Programmes
Faculty & Research
Community
Oxford
The School
Oxford BA in Economics and Management

Oxford BA in Economics and Management

News

Meet the millennials making property investment affordable for younger generations
01
Mar
2017

UOWN is a Fintech start up founded by two brothers, Haaris and Shaan Ahmed. Haaris studied the Oxford BA in Economics and Management at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, and Shaan is an alumnus of the London School of Economics. The brothers are on a mission to share the benefits of property investment to new generations of investors by dramatically reducing the minimum level of investment.

‘We come from a family that has enjoyed the fruits of property investing,’ explained Shaan, ‘my Grandfather came from Malawi in the seventies with cash in his suitcase and bought a house, and that investment turned into a property portfolio that has provided for the family. So we know property investment can be really rewarding. But we also understand that it is not easy to go into, especially for younger generations.’

UOWN works by allowing individuals to invest in property by purchasing or trading individual shares, and the platform currently allows investments from as little as twenty pounds. ‘Home ownership has halved among twenty-five year olds, because prices are rising much higher than wages. By opening up property investment at twenty pounds, people can put what is left of their wage into property, where it can grow at a far higher rate than in a savings account. We see it as a way to get a foot on the property ladder without having to save for a deposit, which can take decades,’ said Haaris.

An important strategy the brothers have adopted is to strip the jargon from property investment, and a browse of their website reveals a striking difference in tone and language from traditional finance companies. ‘Our family are proud of our Yorkshire roots, and as Yorkshiremen myself and Haaris believe in plain speaking,’ said Shaan. Financial companies often ‘pitch themselves as experts and use jargon extensively,’ added Haaris, ‘and this overuse of complex financial terminology acts as a barrier to everyday people. That’s something we want to do differently.’

Haaris believes that his BA in Economics and Management has been essential to the brother’s venture. ‘The breadth of the course and modules taught me the broad skill set I needed to be an entrepreneur. It gives you confidence to succeed,’ he said.

‘I respect the depth of knowledge Haaris has a gained  from his course and that it has enabled him to think innovatively,’ said Shaan, ‘my Grandfather always says success breeds success, and Oxford is such a successful institution, you can’t help but be influenced by it.’

When it comes to future plans, the brothers are ambitious: ‘we are both young and idealistic,’ said Haaris, ‘we want to expand geographically and in terms of the investments that we offer, and we would eventually like UOWN to become a platform from which you can purchase an affordable share in just about anything. This kind of investment certainly isn’t available to the less wealthy end of the market right now, and we have the potential to change that.’

Oxford BA in Economics and Management

A stimulating undergraduate degree that sets out to examine issues central to the world we live in.