Between August 2017 and September 2018, Nesta led the Inclusive Economy Partnership Accelerator, supporting 18 IEP Grant Winners across three challenge areas to scale through meaningful partnership with business, civil society and government.
The partnership was supported by the Cabinet Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
The IEP is a partnership of businesses, civil society and government departments that are working together to solve some of society’s toughest challenges, helping all communities and everyone within them to feel they belong to and can participate in the UK economy.
Through collaboration, innovation and a shared determination to make the UK a better place to live and thrive, the IEP is part of a growing global movement that’s trying to solve age-old problems with new ways of thinking and collective working.
Through our experience as a grant funder, we believe it’s possible to drive transformational change through scaling solutions to maximise their impact. As a result, between August 2017 and September 2018, Nesta’s Inclusive Economy team ran the Partnership Accelerator for the IEP, developing a replicable model of how we can tackle big societal issues through partnerships.
Through the Partnership Accelerator for the IEP, Nesta successfully supported 18 IEP Grant Winners across three challenge areas to scale through meaningful partnership with business, civil society and government.
Grantees were selected from three core challenge, including:
Financial inclusion and capability: Ten million working people lack access to affordable and high quality financial products and services.
Through the IEP, Nesta provided funding and non-financial support to 6 organisations providing the financially ‘underserved’ with the tools and capabilities to access and interact with fair financial products; products which 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.
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.
Nesta supported 5 organisations enabling 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.
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.
Nesta supported 7 organisations in the Transition to work stream, helping the movement of young people from education, unemployment or inactivity into jobs.
Organisations aim 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.
- Supporting activities for young people that help them to gain access to skills and experiences that develop their resilience and employability.
- Enabling businesses to adapt their processes for hiring, structuring roles and engaging new employees so that young people can be supported to successfully progress.
Collaborations were developed for lasting impact, and the IEP programme was designed for innovative and promising ideas to be supported in achieving change in core challenge areas.
Key activity from March to September 2018:
- Funding and non-financial support for 18 grant winners to reach a point where they are ready to scale their activity and deliver greater impact. Valuable contributions from business and civil society partners included 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, Nesta provided greater access to partnership networks and sources of capital to support scale.
- Nesta hosted workshops and informative events targeting key areas relevant to the IEP and specific challenge areas; from the role of impact investment to impact evaluation.
- Through the IEP accelerator, Nesta proved the model can be iterated, developed further and applied to additional key societal issues.
Our Partnership Toolkit outlines replicable learnings from the Accelerator when leveraging partnership models of working.
The partnership is supported by the Cabinet Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
Whilst the inaugural IEP accelerator has come to a close, the IEP remains ongoing. To find out more about the broader IEP agenda, forthcoming collaborative projects and future initiatives, visit the IEP website and sign up to the IEP bulletin.