Phillip Jarman, (Full-Time MBA 2015) came to study at the Business School after more than seven years in financial services. “I could see how the industry was being affected by technology and I wanted to be on the right side of that technological change. Imperial was therefore the perfect place to be.” He is now using his experience, knowledge and contacts to utilise innovative blockchain technology to eradicate property fraud in emerging markets in Africa. “This new approach should solve a huge issue that will positively impact people’s lives globally.”
Phillip was keen to make the most of every opportunity while studying at the Business School. “The technical reputation of the College and the outstanding reputation of the teaching faculty within the Business School was a big draw for me. I took a joint honours social science degree so wanted to meet some engineers and leave my comfort zone – which I absolutely did! We had a fantastic cohort with the old adage holding true – I learnt as much from my peers as I did from the course itself. The academics were incredibly approachable and I’ve maintained close links with many of them.”
As Head of Strategy and Business Development for BenBen International Ltd, Phillip’s current challenge is raising $180k in funding. The company has already had great success with “an Angel Investor committing a significant amount”, as well as the support of the Cambridge Social Ventures (CSV) incubator programme . They are currently looking for investment from The Gates Foundation, CGAP with the World Bank, Carios Society and the European Micro-Finance Award, including an intensive and challenging application process for Barclays Techstars in Cape Town.
“One of the main challenges we face is convincing individuals who don’t know the market we are currently focusing on (Africa) that’s it’s a market worth investing in. There are huge risks to investing in Africa. But there are also huge opportunities.
“I love the fact I think about what I do all the time. This is because I am hugely passionate about what we are doing and what we are trying to achieve. As a team, we have defined what that success looks like and working super hard to achieve it.
“The Business School Alumni network has been a valuable asset, not only in terms of networking with potential investors, but also being able to leverage the Imperial brand.”
You can find out more about BenBen by visiting benben.com.gh