Ventures WorkerTech newsletter: March 2023 The latest update from Resolution Ventures 30 March 2023 by Emma Selinger Emma Selinger Around 5 million people in the UK do some form of work via digital platforms, so we think it’s really important that platforms providing this type of work are designed to offer fair and decent work to users. Register to join us on Thursday 20th April at our free workshop with Fairwork (experts in equitable labour platforms) to explore how to build better digital work platforms. This edition of the newsletter also highlights our recently published Interim Impact Report. I’ve shared how we’ve developed a WorkerTech impact framework, and what we’ve learnt so far about impact from our current portfolio. As always, if you have a WorkerTech idea or just want to know more about what we’re doing, please get in touch. Emma Ventures Manager Resolution Ventures Workshop: how to build a fair digital labour platform Date: Thursday 20th April Time: 10 am – 1pm Location: Toynbee Hall, 28 Commercial Street, London E1 6LS Registration link: https://bit.ly/3ZoedbQ Fairwork and Resolution Foundation are hosting a workshop to share knowledge on building fairness into platform models, infrastructures and operations. This will be a space where we share information on Fairwork’s principles, facilitate discussions on ‘fairness’ in platform work, and leave room for questions from platform founders and developers. You should join us at the event if: You have an idea for a digital work platform You are a founder of or part of the team at an existing digital work platform You have a general interest in digital work platforms and how to improve pay, rights and conditions for gig workers Drinks and snacks will be provided. Toynbee Hall is an accessible venue. Measuring the impact of WorkerTech Earlier this month we published our Interim Impact Report setting out our approach to achieving that impact through the first two years of the programme, and how we intend to progress this approach through the next year. We also published our impact framework which has been developed in partnership with Nick Andreou from Impact Edge. You can read the full report on our website, but here’s a summary of what we’ve learnt so far: 🚀 Mission alignment: Identifying ventures that are fully mission-aligned and building products and services primarily for low-paid or precarious workers has been challenging. A good proportion of our pipeline has been ventures designed for higher earners, but not necessarily appropriate for lower-paid workers due to both product design and cost, so we need to better communicate the issues facing low-paid workers. 🤝 Networks and referrals: Given our fund is new, and in relatively novel investment area, referrals from other investors have been an important part of building the pipeline. In order to improve our pipeline diversity, the next phase of network building needs to focus on a wider range of fund geographies and subject areas. 🐣 Impact for early stage ventures: While impact is critical for us, given the early stage of the ventures we back, it’s difficult to evaluate how much impact ventures will have given limited impact data and capacity. To account for this, we focus on theories of change, impact metrics to be used in future, and our impact requirements as investors throughout the due diligence process. Our support here needs to focus on embedding an impact lens into existing processes. 📈 Attribution: Being able to quantify how much difference our capital and support has on ventures and their users is challenging. While financially, we can measure our contribution through our percentage stake in each venture, this doesn’t transfer easily to measuring our percentage impact especially in terms of our non-financial input into ventures such as impact support, research and ecosystem connections. If you want to know more about our approach to impact measurement, or have suggestions of how we can increase our network, please do get in touch. Latest insights from the Resolution Foundation Wages are flatlining – wage growth in the private sector has ground to a halt. This is a long term feature of our economy, not a short term response to the current cost-of-living crisis. The future of pay is uncertain, and policymakers should be focusing on how to ensure wages don’t continue to stagnate, without pushing up inflation. We’re going on a growth hunt – Resolution Foundation’s analysis of the Spring Budget. The Chancellor announced an impressively broad suite of policies to encourage more people into work, but Britain’s economy remains stuck: people may be supported into work but they are getting poorer, paying more tax and seeing public services cuts. Labour market offers glimmers of hope – March’s labour market statistics show employment has been holding up well in the face of high interest rates and the cost of living crisis. However, the real wage squeeze continues for workers. WorkerTech stories We’re very excited to announce that we have completed an investment into Equal Care Co-op, a platform co-operative in Yorkshire offering high quality care, while empowering workers through the co-operative model. The team is brilliantly placed to tackle the huge problem of social care in the UK, and we’re excited to join Equal Care as an investor member on their journey to scale. Uber have teamed up with childcare platform, Bubble, to offer their drivers free childcare. Uber hopes that this new benefit will allow workers to earn more, and encourage more women to work for the platform. This comes just as the Government announces new childcare policy to encourage more parents back into work. Our WorkerTech partners Ufi VocTech Trust have collaborated with Tyton Partners to publish their annual report on the future of workforce development. The report finds that there is still a significant skills gap in the labour market. But the growth of VR, innovative use of labour market data and increased pressure on the move to net zero offer promising solutions to this problem. Bethnal Green Ventures have published their latest impact and learning report which shares insights on tech for good leadership from portfolio founders, impact analysis by theme and the teams approach to portfolio support to maximise impact. Get involved Apply for direct investment from Resolution Ventures. We accept applications from WorkerTech ventures on a rolling basis. Or you can book a slot in our office hours for an initial conversation. All Tech is Human are hosting Tech & Democracy: A better future tech summit in London on 18th April. The event will focus on co-creating a tech future aligned with public interest. Learning and Work Institute are hosting Better Work Conference 2023 in London on 18th April. Bringing together people working in government, education and training, and employment, the event will focus on how we can improve access to high quality jobs and boost living standards of workers.