Women in FinTech: Simona Vaitkune, founder and CEO of FAST INVEST
Simona Vaitkune is the founder and CEO of FAST INVEST, an innovation-driven P2P lending investment platform.
The company has grown from a single bold business idea into a global operation with a presence in the UK - and over 27,000 customers.
How Vaitkune’s career began
In 2015, Simona Vaitkune was an ambitious and driven individual working in the lending sector. Her personal need to create an additional income stream led to an in-depth investigation of the available options – and a gap in the market became apparent.
Investing was too complicated and not widely accessible. Those who wanted to create passive income had to know a great deal about the investment sector - or they would get lost in the jargon. Investors also had to have a hefty sum to start with, making it impossible to begin investing if you didn’t already have money.
Vaitkune, a young, creative and challenge-driven individual with experience in the lending sector decided to use her creativity, knowledge, and ambition to fill this gap.
She vowed to create a platform, which makes investing accessible to those who want to set themselves up for greater financial security in the future but don’t know much about the industry - and may not have much money to start with.
And that’s how FAST INVEST was born.
Challenging herself – and the status quo
There is no better way to grow as a leader than by challenging yourself, Vaitkune believes. Fast Invest was the perfect opportunity to leave her comfort zone, time and time again. The P2P lending sector was still a novelty, so her decisions needed to be quick, daring, and inventive.
She set herself an ambitious goal to successfully establish an organization in a very male-dominated industry, without the background or even the appearance many would expect from a CEO in the FinTech sector.
Before FAST INVEST saw the light of day, Vaitkune admits to receiving very little support from people around her. Her idea and work were repeatedly dismissed, and she had to endure the “I can’t see how this is going to work” conversation many times.
She remembers it as one of the biggest challenges she had to overcome – but also as something that taught her of the importance of perseverance.
Breaking gender and age stereotypes
Vaitkune’s career has been exceptional not only because of her leading role at a FinTech company but also because she is breaking the age stereotype of someone in a top management position.
She laughs when speaking about the way she is met by surprised faces in business events – because she looks nothing like your typical leader of a financial company.
Vaitkune’s career is an excellent example of promoting a diverse and inclusive finance industry.
Thriving in her role
Despite receiving very little support at the start, Vaitkune thrives in her role as a CEO. Her passion and devotion for her company lead to continuous expansion to new countries and regions – and she is a great role model for women entrepreneurs everywhere.
Her close bond with the team who share the same goals and values make FAST INVEST an incredibly positive, pioneering and truly global FinTech company.
Vaitkune’s advice for women in the FinTech industry
“Women are outnumbered in the industry – but the truth is, no-one will get you to the top but yourself.
I believe in truly immersing yourself in the job – and that this time and energy you’ve invested pays off.
Women in FinTech need to focus on acquiring extensive knowledge and skills - and not be afraid to admit that they have this knowledge under their belt.
It’s important to own your ambition – and accept your leadership potential.
The key to succeeding as a woman in FinTech? To me, it’s perseverance – and loving what you do.”