1st August 2023 

We are delighted to welcome Mehjabeen Patrick to our committed Board. 

Mehjabeen’s appointment brings additional investment and finance experience to our established Board as we continue to build our investment and programmatic activity to help ventures deliver equality outcomes throughout society.  

Mehjabeen has over 25 years of experience working in finance and investment at a leadership level. She is currently the founding CFO and Investment lead at the European Institute of Innovation and Technology’s newly created Culture & Creativity initiative, which is working to transform Europe’s cultural and creative sectors by increasing innovation and competitiveness. 

Prior to her current role, Mehjabeen served as both Chief Finance Officer and Chief Investment Officer at Creative UK, where she raised multimillion pound funds from the public and private sectors to invest in creative companies. Mehjabeen has also served as the UK representative on the European Commission’s Access to Finance group. 

Her passion lies in supporting businesses, helping them to grow, scale and prosper and enabling public and private partnerships to build and flourish. In addition to her day job, Mehjabeen serves on the Board of several organisations and sits on the British Design Fund’s Investment Committee. 

Commenting on her appointment, Mehjabeen said, ‘’Social tech, where technology and compassion converge to serve as a catalyst for positive social change, is an area I am deeply interested in and committed to. Naturally, I am thrilled and honoured to join the Board of Social Tech Trust. I am looking forward to working with the talented Board and the team at the Trust to harness the power of technology, innovation and social impact to create a better future for us all. I am excited to bring my investment experience to help make Social Tech Trust an investor of choice in the space.’’ 

On behalf of the team and Board, Ed Evans, CEO of Social Tech Trust said, “We are really excited to welcome Mehjabeen to our ambitious Board. She brings a wealth of experience and is a passionate advocate for our work supporting overlooked founders to drive social innovation through technology. Mehjabeen’s appointment reflects our commitment to expanding our investment work and she firmly shares our belief that society can benefit when social tech ventures are supported by investment models that are designed for them.”   


Meet our Board and Team

At Social Tech Trust, we’re committed to addressing the structural inequalities in the investment market that limit founders from reaching their full potential and in turn benefitting society through their work. Our view is that if we want to use technology to create a fairer society, then investors need to consciously re-consider our choices about which start-ups to support as this can have profound implications for how technologies evolve and how companies grow.

This year we launched the Social Tech Amplifier, a partnership between Catch22, Ufi VocTech Trust and Social Tech Trust to support 11 ventures with a focus on developing and implementing tech solutions to help tackle youth employment.

The Amplifier will help ventures unlock opportunities in the public sector supply chain and prepare them for scale through venture development activities and access to investment. They’ll also receive support from Hatch and Microsoft whose products and expertise will enhance the skills of our ventures – providing them with access to relevant software, guidance and mentorship.

We asked some of the ventures about what they hope to get out of being part of the Amplifier…here’s what they said:

“We’re excited about the impact that voice technology can have on empowering employment advisers to do their best work. We joined Social Tech Amplifier to gain support through our test, learn and iterate process so that we can continuously improve our ability to help providers deliver quality support at scale. We’re also excited about the opportunity to connect, learn from and collaborate with a community of innovators who share our vision for a world in which everyone has the opportunity to achieve their career potential.” Claudine Adeyemi, Founder & CEO, Earlybird

Read more about Earlybird here

“Joining The Social Tech Amplifier is perfect timing; our newest build will improve employment outcomes for young people at scale. Working with Catch22 and their partners, will help us unlock opportunities in the public sector supply chain, as well as build collaborations with the other ventures on our cohort. It’s going to be a huge year for us!” Gem Hallett, MiFuture

Read more about MiFuture here

“AKOU is both excited and honoured to be part of the Social Tech Amplifier, to work alongside such brilliant minds trying to disrupt and innovate pathways to employment for young people! We have high hopes for this journey, we know we are going to build new collaborations, learn a lot and amplify the development of some ground-breaking technology!”  Tilly Harries, Co-Founder and Head of Business Development, AKOU

Read more about AKOU here

“We’re thrilled to be part of the Social Tech Amplifier. The amplifier is the perfect platform to learn from experts such a Microsoft but also gain valuable advice and guidance from Catch22 whilst we develop, test, network and launch our technology into the employment sector.” Marina Hoole, Chief Operating Officer, Imployable

