An industry-led initiative is aiming to connect Ukrainian refugees with career opportunities in the technology sector.

Fintech Without Frontiers, created by Ozone API, has called upon businesses in the UK to take part in the drive and match growth opportunities with talent displaced by the Russia conflict.

Ukraine is a centre of excellence and expertise in tech innovation, meaning that many refugees have skills which will be useful to fast-growing businesses. Fintech Without Frontiers says it will help people who have fled their homes to find work in the sector.

The initiative aims to support growth at participating FinTechs as well as giving career opportunities to those who have been forced to leave Ukraine. FinTech is a sector that is experiencing huge growth, with UK investment reaching $37.3 billion in 2021, up from $5.2bn in 2020. The industry is hungry for talent, with many career opportunities available to people with the right skills.

Companies that wish to support Fintech Without Frontiers can sign its manifesto and provide work opportunities that can be carried out remotely or with visa support.

The manifesto includes pledges to provide fair compensation, undertake an appropriate recruitment process, and work sensitively with candidates who may be interviewing in a second language or have endured trauma during the invasion.

Fintech Without Frontiers is an industry collective made up of companies including Ozone API, Moneyhub, RegAlytics, Allica Bank, Monese, Acin, Muse Finance, Ordo, Bloom Money, The Payments Association, Open Banking Excellence (OBE) and Innovate Finance.

“It’s heartbreaking to see the situation unfolding in Ukraine. We wanted to do something but we aren’t able to write big cheques like major corporations can,” said Huw Davies, co-founder and chief commercial officer of Ozone API. 

“What we can do though is hire talent. There are many more businesses like us in the fintech sector, so we felt we could do something positive by creating a collective and working together to expose all of the growth opportunities in the industry to the displaced talent when they start to rebuild their lives.”

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Moneyhub, an open data and payments platform, was one of the first supporters of Fintech Without Frontiers.

Samantha Seaton, CEO, said: “We have all watched in horror and disbelief at the events unfolding in Ukraine. It’s heartbreaking, and we’ve been looking for ways in which we can help those displaced in practical and immediate ways. The answer lies in collaboration.

“It’s touching to see the sector come together to create Fintech Without Frontiers so that those feeling conflict have a real opportunity to find employment in an exceptionally high-growth industry. 

“Displaced individuals need to be able to rebuild their lives and careers for a more stable future, and there is a huge opportunity for the fintech sector to help them do just that and have a positive impact.”

Helen Child, founder of Open Banking Excellence, said: “What words are left to describe the war in Ukraine? Horrific devastation doesn’t even come close. Some of the stories on the news have reduced me to tears and maybe you too. 

“Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the war. Overwhelmingly there is a desire to help. So how can we channel this sentiment to make a real difference?

“At Open Banking Excellence we believe in the true power of community and see the collective good collaboration brings. We are proud to be working with Fintech Without Frontiers. A remarkable idea brought to life by some truly dedicated people behind the scenes across fintech, all pulling together with a common purpose.

“It is a wonderful demonstration of how when you get great people together amazing things happen. It’s a privilege to be able to play a part in sharing more about Fintech Without Frontiers with our community. 

“Fintech thrives on talent, creating so many opportunities that can be resourced by Ukrainian refugees and providing new perspectives for employers, hope and opportunity for the brave hearted Ukrainians, who have already taught us so much.”