Dubai, Uae (PressExposure) April 14, 2013 -- Growing numbers of professionals are choosing to set off on their own rather than join an Islamic bank. With hiring at an all time low, and an overall sense that banks are not the place where the bigger problems of humanity get solved, a new kind of professional is quietly emerging: the Islamic finance entrepreneur. Young, savvy, and jaded, they want to change the world on their terms without the confinement of a stratified corporate environment.
Whereas before the late 1990s starting up a company required a level of financial commitment that exceeded the wherewithal of most start-ups, professionals around the world are now realizing that the Internet has opened up a host of possibilities affecting funding, marketing, executing, and distributing a product or service.
"The personal satisfaction experienced in setting up Youthschool, an Islamic micro-finance based charity that supports young entrepreneurs in under-developed nations - is beyond words," says Ahmed Ali Khan, an Ethica graduate from London.
With the emergence of Islamic finance entrepreneurs, what may be happening in Islamic finance is something that has already happened in other sectors. For instance, media went from mainstream paid-for print (i.e. major newspapers and magazines) to the exact opposite: very small scale, lower priced or free, online efforts (i.e. websites, blogs, and related media). This "long-tailing" of the media industry has not hit banking. Yet.
While media deals in information and ideas, banks deal in money, a highly regulated commodity. Even so, if the successes of smaller players like PayPal, Kiva, and various community-based currencies are anything to go by, banking may also soon undergo its own cataclysms. And entrepreneurs, such as those in the Islamic finance industry, will be poised to seize their opportunity.
One example of how this new generation of Islamic finance entrepreneurs is being supported comes from Dubai. Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance, the leading Islamic finance certification provider, is embarking on a series of new initiatives designed to support entrepreneurs. "At Ethica, we want to provide Islamic finance entrepreneurs with a practical set of tools to be able to create products and services on their own. We intend to provide a training and certification platform for entrepreneurs to be able to deliver small-scale, replicable - and ideally scalable - Islamic finance solutions."
Perhaps the continuing global financial crisis comes with the silver lining of this happy irony: that a new entrepreneurial culture of creativity and independence will help us move away from our collective dependence on banks, the ones who brought us the financial crisis in the first place.