Fair By Design Fund

The Fair By Design Fund backs tech businesses who are reducing the Poverty Premium by lowering living costs, increasing accessibility, and fixing market failures across financial services and access to fairer credit, insurance, food and household goods, energy, and transport.

Fair By Design Fund overview

Fund closed and fully deployed

Stage Pre-Seed to Seed+

Ticket Size £100k-£500k

Round Size £250k-£1.5m

Business Characteristics Building products and services that are tackling the Poverty Premium

Leads? Likes to lead rounds

More about the Fair By Design Fund

Fair By Design is a seed venture fund backing scalable tech businesses that are tackling the drivers of the UK Poverty Premium.

An estimated 14.3 million people (22% of the population) in the UK are living in poverty. People in poverty or on low incomes pay on average £490 more each year for the same goods and services as people who are better off financially. For one in ten, this number is at least £780. Some low-income households can end up paying in excess of £2,250 per year.

This is the ‘Poverty Premium’: the extra cost of being poor. It’s a real and unfair problem, tallying up at over £3.8bn per year in the UK alone.

There is not one single ‘Poverty Premium’—rather, many unfair increments in cost that, when added together, can significantly drain tight household budgets.

Such increments are typically centred on a specific set of issues. In energy, through expensive tariffs; credit, because of poor credit ratings; or food, transport, and insurance in deprived postcodes. These market failures are often compounded by digital exclusion.

We believe these unfair systemic flaws are reversible and also provide unique opportunities for mission-led founders to build winning solutions. Ascension works alongside a Campaign managed by Barrow Cadbury Trust, which collaborates with corporates, the government, and regulators to design out the Poverty Premium.

This initiative is looking to unlock large-scale systems change towards a fairer and more affordable life for low-income households across the UK.