Co-op Foundation funding initiatives to improve diversity in tech

The Co-op Foundation has awarded more than £50,000 to eight north-west organisations working to make the tech industry more responsible and inclusive. 

Funding has been delivered through our Federation programme, supported by Luminate. This programme engages with organisations, groups and initiatives that are leading digital and social innovation to challenge inequity and strengthen digital & data rights. It is delivered in partnership with system change and social impact agency, Noisy Cricket and social and digital innovation experts Paper Frogs, to deliver on Co-op’s vision of Co-operating for a fairer world. 

The aim of today’s funding is to empower groups across Greater Manchester as a starting point to address inequity in tech through innovation. It will help the chosen organisations to sustain or grow the impact of the ground-breaking work they are doing.  

Organisations supported include: 

  • Open Data Manchester: Works to create data and digital systems that enhance the lives of people who live and work in Greater Manchester and beyond. 
  • Consent Kit: Works to increase individual agency around privacy and data. 
  • Digital Advantage: Works with young people, particularly those with Autism and others that are not in education.  
  • CodeYourFuture (CYF): Trains refugees and other disadvantaged people to become web developers.  
  • SENDCode: Dedicated to improving lifelong outcomes for autistic young people with an interest in digital careers. 
  • Tech for Good Live: A volunteer organisation designed to help those who are designing technology to do social good by sharing knowledge and making connections.  
  • Bassajamba: Designs new data models to combat inequality. 
  • DiverseTech: A tech-for-good organisation which uses tech as a vehicle to create a fairer society. 

These groups are all contributing towards social and technological good, and several are working with groups traditionally underrepresented in tech.   

Linda Humphries, founder of Paper Frogs, the Co-op Foundation’s delivery partner on the Federation Programme said: 

“What’s exciting about the Federation programme is that we’re helping to strengthen organisations that are already doing great work in challenging inequalities and poor practices in tech and data. We are being led by these expert practitioners, who are adept at building trust, shifting understanding and delivering positive action in their field. By bringing them together, we’re encouraging them to collaborate and deliver wider systemic change. I’m excited that Paper Frogs has the opportunity to be a catalyst in this, as we work towards digital approaches that are inclusive and respectful of human rights.” 

Nick Crofts, CEO of the Co-op Foundation, said:  

“When guided by a purpose beyond profit, technology can be a powerful force for social good.  It is so exciting that this latest round of grants from the Federation programme, supported by Luminate, is enabling us to effect real change. The organisations we are funding are leaders in their fields in terms of working to diversify their industry and create a fairer world. From working with people from backgrounds underrepresented in tech, to protecting our online privacy, these groups are co-operating to create a lasting impact.” 

Find out about more funding opportunities and keep with the partners that the Co-op Foundation is funding, sign up to the Co-op Foundation blog.  

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