Maud Cayo had just graduated from her business school when this young 27-year-old French-Iranian with strong environmental convictions had the idea of starting a green neobank. And it is on this Monday, June 13th, that Green-Got opens its doors after three years of development.
This project has already made a lot of noise, and in 2021 Maud Kayo was named among the “30 under 30” by Forbes. Its goal is to put finance at the service of the ecological transition by redirecting investment away from fossil fuels. – like most conventional banks – but for projects like agroforestry and coral conservation.
One number changed everything. “When I learned that there was only a 6°C difference between the current and the last ice age, I compared this with the +2, +3 and even +4 degrees predicted by scientists and realized that without concrete action, everything had to change. A real ecological slap in the face,” she recalls.
His fear: to witness irreversible upheavals throughout the world in his lifetime. And especially to see how her native Burgundy, which she loves to survey during long walks in nature and which she paints with watercolors in her free time, becomes less green and depopulates with her fauna.
Until the end of things
To act, Maud Kayo first informed herself. “Maud was always curious about everything,” recalls her friend Alice Mevel. Already during the preparation, she had this spirit of protest, which always made her doubt everything and go to the end to form an opinion. »
In the course of her discoveries on the subject, she realizes that “what was the tendons of war was money, and behind the money were the banks,” she says.
Graduating in 2019, she joined forces with Andrea Ganovelli and Fabien Huet to create Green-Got with more than a talking slogan: “Change banks to change the world.”
However, in the early years, Maud Cayo didn’t necessarily want to start her own business, much less in the world of finance. “Very fashionable,” she readily admits, she first turned to design while studying at the Grenoble Ecole de Management. And it was in luxury that she passed her first internships. “But I quickly cut him off. This universe with its “Devil Wears Prada” vibe was not what I wanted,” she says.
Guided by strong female models such as her mother, a doctor and a grandmother who works in real estate in the United States and her “risk nothing, win nothing” mantra, she therefore opted for finance. “A world that I knew almost nothing about, very masculine and which often made me fail. But it was there that it was necessary to act in priority. »
How much to give out my money. Information
Too young, too feminine, too eco-friendly… Maud Cayo held on, though. “Firstly, because I knew that the cause was on my side,” she explains. And that’s because his strong character finally opened the door for him. Like this time, when she went to a meeting of heads of small and medium-sized businesses and large companies just to talk about ecology. “I had nothing to sell, only my speech,” she said. And finally, it happened: several leaders called me again to hold conferences at their homes. »
Since then, Maud Cayo has sought to bring public attention to her cause. She wrote for FinanceMag to draw attention to the links between finance and climate change and created the website CommentEmetMonArgent. Information. Through Youtube, Linkedin, Instagram and Tik Tok, she talks about green finance and has built a community of 130,000 people “without spending a single euro on ads,” she says. Before opening on Monday, Green-Got already had 3,000 test customers and 25,000 pre-registered on the waiting list.