Read more about Imployable here

We’re excited to be joining the programme to increase our work further in the public sector, meet other like-minded ventures and ultimately increase our social impact. Christos Orthodoxou, Director of Innovation, TheTalentPeople / GetMyFirstJob.co.uk

Read more about GetMyFirstJob here

“Career Matters is delighted to have been selected to take part in the Social Tech Amplifier and to receive support from Catch22, Microsoft and Ufi VocTech Trust.  Thrive our hybrid digital provision, funded by Ufi VocTech Trust, is a solution to support young people with experience of the local authority care system into education, employment and training.  The solution also supports employers (including the NHS) who are seeking to create an open and inclusive workforce”.  Hannah Kirkbride, CEO, Career Matters

Read more about Career Matters here

“The Social Tech Amplifier is a unique opportunity to support us in fine-tuning our technology for different target groups in the UK. We look forward to leveraging the strong expertise that partners such as Catch22 or Microsoft provide.” Christoph Bretgeld, Co-Founder & Director of Strategy at SkillLab

Read more about SkillLab here

“Supplytrain is delighted to have been accepted onto the Social Tech Amplifier. We’re excited to work with the amazing partners on the project, to help us grow our online mentoring support. Ultimately, we believe the Amplifier will help us to place more young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into great entry-level jobs, and provide the mentoring support they need to thrive in their new roles.” Phil Golding, Managing Director, Supplytrain CIC

Read more about Supplytrain here

As part of the programme, all ventures receive support in:

Accessing B2G markets

The Social Tech Amplifier helps ventures to identify the impact and commercial opportunities for their product or service for use in public service delivery. We’ll help ventures to test and refine solutions through existing supply chain and network partners, and we’ll help them to deploy impactful and commercially successful solutions in the B2G market

Venture development and contract readiness

Ventures that are part of the programme will benefit from a series of workshops including strategy, finance, branding, marketing, sales, and pitching. There will also be peer support, expert coaching and mentoring sessions, and a ‘Demo day’ showcasing their business to a panel of experts

Technology support

> Social Tech Amplifier ventures will have access to Microsoft’s start-up resources including Azure credits and access to development and productivity tools including GitHub and Microsoft 365.

> They will also benefit from expert mentors, hacks and advice and guidance from Microsoft technical experts, and connections to Microsoft customers and partners.

Raising investment

We’ll support ventures in knowing what types of funding and investment is available to them and what best aligns with their goals and needs. We’ll help them understand the process of raising investment and what they need to prepare for fundraising. We’ll also support them to understand what different investors are looking for and start to form an investment strategy


Find out more about the Social Tech Amplifier and the partners involved, here

For further information or comment, please contact: melissa.milner@catch-22.org.uk


New Social Tech Amplifier seeking ventures that offer tech solutions to help tackle youth unemployment

Catch22, Ufi VocTech Trust and the Social Tech Trust launch new amplifier in bid to improve employment prospects for young people

The Social Tech Amplifier, launched today, is set to mobilise the power and energy of tech ventures in public service delivery to help young people access jobs and navigate the future of work.

Delivered in partnership by Catch22, Ufi VocTech Trust and the Social Tech Trust, and supported by Hatch and Microsoft, the Amplifier is inviting ventures to apply for the programme, where they’ll receive funding and support to scale their ideas.

David Hinton, Catch22’s Project Lead for the Social Tech Amplifier, said:

“At Catch22, we firmly believe in the power of alternative public service delivery – not least in the space of supporting young people into work. Our current employability programmes support nearly 2000 people a year into work or training, over a third of whom are NEET. We also have a strong procurement track record; 60% of the ventures we supported through our Incubate, Accelerate, Amplify programme won public sector contracts to the value of £21m.”

Those ventures who are successful in applying to be part of the Social Trust Amplifier will receive support with:

Accessing Business to Government (B2G) markets

> Helping ventures to identify the impact and commercial opportunities for deployment in public service delivery.
> Helping ventures to test and refine solutions through existing supply chain and network partners
> Helping ventures to deploy impactful and commercially successful solutions in the B2G market

Venture development and contract readiness

> A series of workshops including strategy, finance, branding, marketing, sales, and pitching
> Peer support and expert coaching and mentoring sessions
> Demo Day showcasing business to a panel of experts

Technology support

> Microsoft Founder Hub resources including products and Azure credits.
> Expert mentors – advice and guidance from Microsoft’s technical experts.
> Partner offers – access to product and service offers from Microsoft partners.

