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?
Following an open call and shortlisting process, The Partnership has identified and chosen to support 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
Ten 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 one in four 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 supports 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.
How did we get here?
From October to December 2017, Nesta ran an open call for innovators in our three identified challenge areas, from which 44 innovations were shortlisted. During this time, we also ran two workshops for our corporate and civil society partners in order for them to identify where they thought they could make the most impact.
Alongside the government, we 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.
Following a third workshop in January and opportunity for each of our 44 shortlisted innovators to pitch their solutions to businesses, civil society organisations and government first hand, Nesta comprised a final shortlist of 18 grant-winners. 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.
From March until September 2018, the Partnership proposes to:
- Support grant-winners reach a point where they are ready to scale their activity and deliver greater impact. Valuable contributions from business and civil society partners include but are not limited to: access to potential customers or beneficiaries for the applicant’s offering; marketing; training; operational and/or strategy expertise
- With support from business, civil society and government, providing greater access to partnership networks and sources of capital to scale for grant-winners and our broader innovator network
- Host workshops and informative events targeting key areas relevant to the Partnership and specific challenge areas; from the role of Impact Investment to Open Banking
- Develop and champion the tangible delivery of our ‘Big Ideas’ in the core areas of mental health, transition to work, and financial inclusion through partnership networks
- Work to ascertain whether the Partnership’s model can be iterated, developed further and be applied to additional key societal issues