SAN FRANCISCO, April 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — LendUp, a fast-growing U.S. fintech firm focused on improving financial inclusion, joined a recent U.S. Trade Mission to Qatar, organized by the U.S.-Qatar Business Council, a U.S.-based nonprofit trade association and the premier vehicle for enhancing bilateral understanding, trade and investment between the U.S. and Qatar.
During the five days of meetings, executives from LendUp and a diverse group of public and private sector organizations met with Qatari business leaders and government agencies to learn about the growth of U.S.-Qatar business relationships and opportunities for collaboration. The delegation met with Qatar’s Minister of Economy and Commerce; the Ministry of Finance; the Qatar Business Chamber; the Qatar Development Bank, which has a focus on fintech and technology broadly; QIA, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world; and the Qatar Foundation, which has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to American communities in need, such as New Orleans and cities in Texas impacted by natural disasters.
Delegation participants included top African American leaders in real estate development, venture capital, private equity, and entertainment — as well as NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson and Xavier University President Dr. C. Reynold Verret, and attendees from the National Minority Quality Forum and many other business and civic organizations.
“I now have a better understanding of the region and the priorities of the Qatari government and business leaders. I was impressed by their development of Education City, which hosts top U.S. universities including Georgetown, my alma mater, and which graduates more women than men. I was equally impressed by their passion across business growth and on issues around economic inequality — an issue at the heart of what LendUp is looking to solve,” said Sasha Orloff, co-founder and CEO of LendUp.
“Like the U.S., Qatar has a large workforce population similar to what we call the Emerging Middle Class — the half of Americans without access to traditional financial services,” said Jotaka Eaddy, Vice President of Policy, Strategic Engagement and Impact at LendUp, and a former longtime NAACP executive. “The country’s commitment to new financial technologies and financial inclusion is compelling. I was encouraged by Qatar’s interest in working with business and community leaders in the U.S. focused on bringing impact to financially underserved communities, and Iook forward to continuing the dialogue and exploring areas of collaboration.”
The Trade Mission follows the Inaugural U.S.-Qatar Strategic Dialogue, which took place January 30th in Washington, DC and laid out Qatar’s commitment to investing in the U.S. The recent Trade Mission capitalized on that momentum and opened discussion around investments in the delegates’ cities, states, and industries. Following the Trade Mission, Eaddy will participate in the upcoming U.S. Qatar Business Forum in Miami, to further the discussions.