Javette Nixon — Serving The UnderservedWednesday, October 27, 2021
President and CEO of Esther Finance Limited Javette Nixon has always been fascinated by technology and was fortunate enough to nurture this interest by learning digital skills through access to a computer lab at his high school.
The end of Nixon's high school tenure coincided with the emergence of digital companies across the world. While this evolution was not prevalent in Jamaica, Nixon admits that he had always kept abreast of how the world and the Caribbean environment were being affected digitally. Interestingly, he pursued studies in the social sciences, but he always found himself working and interacting closely with technology. His experience working with a “cutting edge” mortgage brokerage company in the United States exposed him to remote working and using social media before it became mainstream. This opportunity broadened Nixon's perspective on how social media could be leveraged to provide better marketing.
Having experienced the impact of digital first-hand, Nixon came back to Jamaica and started working at a leading fintech company in sales and marketing, where he recounts communicating and insisting on the need to incorporate digital processes into the company's strategy. His scope of work also found him interacting with the technologists in the company to understand the product in order to communicate the benefits to clients further, while giving him insight into the tech space.
Nixon's entrepreneurial journey has always centred around serving the underserved, which started with his first company Point Global Marketing. Inspired by his mother, Esther Finance is a financial inclusion firm that has recently launched Eve — a Caribbean-based, peer-to-peer lending platform. The opportunity for financial services to be mutually beneficial emerged, and Nixon believes that this type of interaction will become the most disruptive in the fintech space, particularly for microfinancing.
As a consummate Caribbean native with international experience, Nixon has a deep understanding of how Caribbean nationals use social financial interactions, such as “partner” plans, which allowed his company to leverage a community-based approach to financial services. The company also uses artificial intelligence tools to map data points that capture an individual's online user behaviour and documents like bank statements to create a social graph that makes an integrated risk assessment. He also believes that the technological era allows his company to scale in an agile way, take an iterative approach to build technology, have dispersed technology teams, and benefit from the gig and sharing economy while still being driven by insights into the Caribbean context.
Esther Finance has successfully engaged in a seed round, allowing the company to reach its funding target to support continuous learning of the peer-to-peer scope. The company is also currently building out the technology and their tech team to offer the service. Esther Finance is also working on upcoming initiatives and acquisitions to support the peer-to-peer platform's ability to disrupt the space.
Nixon believes that it is important to cultivate positive interactions with people by being genuinely helpful. He is always thrilled by solving complex problems because he thinks it allows one to grow, and the skills learnt are invaluable. Additionally, being curious and investing in areas of one's interest pays “dividends”, Nixon notes.