Aligning the Diversity Agenda & The Future Fund

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Letter to Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer
April 23rd, 2020

 

Dear Rishi

Aligning the Diversity Agenda and The Future Fund

The Future Fund is a positive step by HM Treasury to support UK start-ups and scale-ups through the global pandemic. We appreciate all the effort that has gone into this funding package to date.

However, we have serious concerns that the current funding could exacerbate the existing inequalities and lack of representation in the Technology sector and across wider society.

Diverse founders are less likely to have raised at least £250k of funding already, less likely to have ‘warm introductions’ and therefore less likely to have access to this funding.

When only 1% of VC funding in 2019 went to female founders, there is an urgent need to ensure that the UK funds innovations from a broader range of founders.

In addition, it is often the case that more diverse founders are the ones solving problems for underrepresented groups.

If there was ever a time to ensure that we have more inclusion, as well as innovation in our fastest-growing sector, it is now.

Lord Davies of Abersoch authored The Davies Report on Women on Boards advocating a minimum of 25% women on FTSE 100 boards achieved in 2015. The 30% Club pushed for 30%, which was successfully achieved in 2018 for FTSE100 and 2019 for FTSE350. 

It being vital that the Future Fund does not set back the diversity agenda, at a minimum we support an aspirational target for the Future Fund, focused on ensuring diverse founders from a wide range of social and ethnic backgrounds are fairly represented. 

We the signatories on this letter are happy to collaborate with Government to help ensure we enable the most innovative businesses from a diverse range of founders to be funded, to benefit both the economy and wider society.

With the loud support of women and men across the United Kingdom including:

Hephzi Pemberton, Emma Sinclair MBE and all the signatories on change.org