Nine UK tech-for-good ventures focussed on major social challenges have been named as the recipients of grants totalling £400,000 to help them grow their ventures, Social Tech Trust has announced, as it unveils its first set of grants since independence.
Nine equalities-focussed tech-for-good ventures have this week been confirmed as recipients of grants of up to £45,000, after Social Tech Trust (formerly Nominet Trust) announced the winners of its first cohort of ‘tech to unite us’ equalities grants programme.
“All nine ventures demonstrate how tech can reach its transformative potential when it is driven to realise one of the greatest opportunities of our time – equality,” the trust said on Tuesday. “These pioneering, early-stage innovations complement the purpose of Social Tech Trust – to transform lives with tech. With the trust’s support, they have huge potential to grow from startup to scaleup and play a pivotal role in re-shaping the UK’s relationship between tech and society.”
As well as the grant of up to £45,000, the nine will receive support to scale their social impact. Over the last 10 years, the trust has supported over 750 initiatives and invested over £30m in the flourishing social tech movement. The new grant programme was the first to be confirmed since the announcement in January that the trust was separating formally from its parent funder Nominet after 10 years.
Social Tech Trust chief executive Vicki Hearn added: “The ventures we’ve backed have social transformation at their heart and are delivering tech innovations that promote equality in the areas of communities, health and wealth. With our funding and support, they’ll have the best opportunity of securing later-stage investment so that they can continue to grow, maximising their social impact.”
One of the recipient nine, Beam founder and chief executive Alex Stephany (see feature pic, left) said: “We’re thrilled to receive this funding at a pivotal time in our growth. With the shocking homelessness problem in the UK, we see each day at Beam how technology can truly help people experiencing homelessness for the long term – by supporting them to realise their potential as everything from bricklayers to accountants.”
“It’s not only the huge benefits we’ll see from the financial support, we’re also excited to work on an on-going basis with Social Tech Trust, who are experts in this field and will help us to maximise our own potential to scale and deliver significant positive social impact.”
Among the other winners is local consultation tool StreetBuilder, which was a finalist in the 2018 DigitalAgenda Impact Awards.
Operating as an independent charity, and with Social Investment Business on board as a new strategic partner, Social Tech Trust is working to “confront fractures in today’s society”.
‘Tech to unite us’ nine
Beam – www.beam.org – the world’s first crowdfunding platform for employment training for homeless people, tackling homelessness by empowering homeless people to sustainably support themselves.
Carefree – www.carefreebreaks.com – tech-driven social intervention designed to support and sustain unpaid carers, the invisible workforce that underpins our social care sector. With the help of the hospitality industry they offer short breaks for full-time carers in hotels and holiday cottages throughout the UK, managed via their automated booking platform.
Chatterbox – www.wearechatterbox.org – platform that enables high-skilled refugees to work leveraging their skill set and ultimately facilitates reintegration into society. The platform offers language-learning courses that connect professionals to refugee tutors from a similar professional background to guide them through an engaging online language curriculum.
Feebris – www.feebris.com – mobile health platform, powered by AI, that enables non-medical users to diagnose and monitor complex health conditions in the community.
On our Radar – www.onourradar.org – Radius from On our Radar closes the gap between those with needs and those with influence. It uses simple mobile technology to unlock the insight held by vulnerable communities, turning their experiences into expertise.
RightsDD – www.rightsdd.com – building software to help companies identify, address and report on modern slavery in their supply chains.
StreetBuilder – www.thefuturefox.com/streetbuilder – web platform that helps ordinary people to transform their neighbourhood. It crowdsources scheme proposals from communities and validates them in real time in a novel, digital, application of co-creation.
The Tribe Project – www.tribeproject.org – social action initiative to upskill members of the community in areas of inequality to become paid community carers. Tribe brings people together locally to show where there is a need for some help, allows people to offer their support, records when the job has been completed, and measures the social value of the volunteering action.
Workerbird – www.workerbird.co.uk – helps low-wage workers collect what they deserve. Workers use the platform to track their work life and pay, get valuable data insights about their working patterns, understand their rights as an employee and receive support to improve their working conditions.