Nesta offers £2.8m for FinTech solutions for COVID-hit workers

Nesta is launching the £2.8 million Rapid Recovery Challenge to find and support tools and solutions that improve access to jobs and money for people across the UK.

In partnership with the Money and Pensions Service and the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, the 12-month challenge will focus on supporting workers hit hardest by the economic shock of COVID-19.

Nesta is looking to FinTechs, charities and other organisations to enter their solutions that address the challenges faced by these workers. Firms could win up to £475,000 by entering the challenge’s Financial Recovery Stream, which focuses on financial resilience.

The stream will identify the most promising solutions and back those that have the greatest potential in helping people access financial assistance more easily, manage their cashflow, or, where necessary, access affordable and responsible credit.

Ravi Gurumurthy, chief executive of Nesta, said: “COVID-19 has created a huge economic shock, millions face severe threats to their job security and household finances, and we know that low-paid workers, people in insecure roles and those under 25 will be hit hardest.

"I’m looking forward to seeing the range of solutions innovators develop to address these issues and support those whose jobs and finances have been most impacted by the pandemic.”

Hang Ho, head of global philanthropy for EMEA at JPMorgan, added: “As the fight against this disease and its impact continues it is imperative that these people not be left behind and are supported to improve their career prospects and financial resilience."

The Rapid Recovery Challenge will support innovators to develop and scale solutions through financial grants and non-financial support such as help with product and service design, and access to a wider support network of organisations.

Entries are now open, closing on 26 October. Two winning projects will be announced at the end of the programme in September 2021.

Solutions submitted to the challenge must already exist - at least in prototype form - and must have been piloted with a minimum of 1,000 users.

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