorithms, Blockchain tech, and advanced hardware integration to blend the behavior (e.g., automata) of software, hardware, and human experience into autonomous and trusted automation. Without removing the intentions of human beings, VA is looking to make rote procedures and processes less burdensome and more, well, autonomous.
Overall, it was great to see two programs that support entrepreneurial groups of people that have pushed through the pandemic in a creative way. As we try to move past this rough time, it’s nice to be inspired by those entrepreneurs innovating even during the toughest times.