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Tariq Fancy

Ex-Wall Street Star turned Non-Profit Social Entrepreneur, CEO of the Rumie Initiative

After creating one billion in profit for investors as youngest Partner at a Wall Street firm, Tariq shocked his peers by leaving to pursue a new goal of helping one billion children receive an education through his award-winning low-cost technology approach. In 2013 Tariq founded Rumie, a non-profit organisation that uses low-cost technology to provide access to education for underprivileged children around the globe. Rumie was awarded the Best Social Startup award at the 2014 Startup Open.  

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Applying business principles to help humanity Corporate Social Responsibility is a growing  trend across many industries. As a former senior-level Wall Street investment banker, Tariq shares his experience in making the switch from generating one-billion in profit to helping one-billion people – all using the same business principles.  The realities of contributing to social good differ across non-profit and for-profit markets and Tariq’s perspective is one that appeals to business people who want to make a greater humanitarian impact.

Using Technology to Multiply Social Value (and Make Access to Education Equal) Tariq shares the common principles behind how we can use technology to build massive and transformational impact. At Rumie, Tariq’s ed tech social startup, the mission is  to bring free digital educational content to the world’s underprivileged children. Their  first generation $50 device included content (books, encyclopedias, etc) that just 10 years ago used to cost over $5,000 to produce. That 100x value multiplier led Rumie to be named the World’s Best Social Startup in 2014. Tariq will talk you through how to use business principles and technology as a means to make significant social change.


Library of Congress Literacy Award

Toronto Star | 10 Torontonians to watch

Best Social Startup Award

  • I was very impressed by Tariq himself, what he had accomplished both academically and business-wise and that he was pushing that aside to lead the charge on trying to educate parts of the world that don’t have access to schools and regular education.

    - Chairman, McEwen Mining

Summary Profile

Tariq Fancy founded The Rumie Initiative after a notable career at the intersection of finance, technology and emerging markets. His successful business career and unique decision to found Rumie has been chronicled in extensive case studies published by both Harvard Business School and INSEAD Business School.

Prior to Rumie, Tariq led a successful career in finance, beginning as a Palo Alto-based technology investment banker in the group that led the IPOs of Google, Amazon and Cisco. He next joined NYC-based private equity firm MHR Fund Management, where he became the firm’s youngest partner in 2006 after leading numerous successful turnarounds of technology companies. He subsequently spent two years at CPP Investment Board in Toronto, Canada, helping to create and invest in new credit strategies for the growing platform.

One of Tariq’s prior investments warrants special mention: In 2004, after multiple trips to Central and South America and months of due diligence, Tariq led early work to bring mobile phones into emerging markets as a ‘leapfrog’ innovation – back when the idea of the masses from Cairo to Calcutta skipping landlines altogether to go directly to mobile phones sounded far-fetched to many. Tariq sees a similar ‘perfect storm’ of market forces enabling a pragmatic, market-based solution to global education that will usher in another watershed moment in international development. 
Today, Rumie has projects in over twenty countries.

Tariq holds an Honors B.A. with distinction from Brown University in the US, spent one year studying at Oxford University in the UK, earned a master’s degree in Economics and Public Policy from Sciences Po Paris (L’institut d’études politiques de Paris) in France and an MBA with distinction from INSEAD in France and Singapore. Tariq was born and raised in Canada to parents who immigrated from Kenya and speaks four languages.