Raising investment

> Helping ventures know what types of funding and investment is available to them and best aligns with their goals and needs
> Helping ventures understand the process of raising investment and what they need to prepare for fundraising
> Helping ventures understand what different investors are looking for and start to form an investment strategy

Thomas Heiser, Head of Communications and Ufi, said:

“Digital technology has a crucial role to play in supporting young people to access jobs and navigate the future of work. The Social Tech Amplifier has the potential to have a real impact, supporting new ventures to scale and transforming the employment prospects of young people. We’re very excited to be a partner and look forward to supporting the first cohort of ventures.”

Chris Blues, Programme Director at the Social Tech Trust, said:

“Technology can be a powerful tool for addressing the world’s biggest challenges. The Social Tech Amplifier will truly supercharge young people’s employment prospects through scaling impact tech ventures.

“We know all know that talent is evenly distributed, yet opportunity is not. The Social Tech Amplifier will showcase how we can create a world where social transformation is the driving force behind tech and nurture solutions that have a deep-rooted impact on young people’s lives.”

Applications close Friday 2nd December 2022 at midday.
Register your interest.

Our partnership with Microsoft and the Met Office enabled us to support ten social tech ventures to tackle pressing social issues from developing intelligence software to combat online illicit trade to helping food and drink businesses score and display the environmental impact of their products to consumers. This year’s cohort has the potential to tackle climate change from a holistic perspective, creating change that can be truly fundamental to the way that we live our lives and engage with the planet.  

To give our ventures every chance of success, they were supported through expert advice and workshops on commercial development and social impact in addition to coaching to maximise the impact of their work.  

The programme saw Scrapp, a patent pending, purpose-led platform on a mission to reduce global waste, realign their value proposition for greater impact and Yes Make taking on excerpt advice to support them in solidifying their work in mitigating the locally and globally, by encouraging outdoor education and facilitating low carbon transport and renewable energy whilst promoting creativity and play for people of all ages. This year’s AI for Environmental Sustainability programme has catalysed the work being done by ventures committed to using technology for social good.  

What’s next for this year’s ventures?  

This year’s ventures are ready to make a positive difference, but in order to make a sustainable impact on the world, they need the support of a wider community. Here’s a snapshot of what our ventures hope to achieve and how you can help: 

Materials Nexus, is a company committed to accelerating the transition towards net-zero materials is on the lookout for businesses who are interested in decarbonising their businesses.  

Scrapp wants to ensure that recycling is a viable and widely adopted method to appropriately handle waste. They’re seeking investment to scale their operations and want businesses to adopt Scrapp and roll-out effective recycling programs that save them money on contamination fees. 

Vistalworks is tackling illicit trade, a $2.2trillion a year problem that depletes corporate profitability, funds organised crime, affects national security, and impacts progress towards all UN Sustainability Goals and Net Zero Climate Targets. Their next step is to develop the best way to measure the impact of their work.  

Yes Make want the urban design and construction process to include sustainable materials practise and the voices of their end-users from the beginning. Through their work they hope to see the mitigation of the climate emergency and uptake in low-carbon alternatives in industry done in a just way. Yes Make is changing the way urban design takes place, but they need capital to support them in their mission.  

If you’re interested in supporting one of this year’s ventures, get in touch with us Hello@socialtechtrust.org 

Ten companies focused on finding solutions to reduce carbon emissions and waste, preserve water and protect ecosystems have been selected to take part in Microsoft’s AI for Environmental Sustainability Accelerator programme.

The programme, launched in collaboration with the Met Office and Social Tech Trust, will support the cohort through a four-month programme to advance their environmental solution using AI.

The 10 companies will develop their technological capabilities and commercial strategy, build the relationships they need to scale their solution and, crucially, learn how to measure the impact it will have for environmental progress.

Among the accelerator participants are Exeter-based Quanterra Systems, which is creating a measurement solution for the indicators of ecosystem health; Scotland’s Vistalworks, is developing intelligence software to combat online illicit trade; Materials Nexus from Teddington is using AI to speed up the discovery of sustainable material alternatives, and Yes Make is helping design London’s public spaces with reclaimed materials from other developments.

