Can technology and innovative business help low income households?

I was delighted to be asked to make the Opening speech for the Wayra Fair By Design acceleration programme.

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The Wayra Acceleration Programme primarily focusses on social Impact. Wayra’s Oldham Academy hosted the event at the fantastic Hack Oldham venue . The event brought together business start-ups that work in the financial inclusion area to see how innovation can tackle the ‘poverty premium’ faced by millions of people across the UK in accessing basic goods and services.

The start–ups who were presenting to an audience of Investors  had to demonstrate that they could provide a solution to the most excluded in our society, those on a low income and living in poverty.

The programme aims to support seven companies a year as they come up with ways to prevent low-income households from paying more for services including energy, insurance, borrowing, transport and food.

It is amazing to think of the potential that technology and innovative business have to help low income families manage their money. Obviously it is not the silver bullet, but it is encouraging to think that in hard times we can turn to technology to make challenges that little bit easier to overcome.

Wayra Fair By Design is backed by the Fair Design Fund. A partnership between Big Society Capital, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Finance Birmingham and Ascension Ventures who all had representatives at the event.

The presentations were great and I look forward to see their fantastic concepts of tackling poverty in fruition.


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