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  • Writer's pictureWomen Connect

New online programme backed by Mayor of London to support diverse entrepreneurs

We're really excited to announce Future Startup Now Founders, a new five-week online training programme which will support twenty-five entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas. The programme is part of the Mayor of London’s Digital Talent Programme which aims to prepare, coach and support young people (18-24) in the planning and development of a start-up and is delivered by London’s leading employability programme Create Jobs in partnership with careers community Hustle Crew.

Image by Maria Quigley.

According to Venture Capital firm Atomico’s 2019 The State of European Tech Report, 84% of founders self-identify as white, and just 0.9% are Black. A report from the British Business Bank found that for every £1 of venture capital investment in the UK last year, all-female founder teams received less than 1p. And new initiatives like the UK Government’s Future Fund have been accused of excluding diverse founders . We would like to urge our Women Connect subscribers and readers to get involved with what Future Startup Now Founders are doing, especially because we have a shared end goal, aiming to tackle the lack of diversity in London’s booming tech and digital economy by offering places to participants who not only present the most creative and well considered business ideas, but who also come from groups currently under-represented in the sector.

This includes women, people from Black, Asian and other Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups, people who are d/Deaf and disabled, people from the LGBTQ+ community, neurodiverse people and people from low-socioeconomic backgrounds. 

Why is this initiative important to Women Connect?

We believe in creating opportunities for disadvantaged, marginalised and underrepresented groups. The dream is to create a more balanced workplace and make it a societal norm for us to see Women and people from Ethnic Minority backgrounds as not only entry level employees, but as our directors and executives too. There is a systemic challenge that needs to be fixed internally, we believe some of those issues can be resolves with a review of systems currently in place.

Image by Maria Quigley.

London’s Chief Digital Officer Theo Blackwell comments, Improving people’s digital skills boosts their employability and social inclusion. The Mayor of London and I are committed to building a more inclusive economy, and the Digital Talent Programme is focused on tackling digital skills gaps and addressing the under-representation of women and BAME Londoners, and other marginalised groups. Future Startup Now Founders programme is a great example of how we can create more opportunities for everyone to thrive in the digital economy.”

The Founders programme will teach participants startup methodology, MVP testing, product development, community engagement, user research. forecasting, finance, law and compliance, as well as the other skills and mindsets needed to launch a successful business. 

Each session will be hosted by an industry expert from the digital, tech and creative sector including Snapchat, Digital Catapult, Women Who Code, GUAP, Supa Network, GoCardless, MVF, Learnerbly, Portify plus many more. Once training has been completed, the 25 participants will pitch their idea to an expert panel of entrepreneurs and founders with ten businesses going on to receive £5,000 of investment in technical kit and hardware to support their business goals.

Future Startup Now Founder application is open until 10am Wednesday 17 June and will start on 27 June, running till 7 August. For more information, click HERE.

Image by Maria Quigley.

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