Sharia-compliant crowdfunder and Islamic Finance Council UK rewarded by ADIB-Thomson Reuters Ethical Finance Innovation Challenge and Awards

The Islamic Finance Council UK and crowdfunding platform Narwi were recognised at this year’s prestigious Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB)- Thomson Reuters Ethical Finance Innovation Challenge Awards (EFICA), while former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was presented with a lifetime achievement award.

“The Ethical Finance Innovation Awards are the culmination of our efforts to seek out, reward, and encourage innovation and an ethical mindset in the financial community,” said ADIB CEO Tirad Al Mahmoud. “Our winners are the future of the finance industry and thought leaders for a world in which working for profit and working for social good can and should be one and the same. When we make ethical actions our primary goal, both as individuals and as guardians of our customers’ financial well-being, everyone benefits. Those recognized at these third annual EFICA awards have not only shown this to be true, they have taken bold new steps in expanding the possibilities of ethical finance.”

Nadim Najjar, Managing Director, Middle East and North Africa, Thomson Reuters said “Working with ADIB to offer the ethical finance and innovation awards was a natural partnership for Thomson Reuters . Opening the world’s eyes to the importance of ethically sound finance is neither a small nor straightforward task. Any steps we can take to encourage and support the creation of new ideas in ethical finance show the true power the financial community holds to promote social good. The EFICA awards are a significant step in that direction.”

Keynote speaker Mohammed Younis praised the winners and nominees for their creative approaches to addressing social issues through ethical finance, saying “My greatest challenge has been to change the mindset of people. This is why it is so enriching to see initiatives, such as EFICA, that are focused on driving change across the industry and being a force for social good. By working together and collaborating across the industry, we can create a different kind of business – a business based on selflessness.”

The Islamic finance Industry Development award was accepted on behalf of the Islamic Finance Council UK (IFC) by advisory members Omar Sheikh and Chris Tate. Founded in 2005, the IFC is a UK based not-for-profit specialist advisory and development body established to promote and enhance the global Islamic and ethical finance industry. Within the UK, the Council pioneered the Ethical Finance Roundtable (EFRT) series, which brings together a broad section of stakeholders in the ethical finance industry sector over a systematic, structured and regular basis. The IFC initiated the first ever joint venture between Islamic finance and the Church, facilitating the House of Lords interfaith roundtable – the first time the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, addressed a forum on Islamic and ethical finance.

Mohammad Raafi Hossain, program manager of Qatar-based Narwi, accepted the Ethical Finance Initiative Award on behalf of the crowdfunding platform. Narwi is a non-profit Islamic crowdfunding platform which allows donors to support micro-entrepreneurs of their choice by establishing an endowment, or ‘Narwi-Waqf,’ with as little as USD 25. Narwi uses a revolving donations model: users make an initial donation to establish a ‘Narwi-Waqf’, which then enables them to finance Shariah-compliant loans to beneficiaries. When the beneficiary repays the original loan, the donation moves on to support other beneficiaries selected by the donors. Narwi was created to address the problem of youth unemployment in the Arab world by providing young entrepreneurs easier access to financing.

Former UN Secretary General and Nobel Peace Laureate Kofi Annan was named as the recipient of the lifetime achievement award for his countless contributions to promoting ethical actions and behaviors in the world today. He is founder and Chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation, which works to promote better global governance and strengthen the capacities of people and countries to achieve a fairer, more peaceful world. He currently serves on the board of directors of the United Nations Foundation, a public charity which builds and implements public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems. In 2000 he initiated the UN Millenium Development Goals, and the United Nations Global Compact which was officially launched at UN headquarters in New York. The latter is a principle-based framework for businesses, which aims to catalyse actions in support of broader UN goals, such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Over 200 submissions were received for the Ethical Finance Initiative Award, and the Islamic Finance Industry Development Award. Six finalists were selected following presentations to the EFICA advisory board, which included financial experts and Islamic scholars. Nominees for the Lifetime Achievement Award were evaluated based on their overall social impact and contributions to the Islamic finance industry.

Thomson Reuters and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) initially partnered in 2013 to launch the world’s first Ethical Finance Innovation Challenge and Awards (EFICA) to inspire and recognise fresh ways of thinking and promote the most dynamic actionable solutions that advance ethics in the world’s financial services. Since then, EFICA has honored eight different individuals and organizations for their work in advancing the principles of ethical finance around the world. Past winners have hailed from numerous countries including Sudan, Pakistan, France and Egypt.

For more information about EFICA please visit:


About ADIB
Abu Dhabi Islamic bank is one of the leading Islamic financial institutions operating in the Middle East. Awarded internationally for its excellence, ADIB offers a full suite of banking, financing, equity, and investment services, all in accordance with Islamic-Sharia principles. Established in 1997, the company now serves over 815,000 customers through a network of 88 branches and more than 700 ATMs, as well as online and mobile applications, making it one of the six largest banking networks in the UAE. ADIB caters to a variety of sectors through its network of personal, business, and wholesale banks, and offers dedicated services for financial institutions and the government and public sectors. ADIB continues to build its presence internationally in countries such as Egypt, in which it has 70 branches, as well as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Sudan, Iraq and Qatar. The company was established on 20th May 1997 following the Emiri Decree No. 9 of 1997 and was formally inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan on 18th April 1999. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank stock (ADX: ADIB) is listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.

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© Press Release 2015

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