Other companies include:

Modulous (London): Modulous creates a globally scalable model for the design and delivery of homes that are sustainable, cost effective and promote wellbeing for residents

Reewild (London): Reewild helps food and drink businesses to score and display the environmental impact of their products to consumers

Scrapp (Edinburgh): Scrapp makes recycling simple, fun and rewarding

Seab Energy (London): Seab Energy creates easy-to-install micro-power plants that turn food and bio-wastes into heat, electricity, water and fertiliser

CO2Analysis (Hampshire): CO2Analysis makes Scope 3 emissions easy and quick to analyse

Treeconomy (London): Treeconomy generates financial value from ecosystem services and natural capital, using an offset-as-a-service business model

The companies joined programme partners, investors and Microsoft’s UK Chief Sustainability Officer, Musidora Jorgensen, for a kick-off event at Microsoft’s UK headquarters in Reading on March 31.

Jorgensen said: “Climate change is one of our most pressing threats and we need solutions quickly to deal with the problems we face. We know artificial intelligence is a powerful tool we can deploy today to make progress. These ten creative companies have been selected for their focus on significant industry challenges and our ambition is that with Microsoft’s support we can crack them.”

Ed Evans, CEO of Social Tech Trust said: “Failure to address climate change will have catastrophic consequences for our planet, and we must act now. The ten selected social tech ventures represent the possibilities available to us for safeguarding the future of our planet, and we are committed to supporting them to make this a reality.”

Start-ups selected for the four-month equity-free accelerator programme will receive Microsoft Azure cloud credits, advice from experts on AI, technology, commercial development and social impact, workshops, coaching from Microsoft, The Met Office and Social Tech Trust, networking opportunities and funding support to scale their solution and put it in the hands of those who need it most.

29 March 2022 

We are thrilled to announce that we have become signatories to Diversity Forum’s Manifesto. The Diversity Forum is a collective on a mission to drive inclusive social investment in the UK, through the convening of sector-wide groups, commissioning research, and knowledge sharing. The Manifesto acts as a public commitment to Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) and builds on the Trust’s belief that EDI is critical to achieving a world where social transformation drives tech.   

The renewed commitments follow an expansion of the Trust’s approach to EDI, ensuring that the core principles are integral to the Trust’s strategy and embedded across all aspects of our work. As signatories of Diversity Forum’s Manifesto, the Trust has made 7 commitments and 10 initial actions that will be actioned in the coming months to support its EDI practice.   

Social Tech Trust, CEO Edward Evans says “The pandemic has shone a light on existing inequalities within society. We believe technology can help to address these challenges, provided it is guided by principles of equality. We are convinced that stronger EDI practices can help enable more people to shape a better future where everyone in society can live well.”   


Read the full Manifesto.

The UK has a vibrant impact and social investment market. Yet beneath the headlines of record levels of investment in UK tech and social businesses, social tech ventures continue to tell us that access to appropriate finance is the biggest obstacle to their plans for sustainability and growth. 

To understand more about the barriers they face, and what new approaches they would like to see, we convened a series of roundtable discussions with social tech ventures from across the UK. 

Our research identified several challenges that ventures experience when engaging different investor groups, including misalignment with the dominant VC model, investor aversion to impact-focused business models, and investor hesitancy about tech propositions. 

The participants expressed a clear desire to see more innovative investment models and instruments being used that have a closer alignment with their financial and impact objectives. 

Several key areas were highlighted where the ventures saw opportunities to take a different approach, including exploring models that focus on sustainability as well as growth; developing more revenue-based approaches; and addressing the need for patient and flexible finance. 

Ed Evans, CEO of Social Tech Trust says, “social tech ventures have consistently evidenced their commercial acumen and the positive impact of their work on society. This report validates what we have known for years – social tech ventures are being negatively impacted by mis-aligned funding models. Going forward, we’ll continue to focus on addressing the investment gap so that ventures can access the capital they need to build a better society.” 


Read the full report. For more information about our investment approach, read our blog Fair play: why sustainable impact needs a more flexible approach to investment’.  

For further enquiries, please contact us via hello@socialtechtrust.org