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Future Fund is now OPEN — with a Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan.

Today The Government has made £250 million available for the Future Fund. The Future Fund issues convertible loans to innovative UK companies that typically rely on equity investment and are currently affected by Covid-19. The scheme will help these companies through the current period of economic disruption and their recovery. Future Fund is designed by the Government and delivered by the British Business Bank — applications are open until the end of September 2020. You can learn more about how to make an application: HERE

Last month, YSYS and Community Partners wrote an open letter to The Government to address the concerns voiced by the startup community centered around Future Fund failure to cater to diverse founders.

You can learn more about our concerns and recommendations to The Government here:

  1. The Future Fund is not for diverse founders — but here’s how to change that: READ
  2. YSYS Community Response to Future Fund: The Updates and Survey: READ

Since then, there have been a number of conversations and roundtables to ensure the deployment of Future Funs is accessible. As a community, we are encouraged to see HM Treasury and The British Business Bank have implemented a few of our diversity and inclusion suggestions on the deployment of the fund. They have committed to:

1. Tracking Diversity and Inclusion

The application form asks a number of questions on diversity and inclusion to help monitor the diversity of the portfolio of loans backed by the Future Fund scheme.

2. Investing in Women Code

The Future Fund is a signatory to HM Treasury’s Investing in Women Code. They encourage Angel Syndicates, Venture Capital firms, and Banks to also sign the code here.

3. Right to Change the Application Process and Eligibility and Allocation Criteria

The Future Fund retains its right to alter the application process, eligibility criteria, and allocation criteria at any time, with details of any such changes posted on this website.

4. Information Captured

As part of the application process, The Future Fund will collect information about the investors, the companies, and companies’ nominated solicitors. They will also collect some personal information about key individuals. They will use the information we collect to monitor the allocation of funds by the Future Fund and ensure that funds are allocated to eligible companies.

We know more needs to be done (the investor community, should be playing a role in this), but we are optimistic by the Future Fund efforts to begin tracking diversity and inclusion data, which we believe is the first step in the right direction in understanding the experience of diverse founders and developing emergency schemes that are accessible to all.

Resources

  1. Future Fund Scheme Overview: READ
  2. Future Fund Portal: APPLY
  3. Future Fund FAQ: READ

If you have any questions not addressed by the FAQs please do not hesitate to contact: FutureFundSupport@british-business-bank.co.uk

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YSYS is a thriving startup community for founders, developers, creatives and investors on a mission to make a difference.

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