Nesta launches £2.8m fintech challenge to help workers

By Aisling Finn on Monday 14 September 2020

Digital BankingSavings and Investment

Winning entries to the programme could win up to £475,000.

Nesta launches £2.8m fintech challenge to help workers
Image source: Ravi Gurumurthy/Nesta

Financial wellbeing charity Nesta has launched a £2.8m challenge to help those worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Rapid Recovery Challenge, which is backed by the Money and Pensions Services and the JP Morgan Chase Foundation, will focus on supporting workers through the Covid-related economic turmoil. 

Nesta is calling on fintechs to enter solutions to problems workers face and, if successful, they could win up to £475,000. 

Nesta, and the other members of the challenge, will pick the solutions that have the greatest potential in helping people get back on track with their financial wellbeing, budget their money and, if necessary, access affordable, responsible credit.  

Ravi Gurumurthy, CEO 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.”   

Research from Nesta found that coronavirus has impacted younger workers in less secure jobs the most, such as gig workers or those on zero-hours contracts. 

Workers from those groups are twice as likely to work fewer hours compared to those in more table work, with nearly a third (32 per cent) saying that a second lockdown would send them over the edge financially. 

Caroline Siarkiewicz, CEO of the Money and Pensions Service said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has intensified the money worries many people face, but particularly for young people and workers on lower incomes.” 

“It’s vital that those worst hit can now access the right support and start to find a way forward with their finances.” 

Entries to the challenge are open now and will close on 26 October 2020, with two winning projects being announced at the end of the programme in September 2021.

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