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Fearless Funding School launched to help funders remove bias from funding allocation process

Glass jar filled with coins and a plant growing out the top of it.

The Fearless Funding School will help funders remove bias from their funding process to help close the funding gap for historically under-resourced changemakers.

The cohort based programme, starting officially in autumn 2024, is being designed by inclusive communication consultancy More Diverse Voices and impact accelerator Good Tech Ventures.

During the first 8-weeks participants will work through a curriculum of different modules, covering topics including how to remove bias, inclusive marketing, equitable funding strategy, impact measurement and transparency. The cohort will then receive a further 8-weeks of support and coaching to help them apply their learnings to their current funding strategy.

“Many of society’s toughest problems are grounded in social justice and environmental issues and require a range of lived and learnt experiences to build effective solutions. But only a fraction of funding goes to historically under-resourced founders and organisations driving social justice. We want to change this,” said Emily Horton, founder of More Diverse Voices.

“There is a clear imbalance with how funds are allocated, so the system change has to happen at this level. We see this as an opportunity not just for historically under-resourced founders and leaders to get the funding they need, but also an opportunity for funders to build more diverse, robust and resilient portfolios that services the needs of the whole of society,” Horton continued.

Across venture capital, for example, funding for female founders dropped from 2.4% to 1.9% in the US between 2021 and 2022. Meanwhile in Europe, funding for female teams fell from 3% to 1%. In the UK, less than 0.25% of VC funding went to Black-led startups in 2020 and it has been reported that disabled founders are up to 400 times less likely to receive investment than their non-disabled counterparts.

Emma Williams, Community Manager, GoodTech Ventures said:

“At GoodTech Ventures, we partner with many impact-tech founders who struggle to access funds, despite having innovative and effective solutions. The statistics are deeply concerning and reflect much of what our founders experience. Those of us in funding positions must acknowledge our biases and work to change them. By doing this, we can make meaningful changes and affect stronger, equitable outcomes.

We partnered with More Diverse Voices to build the Fearless Funding School because of their expertise in inclusive communication. Together, we are committed to building a culture where fairer funding leads to a stronger society. By ensuring that not just a select few get the support they need, we will create a more inclusive and resilient community that benefits everyone.”

To help ensure the course is built with the needs of funders in mind, More Diverse Voices and Good Tech Ventures are looking for funders to share their experience of the current funding landscape with them. Funders can share their experience via this short survey. Interested participants can sign up to the course waiting list here and can access the full Fearless Funding School’s deck here.

If you have any questions, you can contact Emily Horton, founder of More Diverse Voices, directly on emily@morediversevoices.com