Wayra Fair By Design is a new acceleration programme that will tackle the poverty premium: where people in poverty pay more for many everyday goods and services – such as energy, insurance, borrowing, transport and food – than those who can more easily afford them. The programme, which will be based in Wayra’s Open Future_ North facility in Oldham, will support up to seven start-ups a year.
Start-ups accepted to the programme will receive the equivalent of £70,000 in cash and business services, including working space at Open Future_ North and access to investors, mentors and coaches – and also potentially to a global audience through business development opportunities with Telefónica.
Through the new programme and accelerator, Wayra UK will support grassroots entrepreneurship and attract start-up talent, investment and business mentors.
Wayra Fair By Design will be funded and supported by the Fair By Design Fund, a partnership between Big Society Capital, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Finance Birmingham and Ascension Ventures.
The fund has £8 million ready to deploy and is seeking to raise up to £20 million to invest into companies tackling the poverty premium, both within the accelerator and in separate investments across the UK.
The programme will invest in and accelerate start-ups tackling engineering challenges across selected focus areas: