Jury member

Fariel Salahuddin

2019 Fellow | Founder and CEO at UpTrade (Goats for Water)


South Asia and Central Asia

Fariel Salahuddin


Fariel Salahuddin is an entrepreneur, innovator and thought leader. Through her organisation UpTrade she has dedicated her mission to enhancing the lives of smallholder farmers, improving their affordability through innovative financing mechanism enabling farmers to use digitized livestock and produce as currency. Her visionary idea of helping smallholder farmers to utilize their livestock as currency has improved many lives by providing them with water access and electricity and also earned her prestigious accolades, including the Cartier Women's Initiative and TED Fellowship, cementing her legacy as a transformative leader in addressing poverty through a new lens.

Fariel Salahuddin is the founder and CEO of UpTrade, an impact-led business that offers farmers a way to afford essential farming technology by utilizing their livestock as currency. UpTrade’s model unlocks productivity, market access and social mobility for entire communities, while its technology provides new and necessary forms of traceability into the food supply.

With over 10 years of international experience in the energy and development sector, Fariel has become a recognized authority in renewable energy and its implications for sustainable development. Throughout her career, she has successfully advised both governments and the private sector on energy initiatives, providing crucial insights and strategic guidance. Her expertise extends to off-grid program design, energy-policy formulation, and renewable tariff structures. Fariel's work has taken her across various regions, including Indonesia, Egypt, Pakistan, and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. In these contexts, she has been actively involved in policy reform efforts and the development of energy projects. She combines her unique experience in both the private and public sectors in UpTrade which uses innovative financing driven by profitability to bring deep change into the lives of the most economically vulnerable.

Fariel’s deep understanding of the unique challenges agriculture sector in developing economies has enabled her to design and implement tailored solutions that effectively address all stakeholder needs, but her knowledge and experience extend beyond energy and agriculture. Her achievements and contributions have been recognized on several platforms. As a fellow for the Cartier Women's Initiative (CWI) in 2019, she represented South Asia and Oceania. In 2021, Fariel's remarkable work was acknowledged once again when she received the 1st place for Creating Opportunities at the CWI Impact Awards. Her dedication and innovation have also earned her recognition as a Summit Fellow in 2019 and a TED Fellow in 2021. In her TED talk "Goats, Blockchain, and the Future of Money," she captivated the audience with her insights, amassing over 1.7 million views which further exemplifies her ability to blend her expertise in renewable energy, alternate currencies, and entrepreneurship, into cutting-edge ideas and technologies.

In 2023, Fariel and UpTrade were recognized as an empowerment award winner by the Bayer Foundation where she received her award at the AVPN conference in Asia. She is an emerging voice in the alternate currency space – where she champions the more inclusive currency systems. This led her to becoming a panelist at the DLT Science Foundation Launch event in the U.K, a dynamic platform bringing together block chain enthusiasts and highlighting the importance of Inclusive De-Fi and encouraging the creation of systems that optimize transactions for all, fostering a more equitable financial landscape. Fariel’s entrepreneurial journey was most recently published in the recent GEM Global Report in August for her efforts toward bringing clean water access to so many rural communities.