From education to employment

Woman behind sustainable investing app encourages females in tech

Nikki Hawkes of Stratiphy

An economics graduate who first traded in the stock market as a schoolgirl is behind the development of an app to encourage sustainable investing (@stratiphy).

Nikki Hawkes, 26, is the co-founder of Stratiphy, which has raised more than £440,000 in crowdfunding from 700 investors in 53 countries.

And Nikki is part of HerJuno, which strives to close the gender money gap by teaching all those who identify as women all they need to know about money and investing.

Nikki, who has featured on Women in Tech, which showcases female talent in the field and specialises in gender diversity attraction and inclusion, said: “We could raise awareness about the field in various ways to encourage women to pursue a career in tech.

“I think it’s important to see role models in tech, particularly as founders, investors and builders of products.”

Environmentally friendly investing

Stratiphy allows users to customise their preferences, so they can choose Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) options.

It introduces beginners to investing with an education in portfolio risk management. Users have control over their investment – without high fees of professional guidance.

Nikki, who has worked in finance, said: “We want to help people invest sustainably and safely by themselves.”

And she has first-hand experience after she invested a month’s wage as a 14-year-old lifeguard – and soon learned to manage risk and spread money across a range of shares.

She said: “I watched my hard-earned money lose value and quickly learned to analyse the market and have patience.”

With an economics and actuarial science degree from the University of Southampton, Nikki worked as an actuary at a life and pensions operations centre.

It was here she saw the benefits of ESG investments and, following the successful sale of her sporting events company, decided to set up in this field.


More women than ever are working in IT roles across the UK and now make up a record 20 per cent of the specialist IT workforce – according to new analysis from BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

However women, and particularly black women, are still under-represented in IT.  

Julia Adamson, Director for Education at BCS, said: “Continuing to close the diversity gap is key to an IT industry that is professional, highly skilled and ethical.”

Nikki wants to dispel myths that tech is ‘dry’ or ‘void of creativity’, which can be off-putting for women considering getting into the industry. Instead she believes the focus could be on solving problems for the future of our world.

Reducing time, effort and risk

Nikki Hawkes and Daniel Gold of Stratiphy.

Nikki, who has worked on projects to reduce carbon footprints both at home and abroad, met her business partner, Daniel Gold, on the start-up community platform Angel Co.

They joined forces to create an app which can create investment strategies according to risk profile, industry preferences and sustainability criteria.

Nikki said: “We couldn’t meet in person due to lockdown, but we clicked instantly. We are both keen to make investing accessible and sustainable.

“Investing doesn’t have to be daunting. We support seasoned investors and newcomers alike.”

Stratiphy, which has a team of advisors from banking and fintech backgrounds, has already won a contract with Sustainalytics, the global leader in ESG research and data.

And the start-up, which came through the South West’s SETsquared accelerator programme, is growing its team and waiting list to use the app next year

Sustainability projects

Nikki Hawkes in the ‘Ocean 8 challenge’ to raise awareness of environmental issues.

Nikki was part of a university team to come first worldwide in an academic and business sustainability project called Enactus.

The team developed a solar lighting project based in Kenya, which helped tackle kerosine pollution and provided affordable lighting.

She also took part in a university project in Indonesia to reduce carbon footprint and combat change. Nikki takes part in various campaigning events – from swimming in the sea and picking up litter as part of ‘Ocean 8 challenge’ to dressing up as a giant plastic bottle and running 10 miles a day for 10 days for ‘no excuse for single use’ against plastic pollution campaign’.

Nikki Hawkes dressed as a plastic bottle to raise awareness of single-use and plastic pollution.

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