Ventures Resolution Ventures invests in Equal Care Co-operative 28 March 2023 by Emma Selinger Emma Selinger We’re delighted to announce that Resolution Ventures has made an investment in Equal Care Co-op as part of the Workertech Partnership. The aim of the Workertech Partnership is to use impact investment to back a new wave of innovators who will harness technology to improve the pay, prospects, power, and progression of low-paid workers. One of the ways that technology can support improvements for workers is by enabling a new way of organising work, one with workers at the centre. Equal Care is a platform co-operative, using a digital platform to provide an alternative care model to improve working conditions and pay for carers, and quality of care for people getting support. Care workers, individuals and their families join the platform and form self-managing care teams reducing administrative costs and therefore increasing wages for carers. Workers are able to choose which teams they join, and the person getting support (with input from their advocate if needed) is at the centre of determining their care needs: the owner of their team. This creates more person-centred care, and care workers get a better deal. In January this year Resolution Foundation published a report on social care work, exploring the lived experience of care workers in the UK and analysing data to understand the immediate issues faced by the sector and its workers. The report finds that care workers like their jobs, feel proud of the work they do and generally feel secure in their role, but across the sector are faced with inflexibility, safety issues caused by a recruitment crisis, and low pay, sometimes even falling below national minimum wage when travel time is accounted for. As we discovered at our roundtable on improving care work in December 2022, there are key areas where tech and innovation could really make a difference to the quality of work and care, including higher wages, flexibility and worker autonomy. Equal Care is already addressing these with their self-managed model. They launched in Calderdale, North Yorkshire in 2019 and have already provided thousands of hours of care. Each care worker earns a salaried Real Living Wage where they are paid for travel, training, team admin and the care itself. They can also choose to work independently through the platform, charging rates that can take into account the costs of self-employment. Equal Care’s annual turnover rate of carers is only 4%, compared to the national average of 28.5%. Equal Care also has the potential and the ambition to create wider system change. By successfully building an alternative operational model in highly complex and regulated sector, they are demonstrating how technology and innovation have the ability to disrupt and improve a sector with a track record of low-pay and poor working conditions. Emma Back, founder of Equal Care Coop said: “It is absolutely magical to welcome Resolution Ventures as an Investor Member of Equal Care. There is very strong alignment of our mutual values and aspirations to change the prospects, perceived status and job quality of care work. This opens up new horizons for our platform co-op to emerge from our little corner of the Pennines and grow further afield. It’s not just about the investment, it’s the scope for partnership, learning and opportunities this opens up.” Equal Care joins our portfolio as our first co-operative. We’re really pleased to have participated in their latest community share offer of over £350,000 and to be joining the co-operative as an investor member. We believe that the team are brilliantly placed to tackle the huge problem of social care in the UK, by expanding this model to other places, and we’re excited to join Equal Care as an investor member on their journey to improving the experience of care work for carers in the UK.