The policy brief is based on a recently completed (2018-2021) project evaluation at OneTech, whose aim is to challenge inequity and the lack of diversity in tech by connecting underserved communities with opportunities in tech and start-ups. It is a programme of Capital Enterprise, a London-based organisation that facilitates the growth and success of the UK’s startup ecosystem.
The action research project entailed close collaboration with the OneTech and Capital Enterprise teams, 78 interviews with programme participants, delivery team, project partners and mentors, as well as focus groups and an alumni survey.
Organisational links were established by Ben Cole, Head of Strategic Projects at Loughborough University London FutureSpace, and the research was supported by Dr Chris Carter from Nottingham University Business School, as well as a group of postgraduate researchers from Loughborough University London, including Ibrahim Abdullahi, Aisyah Haji-Awang, Leon Jacken, Pauline Shabani, and Zaineb El-Maddarsi. Participant researcher and femtech founder Bella Ngo and research coordinators Karel Green and Jemiel Hill also contributed to the project’s success.
Emerging from the research were five key project learnings:
A diverse range of participants with differing needs
Educational programming and the Matthew effect
Enabling collaborative leadership and mutually beneficial partnership with underrepresented groups
Perception of the organisation
Challenging and changing normative culture
From these five themes, the research team developed 18 recommendations for policy and practice.
The video below captures some of the key recommendations gathered from the research and is aimed at those responsible for building equal, diverse and inclusive tech start-up ecosystems, including policymakers, leaders, programme designers, delivery teams, funders, and project partners.
The written policy brief - which delves deeper into the project overview, learnings, and recommendations - is available to download, alongside a good practice checklist, for free from the OneTech website here.
Alongside her work as a researcher, Dr Martinez Dy has played a pivotal part in the University’s EDI-related efforts. Angela proposed and is the inaugural Strategic Architect for the LU Race Equity Strategy, Co-Chair of the EDI Advisory Forum, and Student Liaison for the BAME Staff Network, of which she was formerly Advocacy Lead. Her personal academic website is accessible here.
For more information about the research, please contact Dr Martinez Dy by emailing A.Dy@lboro.ac.uk.