About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Inclusive Economy Partnership: How we're tackling some of society's biggest challenges

The Inclusive Economy Partnership (IEP) is changing the way that government, business and civil society work together to address some of society's toughest challenges.

It is run by HM Government in partnership with Nesta. The first big challenges we are tackling - financial inclusion and capability, transitions to work for young people, and mental health in the workplace - require a serious, concerted effort to fix.

We believe in the power of partnership and that through collaboration, innovation and a shared determination to make the UK a better place to live and thrive, we can solve age old problems with new ways of thinking.

We believe that through collaboration and innovation... we can solve age old problems with new ways of thinking

Today at Downing Street we are announcing some significant milestones for the programme. Through Nesta’s Innovation Programme, we have worked with 18 organisations committed to delivering tangible benefits to citizens who need their help most. Here is some of the success we have had in the last three months:

Careers Advice for Parents is on a mission to support more parents to understand the career options available to their children through providing advice and guidance. The IEP has allowed it to develop a partnership with EY - which has recently launched its own parental advice campaign - and they have joined forces to deliver workshops to parents around the UK.

MyKindaFuture is developing a new mobile platform - Connectr - that supports young people to make a smooth transition into a job by offering digital skills and mentoring support. The team have an ambition to scale the number of employers using the platform from 10 - 100 over the next 24 months and the number of young people from 1250 to 50,000.

As a result of the IEP, they have linked up with Accenture to work on AI capability for the platform so it can work better for young people, and have catalysed a relationship with BT with whom they will be testing the platform.

ToolShed works with young people aged 16-24 to develop their employability skills and confidence through its construction programme. The IEP connected Toolshed with UnLtd, who have subsequently provided the organisation with a growth loan of £80,000 to expand their activity.

Founders4Schools is rolling out Workfinder, an app-based service supporting young people to access local work experience opportunities. The team are looking to expand into Scotland in 2018. The IEP has enabled Founders4Schools to supercharge its relationship with partners including O2 and also Grant Thornton, who it will be working with on a campaign in Leeds, before quickly scaling nationally to engage more businesses with the platform.

Exceptional Individuals is an employment agency designed to help more neurodiverse young people (those with conditions such as Dyspraxia, Dyslexia and ADHD) secure work. The agency is seeking to expand provision of its services to 3,235 neurodiverse young people who are not in employment, education or training by the end of 2018.

The IEP has helped the agency to secure corporate mentorship from Accenture and to build a relationship with the Government Digital Service who the team are advising on accessibility projects. They have also collaborated with fellow grant winners MyKindaFuture to develop their technology offer for young people.

Money A + E provides money advice and education to BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) and hard to reach communities in London through a combination of 1-2-1 advice, workshops, mentoring programmes and training. Over the next year Money A + E is looking to increase its support from 1,000 to 1,700 individuals. The IEP has provided them with the support and confidence to supercharge relationships with existing partners and new partners across London, including Grant Thornton, with whom the team are exploring a collaboration.

Credit Kudos is a new credit scoring platform that takes into account a wider set of criteria for determining an individual’s creditworthiness so that lenders can make more informed decisions. The IEP has enabled Credit Kudos to build a relationship with Nationwide, with whom it will be working on a pilot to test its affordability platform with customer data.

Lord Mayor’s Appeal are coordinating the This is Me campaign that seeks to reduce the stigma and dispel myths of poor mental health and wellbeing in the workplace by providing a platform for employees to share their stories. The team are working towards deploying This is Me in different parts of the country. The IEP has enabled them to create connections with more businesses including Landsec who are supporting them to launch the initiative in Leeds and Oxford, as well as reaching new sectors.

Money & Mental Health Policy Institute is the leading centre of expertise on money and mental health problems, founded by Martin Lewis. The institute is developing a set of standards for companies to adopt around how they deal with vulnerable customers so that they can have equal access to services. The IEP has enabled the team to launch research into the challenges that vulnerable customers face in dealing with essential services and a platform for working with industry partners on developing the new standards.

Along with the great success we've experienced with our innovators, there is some exciting new projects we are working on together; from Nationwide, who are announcing their work on Open Banking for Good, to Accenture, who are announcing a partnership with Movement to Work in leading a new Transitions to Work pilot together.

What’s next?

We have only just started! We are asking more business and civil society organisations to get involved and take on these big challenges together in the partnership. For further information, check out our video here, the HMG Website or get in touch [email protected].

The partnership is supported by the Cabinet Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).


Kate Sutton

Kate Sutton

Kate Sutton

Head of Corporate Social Innovation

Kate was responsible for managing Nesta's Corporate Social Innovation and Inclusive Growth work

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