08 Jun 2021

Funding WorkerTech ventures providing secure and decent work

By Dama Sathianathan

Tackling insecurity in the world of work has never been more pressing. According to the  UN SDG Report from 2020, the insecurities caused by the global pandemic, and resulting economic crisis, put 1.6 billion workers in the informal economy at risk of losing their livelihoods. That is nearly half the global workforce, with their incomes estimated to have fallen by 60% in the first month of the crisis. At the sharp end of this are low paid workers who continue to bear the brunt of the crisis. 

Research from our friends at Resolution Foundation suggests that the long-term effects on the world of work will be felt acutely by younger people. Insecure work and mental health problems were on the rise for young people pre-pandemic, and only exacerbated by the crisis. 

With many millions of people expected to be pushed back into extreme poverty, and at risk of under- and unemployment, we’re doubling down on our efforts to invest in WorkerTech ventures – businesses that are significantly improving the lives of low-income and insecure workers. 

The nature of work has gradually shifted not only during the pandemic, but also in the decades before. We now find workers who are self-employed, in flexible or part-time work, doing job shares, or on zero-hours contracts. But regardless of the role anyone’s in, everyone has the right to decent and dignified work. 

If you’re building a startup harnessing technology to improve the working lives of people on low-pay or in insecure employment, then head over to our For Founders page and apply to receive £30k investment. This is part of our continued WorkerTech partnership with the Resolution Foundation, backed by Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Friends Provident Foundation, Accenture, Ufi VocTech Trust and Trust for London. 

We are particularly interested in funding tech for good ventures that benefit adults in work, or going into work that are:

  • low-paid workers, or those with limited prospects.
  • insecure workers: those on zero-hours contracts, temporary contracts, the self-employed, gig workers, workers in insecure conditions.
  • workers lacking voice & representation and those at greater risk of discrimination.
  • workers with lower-level qualifications, and/or limited access to training.

 

Watch a recap of our WorkerTech Q&A with Louise Marston from Resolution Foundation below.


For more information, visit our For Founders page here and apply. We are also looking to support ventures contributing to a Sustainable Planet, A Better Society or Healthy Lives.  Find out what we look for and what we offer here.