Powerlist 2020: LBS alumnus tops ranking

07 Nov 2019


WorldRemit founder and LBS Changemaker Ismail Ahmed DLEMBA2010, has been named the most influential black Briton for 2020

Ismail Ahmed

First published in 2007, the Powerlist 2020 aims to provide professional role models for young people of African and African Caribbean heritage. This year it includes Edward Enninful, Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue and rapper Stormzy.

Ahmed grew up in Hargeisa, the capital of the Somaliland, a region defined by remittances.

He fled the country in 1988 when war broke out and went to London to study. To fund his education, he worked a number of different jobs and discovered that sending some of that money home to help his family was much more difficult and costly than he felt it needed to be.

In an interview with London Business School Review earlier this year, he said: “I wanted to send money regularly, but the banks often couldn’t do it because many recipients are unbanked. So, I relied on costly and inconvenient informal networks and agents. It could take weeks for the money to arrive – if it got there at all.”

Inspired by this experience, he founded WorldRemit in 2010. Today it is a global company, sending money from more than 50 countries to almost 150 countries, making it possible for people living in the most remote parts of the world to receive money directly to their mobile phone.

The fast-growing digital money transfer business now has more than 3.5 million customers and 720 employees worldwide.

Even though it has not yet turned a profit, it has been hailed as ‘a unicorn in waiting’ – a firm worth at least $1 billion (£750 million).

Powerlist 2020: LBS alumnus tops ranking

07 Nov 2019

WorldRemit founder and LBS Changemaker Ismail Ahmed DLEMBA2010, has been named the most influential black Briton for 2020

Read now