Why are we doing this?
The Inclusive Economy team is heading up the Inclusive Economy Partnership (IEP) as a pioneering initiative to build a more inclusive economy through identifying and scaling existing business and civil society solutions to major societal challenges facing low and middle income households.
We believe the best ideas for addressing the challenges people face up and down the country exist within businesses and civil society already. With support from the Government, we are convening these organisations and supporting them to partner and scale successful innovations. We are amplifying and scaling good work that is already underway to tackle some of society's biggest issues.
Through the Inclusive Economy Partnership, we believe it’s possible to drive transformational change through scaling solutions to maximise their impact. Nesta’s Inclusive Economy team are trying to develop a replicable model for tackling big societal issues through partnerships.
What are we doing?
The Partnership is identifying, engaging with and supporting the scaling of existing, high potential solutions that focus on tackling three areas that are key challenges, particularly amongst low to middle income households.
1. Financial inclusion and capability: 10 million working people who are either financially struggling or squeezed lack access to affordable and high quality financial products and services.
The Partnership aims to provide the financially ‘underserved’ with the tools and capabilities to access and interact with fair financial products. Specifically, these will help individuals to manage problematic or persistent debt, to gain access to affordable credit options, and to create a savings buffer as part of healthy day-to-day budgeting.
2. Mental health: Mental health problems are one of the largest public health challenges facing the UK, with 1 in 4 people suffering from a mental health problem annually.
The Partnership is working to enable businesses to positively impact the mental health of their employees, customers, suppliers and wider communities. By supporting businesses to implement changes within their organisations, the mental health of employees can be improved. Tools and training development can support employees and line managers, and improving the mental health of customers, communities, supply chains and SME networks will help address this challenge.
3. Transition to work for young people: Young people in the UK are over 2.5 times less likely to be employed than the average for the working age population.
The Partnership will support the movement of young people from education, unemployment or inactivity into jobs. It aims to achieve this through building engagement with the world of work through platforms that link employers to schools, young people and their parents or carers. It will also help to support activities for young people that help them to gain access to skills and experiences that will develop their resilience and employability. In addition, it will support businesses to adapt their processes for hiring, structuring roles and engaging new employees so that young people can be helped to successfully progress.
From October to December 2017, Nesta ran an open call for innovators in these three challenge areas. We also ran two workshops for our corporate and civil society partners in order for them to identify where they think they can make the most impact.
We have also identified some big ideas - areas where there are high potential gaps of need - and the Partnership will be bringing together business, civil society and innovators to support and tackle these challenges from the ground up, together.
From January 2018 through to September 2018, innovators will work closely with businesses and civil society partners on the development of scaling plans and will partner to take on the big ideas. Valuable contributions from this partnership towards the solutions will include:
extensive corporate and civil society networks, helping to generate partnership opportunities
access to potential customers or beneficiaries for the applicant’s offering, helping to enable growth opportunities
strategic, marketing, operational and other expertise, helping to enhance and future-proof scaling plans
From January until September 2018, the Partnership hopes to support business, civil society and government in executing scaling plans, as well as gaining access to partnership networks and sources of capital to scale.
Grants are being provided to those solutions that do not have sufficient resources to develop and refine their plans to scale. These grants are intended to support the successful creation and refinement of the solution’s scaling plan in collaboration with the Partnership’s business and civil society members.
Collaborations are developed for lasting impact, and the Partnership programme is designed for innovative and promising ideas to be supported in achieving change in our core challenge areas.