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Resolution Ventures

Applying for our Workertech Programme


We are looking for proposals for seed-stage ventures that can improve work for one of the following groups:

  • low-paid workers, or those with limited prospects
  • insecure workers: those on zero-hours contracts, temporary contracts, the self-employed, gig workers, workers in insecure conditions.
  • Workers lacking voice & representation and those at greater risk of discrimination
  • Workers with lower-level qualifications, and/or limited access to training

We are setting out our criteria now, and expect to start deploying capital from early 2021. If we feel you are a good match for our criteria, we will be in touch to find out more. Applications are accepted at any time, but investment decisions will be made quarterly. You can apply as a company, charity, CIC, co-op or other form. You do not need to be incorporated in the UK, although your work should benefit those working in the UK.

We believe that there are opportunities for ventures to address a range of channels and approaches:

  • improved ‘search and match’ of workers to economic opportunity (e.g. jobs, skills/training, coaching, mentoring) and to find roles that are more customised to their personal preferences about working life. Some of these services exist for professional roles, or higher level skills, but there is a gap in provision for lower-paid skills and roles. The need for low-wage and insecure workers to consider moving sector or occupation is likely to rise very significantly in the wake of the pandemic.
  • provision of skills and progression opportunities to new audiences or through new channels, especially those groups who are overrepresented in low-pay, including sectors such as agriculture, delivery, construction, retail, hospitality and care; and including demographic groups including young women, BAME groups,
  • aggregation of worker voice and influence through the use of pooled worker-feedback to inform future employment choices and to secure improvements in pay and conditions. This may involve use of online forums, petitions and information sharing. Organise and Earwig in the pilot portfolio, provide a good examples of this method. This could be applied in other sectors, with specific target groups, or via different methods.
  • closing information gaps for instance concerning wage differentials between employers, genders or occupations; or on industry skills requirements and needs. Transparency and good data are still missing from many sectors, and especially as it relates to the more intangible aspects of good work, such as respect, dignity, reliability and support.
  • frictionless worker-to-worker communication for instance to enable shift swapping and facilitate worker-to-worker workplace learning. Gaps here are particularly prevalent where coworkers are not necessarily employed by the same employer e.g. agency contractors, gig workers, and freelance or self-employed workers.
  • over-coming restrictions on workers’ choices for instance by making ratings/reputation data portable for gig workers rather than controlled by platforms.

Investment criteria

  • An innovative technical solution to improve the lives of low-paid or insecure workers.
  • Accessible and affordable, with a sustainable business model
  • With potential to catalyse wider change
  • A talented team of diverse founders with commitment to the mission & vision
  • A strong understanding of the problem & market
  • Appropriate technical experience in the team
  • Some evidence that the proposed solution can address the targeted problem
  • Strong ambition to scale to impact millions of lives
  • Commitment to fair employment practices, including fair pay and the Living Wage, within the organisation

 

To register an interest in applying, email ventures@resolutionfoundation.org with your name, contact details, location, the name of your company/organisation, the date it was created and a 100-word description of how it fits in with the Workertech criteria.

By emailing us, you are granting Resolution Ventures permission to store these details and share them with the other Workertech funders. You are also granting permission for Resolution Ventures to contact you in relation to the Workertech programme.

 

 

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