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Why I Believe in Mission-Driven Businesses

Paul Barnes-Hoggett

How do we make a meaningful difference at work? Paul Barnes-Hoggett's passion for making a difference led him to co-found a mission-driven banking platform. Paul Barnes-Hoggett is the co-founder and CTO at Daylight, the first and only digital banking platform in the U.S. specifically designed for the LGBTQ+ community.

What do you think of when you hear a company is “mission driven”? Admittedly, the label is overused as of late. But for those of us who seek out mission driven work, finding a job that aligns with our values is more important than ever. I’ve always gravitated towards work that I find meaningful.

I’ve been in America now for about 17 years. I came over as a freelance engineer, initially working for a consulting group building prototypes for financial institutions building for the future of retail banking. Over the course of that work, I found myself working alongside the consulting group at Adobe and eventually helped open the New York offices of their consulting group.

Around that time, I realized that I wanted to use my skills to do some good in the world. I realized I could affect the most impact in the world by working at a venture backed startup. Because mission-driven organizations can only help others if they survive–so they need to make money. We are not going to be rewarded by the capital markets if they don’t see our opportunity to make money, and then we wouldn’t be able to have the impact we hope to have on our community.

So I knew the how of what I wanted my next move, but I didn’t quite know what problem I actually wanted to solve. I left Adobe, took a sabbatical for about a year, and then spent a couple of years consulting for early stage startups.

Fast forward to my current role, where I found the ideal mix of mission-driven and the ability to impact change. I am the co-founder and CTO of Daylight, the first and only digital banking platform in the U.S. specifically designed for the LGBTQ+ community by the LGBTQ+ community. Daylight provides the queer community with the financial tools and products they need to live their best life. We’re excited to be launching Daylight Grow in the new year. We will be helping the queer community with all aspects of family building, helping you navigate through the family creation, legal and financial hurdles unique to our community.

It’s no surprise that engineers have their pick of roles within the tech industry–the need for developers is universal and constantly growing. Therefore, we have tremendous privilege, and in my opinion, a responsibility to think about what it is you want to do with our talent. Coding is an inherently creative pursuit. When technical talent joins an organization, they help shape the future.

My question for you: what would future you be proud of?

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