Earlier this week (19 June), Capital Enterprise announced the launch of a new Diversity in Tech programme, supported by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, that looks to double the number of female and BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) founders accessing investment by 2020.
In 2017, a Beauhurst report revealed that 91% of all venture capital investment in the UK goes to startups and scale-ups with all-male founding teams. Women and BAME founders including those that live, work and study in the east London boroughs, where London Tech startups cluster, are missing out.
The Capital Enterprise-led partnership will connect founders with mentors and help them access opportunities in London’s world-class tech entrepreneurship ecosystem.
It will work with over 50 venture capital groups, business angel groups and London’s leading tech accelerators to achieve the initiative’s ambitious targets which include raising $20m of investment and creating 300 tech jobs.
The project will help partners better understand why diversity makes sense; what needs to be done to increase their investment in female and BAME led tech startups; and how to make simple changes to help diversify their recruitment and selection processes.
The consortium will set out to address the lack of diversity in London’s tech startups and the community of investors, accelerators and incubators that support them.
Loughborough University London is contributing to the project by conducting a longitudinal study that will assess the impact of some of the Diversity in Tech activities.
The research is being led by Dr Angela Martinez Dy, lecturer in Entrepreneurship, with support from Associate Dean for Enterprise Professor Mikko Koria and wider members of the Loughborough University London community.
It is envisaged that the study will last three years and will scrutinise the effectiveness of the activities delivered as part of the programme.
The research will also provide lessons learnt for the programme leading to the development of a toolkit for the sector to support future strategies.
Dean of Loughborough University London Professor Mike Caine commented: “The London tech sector is the strongest in Europe, bristling with innovation and energy. To stay on top it needs to continue to attract talent.
“We, at Loughborough University London, are proud of the diverse community we are part of in east London. We are pleased to be sharing our expertise with those in the London tech sector and are looking forward to contributing to its future success.”
Pictured (above) at a recent event that marked the launch of the programme, is, from left to right, Gracie Jones (Capital Enterprise), Deborah Okenla (YSYS – Your Startup Your Story), Emma Joy Obanye (entrepreneur), Ben Cole (Loughborough University London Stakeholder Development Manager), Peter Scher (Global Head of Corporate Responsibility, JP Morgan Chase), John Spindler (CEO, Capital Enterprise), Alison Partridge (Capital Enterprise), Dayo Akinrinade (YSYS – Your Startup Your Story), Check Warner (Diversity VC, MB Christie (COO Tech Nation).