North South Opportunity Profile

The North Remembers (again)

Following the series of successful Fintech North events and in anticipation of the forthcoming one in Liverpool, (12th June) we posed a couple of questions to our contributor network, asking what the greatest opportunities for the tech and fintech ecosystems are in the North. And to keep the scale straight, what the most significant limitations are. The responses form a series of articles highlighting the North South divide from the fintech sector perspective, and provide opportunity for those keen and willing to take it. Here’s the first of the series:

What are the Norths greatest opportunities?

“…the North has a much lower cost of living and operating than the South. This coupled with the fact that the North has great universities producing the talent of tomorrow means the opportunity is there for the North to stake its claim to be major player in the fintech industry.” Paul Battye, Moorlands Human Capital

 And on the flip side… What are the Norths most significant limitations?

“…The biggest limitation to fintech in the North is the potential for brain drain to the South. The universities produce first rate graduates but often these graduates don’t know where to find jobs in fintech in the North. As such these graduates drift to the South for work. We in the North need to be better at shouting from the rooftops about our successes and ensure that Northern business successes are known. Businesses need to be better at forming links with universities and other talent incubators to ensure that they can attract the best and the brightest and keep that talent in the North.” Paul Battye, Moorlands Human Capital

Analysis: There’s a clear situation here. The limitation Paul identifies is the inversion of one of the opportunities he identifies, that being the talent pipeline coming from Universities. This potential strength, the input of graduate talent into the fintech ecosystem, becomes a limitation when not nurtured. The talent is here, there’s the opportunity. The talent will go South if not given space to operate in. And there’s the threat. The clear and obvious answer it to nurture the opportunity into a greater strength. In practice this ideally means connecting the Universities with the Fintech ecosystem, and crucially, connecting the students with the fintech companies before they graduate and move South. To further widen the talent pipeline the fintech companies could be included in the lectures and course modules, thereby increasing relevancy and modernity of learning for the students, amplifying employability and providing for a healthy flow of informed graduates directly into the commercial ecosystem. Let’s engage this opportunity and see how it develops…

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