News story

Social innovators receive £360,000 of government funding to tackle the UK’s biggest challenges

18 small social innovators will receive government funding and professional support to tackle three major issues: financial capability, mental health at work and helping young people into employment.

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Today (Wednesday 11 July 2018) the government will announce a collaboration with business and civil society to back projects by small social innovators which benefit the public. The projects include a recruitment company focused on supporting dyslexic and neurodiverse people to find employment, and a money advice service for black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) and hard-to-reach communities.

The measures are part of the government’s Inclusive Economy Partnership (IEP), which is jointly funded by Cabinet Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The IEP was announced in September 2017 and sees government, businesses and civil society working together to identify and develop solutions to three challenges: financial capability, mental health at work and helping young people into employment. To date, the partnership has brought together over 120 organisations.

Four major projects will also be kick-started with leadership from organisations including Nationwide, Accenture, O2, UnLtd, YEUK, Movement to Work and the West Midlands Combined Authority.

The initiatives announced today include:

  • Social innovation grants: £360,000 of government funding as well as programme support from Nesta, the innovation foundation, for 18 small social innovators.

  • Transition to work: UnLtd, Accenture, O2, Youth Employment UK and Movement to Work are teaming up with the West Midlands Combined Authority to develop a new approach to helping young people in the West Midlands access work opportunities.

  • Financial capability: Nationwide will work with organisations across the IEP to launch a collaborative FinTech challenge in September 2018, to help the millions of households who have no savings or rely heavily on credit.

Oliver Dowden MP, CBE, Cabinet Office Minister for Implementation, said:

The Inclusive Economy Partnership sits at the heart of the government’s promise to build a stronger economy and a fairer society.

We are committed to delivering on that promise, and the IEP enables us to harness the benefits of working with smaller organisations who bring fresh, creative ideas to the table so we can create a much bigger impact, across government and across the country.

Sacha Romanovitch, CEO of Grant Thornton and Caroline Mason, CEO of the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and co-chairs of the Inclusive Economy Partnership said:

Despite increasing efforts to do more socially responsible work we know that working alone, business and civil society can only do so much. Together we have the power to truly affect change and we’re delighted to see the positive impact our work has had so far.

We are seeing the growth of a powerful new movement where businesses, civil society and government collaborate to build an inclusive economy in which no one is left behind. We must seize the opportunity to boost the brilliant work already being done by social innovators up and down the country.

More information about projects being launched today, including how you can join, can be found at the Inclusive Economy Partnership webpage.

Published 11 July 2018